Romantic Inspirations


    Carol Ann Duffy CBE to chair the Keats-Shelley Prize 2015 and Young Romantics, a new prize for young writers

    The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association is delighted to announce that the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy CBE FRSL has been appointed as Chair of the judges of the Keats-Shelley Prize 2015 and also lead judge for their new Young Romantics Prize for young writers.

    Carol Ann Duffy comments, Poetry is the great adventure of the young, as the Romantics demonstrated.

    Poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy is herself a multi-award-winning writer: her prizes include the Somerset Maugham, Eric Gregory, Forward, National Poetry, Whitbread, T.S. Eliot, Costa and Pen/Pinter. She published her first anthology at the age of nineteen.

    Carol Ann Duffy became the first woman poet laureate in 2009 and her poetry has been on the National Curriculum since 1994. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry and Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Since 1998 the Keats-Shelley Prize has encouraged poets and students of all ages and from around the world to write their own essays and poems on Romantic themes, says Harriet Cullen, Chairman KSMA. Now we have created the new Young Romantics Prize to discover and promote young talent and to foster an early love and appreciation of the Romantics.

    Young Romantics is unique amongst literary prizes in that writers must take their inspiration from the work, lives and ideas of the Romantics. Young writers aged between 16 and 18, are invited to enter poems and short stories.  KSMA is working with Arvon in this exciting new venture, and the authors of the winning poem and short story will be awarded a week-long creative writing course led by practising writers at one of their famous residential centres.

    Ruth Borthwick,  Chief Executive of Arvon writes, Arvon is delighted to support the Young Romantics Prize.  Arvon’s roots are in developing young poets. We have nearly fifty years’ experience of supporting talented writers to grow their craft and become even better. We look forward very much to welcoming the winners of the first Young Romantics Prize to one of our three unique writing houses in England next year.

    Also for the very first time this year, students aged 16-18 are invited to enter the essay section of the Keats-Shelley Prize to compete for a special award.

    For further information about the Keats-Shelley Prizes contact:

    Notes to Editors

    The Keats-Shelley Prize is a competition for essays and poems with awards totalling £4,000. Essays can be on any aspect of the work and lives of the Romantics and their circle. The theme for poems this year is Watcher of the Skies.

    The judging panel for 2015: Carol Ann Duffy, Matthew Sweeney, Jo Shapcott, Professor Simon Bainbridge and Professor Sharon Ruston (both of Lancaster University).

    Entries can be submitted now and the submission deadline is 1st February 2015. The winning poems and essays are published in The Keats-Shelley Review.


    Young Romantics  The brand new young writers’ prize will be launched on January 1st 2015 and the closing date for entries is March 13th.

    The theme for both poems and short stories this year is Lost Angels.

    The judging panel consists of Carol-Ann Duffy, Matthew Sweeney and Kate Clanchy.

    In addition to the top prize of an Arvon creative writing course, the winners and runners up will be awarded £100 book tokens. Arvon will help the winners choose the course they will most enjoy and prizes can be deferred for up to three years. The winning poems and short stories will be published on the KSMA website and in a commemorative annual issue of the Keats-Shelley Newsletter.


    Shortlists for both prizes will be announced on the Keats Shelley Memorial Association website in March/April and the winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony in London on 21st April 2015.

    For further information about the conditions of entry for both Prizes please visit:


    The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association takes care of the Keats-Shelley House in Rome, the house at the bottom of the Spanish Steps where John Keats died, and which since 1906 has been a museum dedicated to the English Romantic poets. It currently receives some 24,000 visitors a year.