You may have noticed that there has been no information or publicity about the annual TS Eliot Writing Competition, run by emagazine in conjunction with the Poetry Book Society. In June 2016 the Poetry Book Society closed, with some of its functions being taken over by other bodies. The TS Eliot Prize will continue to be awarded but the Trustees have decided not to continue to support the A Level writing competition.
This is sad news for those of you who have enjoyed offering it to your students each year. However, the good news is that we have been in active discussions with the Forward Arts Foundation and will be offering an A Level student writing competition to tie in with the Awards in September – Forward/emagazine Student Critics Competition. This is an exciting new collaboration, building on the relationship forged between Forward and EMC in running conferences on Forward’s Poems of the Decade for EDEXCEL English Literature A Level.
We will be launching the competition when the shortlist is announced in June and there will be an extended period for entries to come in before the Awards Ceremony on 21st September. The competition will encourage critical writing, and creative/critical writing. It will have some brilliant prizes and two high profile judges from the poetry world. Sarah Howe is a Hong Kong-born British poet, academic and editor, whose first collection Loop of Jade won the TS Eliot Prize in 2015. Sarah Crown is the Literature Officer for the Arts Council and formerly editor of guardian.co.uk/books. She has written many poetry reviews for the Guardian and Poetry Review.
Watch out for our publicity about it. If you’re coming to the NATE Conference, there will be a plenary session all about it, with Sarah Howe, Susannah Herbert of Forward Arts Foundation and Barbara Bleiman.