New children’s poetry competition for Wordsworth’s 250th year

Primary school pupils across Cumbria are being encouraged to enter a brand-new poetry competition celebrating the £250th anniversary of Lake District icon William Wordsworth, with the winner receiving a fabulous package of prizes, plus a £100 voucher for their school.

Each year the Lakeland Book of the Year, launched by Cumbria’s very own Hunter Davies OBE, receives poems, stories novels and more inspired by the county but 2020 marks the first year that competition will celebrate the creativity of Cumbria’s children.

The new poetry competition is open to Key Stage 2 children attending schools within Cumbria and the inaugural theme is “The loveliest spot – what Cumbria means to me”. Inspired by William Wordsworth’s description of Grasmere the competition forms part of a year of celebration around the £250th anniversary of the poet’s birth.

 “Wordsworth’s poems have drawn visitors to the Lake District for almost a quarter of a century” says Sam Tollerson at Cumbria Tourism, which manages and administers the awards. “We’re really excited to launch a special competition for schools, especially in such an important year for Cumbrian literature. Each year the awards highlight amazing stories about how the Lake District, Cumbria has inspired writers, and it’s never too early to pick up a pen and express yourself. Who knows, some of this year’s entrants may go on to write a future Lakeland Book of the Year!”.

The competition will be judged by Michael McGregor, Director at The Wordsworth Trust and Ian Walker, Deputy Head at John Ruskin School. As well as receiving prizes the winner, plus a teacher and parent, will be invited to the Lakeland Book of the Year awards ceremony on 30 June at the Roundthorn Country House Hotel, Penrith. They will collect their prizes and recite their winning poem to the finalists and judges (founder Hunter Davies OBE, broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism President Eric Robson, and journalist and presenter Fiona Armstrong).

Full terms and conditions can be found at Entries are open until Friday 17 April at 12pm. Schools can submit entries either by emailing or by post to Cumbria Tourism, Windermere Road, Staveley LA8 9PL.

Local businesses have donated a range of experiences for the winning student, including Treetop Nets, Lakeland Motor Museum, Windermere Lake Cruises, Honister Slate Mine, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Rheged Cinema, Lake District Coast Aquarium, Tullie House, Derwent Water Marina and the Lingholm Kitchen


Terms and conditions

  • • The competition is only open to KS2 children in Cumbria.
    • Entries open Wednesday 5 February 2020.
    • Closing date is 12pm on Friday 17 April 2020.The shortlist will be announced Friday 22 May 2020.
    • Schools may submit unlimited entries by either post to Sam Tollerson, Cumbria Tourism, Windermere Road, Staveley, Cumbria, LA8 9PL OR by email to
    • The entries will be judged impartially so please ensure the entrants name, school and age are written on the back of their poem.
    • The top 3 shortlisted poets, plus a teacher and parent/guardian will be invited to the awards ceremony on Tuesday 30th June 2020 at The Roundthorn County House Hotel near Penrith to read their poems and collect their prizes. The overall winner will be announced.
    • Prizes include Family Passes to Treetop Nets, Lakeland Motor Museum, Windermere Lake Cruises, Honister Slate Mine Tour, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Rheged Cinema, Lake District Coast Aquarium, 2 x Annual Tickets to Tullie House, 3 hour Canadian Canoe Voucher for Derwent Water Marina and a £40 voucher for Lingholm Kitchen.
    • The winner’s school will receive £100 and a free Education Workshop at The Wordsworth Trust.


For more information, contact event organiser Sam Tollerson ( at Cumbria Tourism on 01539 822 222

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