Aged 13-25 and looking for a chance to flex your writing muscles? Enter our poetry challenge!

We have launched Dark New Skies a poetry anthology by students of Regent High School, and the incredible talent of these young poets got us thinking that we’d love to hear more from other young writers during this time.

The Challenge:

Write a 15 word poem (about the length of a short tweet) about life after lockdown. Have you learnt a new skill, or discovered something about yourself during this time that you want to take forward into post-lockdown life? Maybe you’re looking forward to seeing friends and family, or just can’t wait to get back to your favourite restaurant. Whatever has you feeling inspired about life after lockdown, take it as your inspiration for a short verse.

We’ll pick some of our favourite entries and showcase them on the Roundhouse website, and across our social media channels.

The Rules:

1. Write a poem or creative piece of writing around the theme of life after lockdown.
2. Your entry must be a maximum of 15 words only.
3. You must be aged between 13-25 to enter.
4. Deadline is 22nd June 2020.

Here’s some inspo in the form of pandemic haikus, from one of our poetry tutors Leo Boix:

My hair grows wild, hair-
cuts banned for now. Solutions?
Hair clippers are bought.

Run out of TV
series to watch. Films? Podcasts?
Lets go for a walk.

How to enter:

Enter via Twitter using the hashtag #RoundPoetryChallenge and tagging @roundhouseldn.

*Please note that if your profile is private, we may not be able to see your poem.


Submit your poem through the form below.

Our top tips for creating your entry:

Read some poetry!

The poems in the Dark New Skies anthology are a great place to read the kind of work other young people are writing. Find some examples of poems, phrases or sentences you like and identify what it is you think works and why. It might give you some new ideas.

Explore a theme

In Dark New Skies, our young poets explored the themes of migration and climate change, two topics that inspired them to get writing. We would like to hear from you about a different theme that’s a big issue right now, ‘life after lockdown’. What could life after lockdown be like? What are your hopes and fears for the future?

15 words only

When you’re writing a poem sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. There are so many choices that being restricted to 15 words can really help focus your thinking and encourage you to carefully consider every word. Let’s keep it short and snappy!

Write in your own voice

The young people who wrote poems for our anthology were encouraged to write using their own voice to make the poems sound authentic and truthful. Try reading what you have written out loud and see if it sounds natural. If you have written it in way you would speak, then it’s using your voice.

Get technical

Check out Dark New Skies for some inspiration.

You could try including a poetry technique such as metaphor like Zahrah did in the poem Humanity, page 43 of Dark New Skies. ‘Man ran through us with a pizza cutter many years ago’, this sentence describes the way land was divided and cut up, through using the metaphor of a pizza. This technique can create a strong visual image and helps the reader visualise an idea in a different way. You could also try using simile like in the poem Ups and Downs, page 26, ‘An emotional pain felt like a sharp, poisonous knife cutting through you’, or alliteration like Tahia uses on page 23 in Its Hold on Us, ‘Clutching claws impale its prey, mirroring its hold on us. Cascading down the face of the Earth, once crystal clear long ago’. The hard ‘c’ sound is used 5 times to make an impact.

Go for it!

Sometimes we can be our own worst critic. Give it a go and get creative!