Our Poetry and Art Competition is now closed. Winners will be announced on or before Friday 27th April. 

If you didn't make our deadline for the international competition, do not worry because we have a fantastic new project that we would love you to engage with. Together: A UK-German Centenary Project provides the opportunity for schools and educational groups to work in partnership, or independently, and draw on the events of the First World War to create messages of hope and unity through poetry, art or song. Find out about our new UK-German centenary project here.

Our annual centenary competition invited children and young people aged 9-16 across the world to submit poetry, art or song (see more on Songs of the Centenary here) inspired by the events of the First World War. Details of our special bonus strands and prizes may be found below.

2016/17 certificate of commendation

2016/17 certificate of commendation

The competition was completely free to enter and every entrant receives a personalised certificate of commendation signed by our President,
Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and our Founder, Lady Lucy French.

Our final centenary competition welcomed poetry in all languages. Existing categories included English, Gaelic and Welsh. Art was accepted in any medium, be it lino-print, painting, sketch, photography, or collage.

The Never Such Innocence resource provides a child-friendly journey through the First World War covering topics such as the role of animals and advancements in medicine, as well as country profiles on Germany, Russia and Canada. It is available as a free download from our website. 

See In the Classroom for lesson plans, a fun quiz, and tips on getting started with producing poetry and art. And all previous winning entries have been published in special Winners Booklets which are available to view here.


We ran a number of special bonus strands for our 2017/18 competition:


In partnership with The Royal British Legion, Never Such Innocence is encouraging young people to pay tribute to the generation of the First World War, a creative expression of appreciation and gratitude. Entries inspired by the Royal British Legion’s ‘Thank You’ campaign could feature in the Legion’s famous events, including the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. See here for further details.

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To mark 100 years since the formation the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1918, in partnership with RAF100, we invited entrants to consider the war in the skies as a particular theme for our poetry, art and songs competition. Entries inspired by the ‘war in the skies’ and formation of the RAF (the world's first independent air force!) will be eligible for special bonus prizes courtesy of the Royal Air Force!


We are very excited to be working with WW100 Scotland to highlight the contribution and role of Dr Elsie Inglis and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals to the war effort in the First World War. Children and young people across Scotland submitting entries inspired by Dr Inglis and her colleagues will be eligible for a bonus prize, courtesy of WW100 Scotland.


As part of our Salonika Remembers project we are invited children and young people across Greece to visit and explore Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries in and around Thessaloniki, and respond to this experience creatively through poetry, art and song. See here for further details… 

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We are delighted to be partnered with the Royal Canadian Legion’s ‘National Poster and Literary Contest’ for a second year. The contest focuses on the theme of Remembrance adding an important Canadian strand to the 2017/18 competition.


PRIZES for 2017/18 Poetry & Art Competition:

For each age category and competition:

1st Place Winner: £400

(£200-winner / £200-school)


2nd Place Winner: £200

(£100-winner / £100-school)


3rd Place Winner: £100

(£50-winner / £50-school)

***Only if you are entering through a school, home-educator, community group or youth group will they receive the allocated school portion of the prize money as specified above. Please clearly indicate on the entry form.

All winners and runners up are invited to our prestigious Awards Ceremony. For 2017/18 we have some exceptional opportunities for entrants to perform or feature in major commemorative events this November.

Two runners up from each category are also selected. They are invited to the Awards Ceremony and receive special prizes such as signed books about the First World War kindly donated by authors.


Please note the age categories are spilt by school year:

Years 5-6

(ages 9-11)


Years 7-9

(ages 11-14)


Year 10-11

(ages 14-16)


Remember that every entrant receives a personalised Certificate of Commendation! All winning entries will be published in a special Winners Booklet. See the 2014 Winners Booklet, 2015/16 Winners Booklet and 2016/17 Winners Booklet.

The winning entries from all four competitions will be published in a special legacy book this autumn!

Why not apply for an Arts Award? You’ll end up with a portfolio or arts log that shows off your creativity and gives you a recognised national qualification or award to put on your CV.

This is your last chance to play your part in the centenary! Help fill our map and become part of our international movement Thus far our 2017/18 competition has received entries from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies, Greece, Bulgaria, France, Italy, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Rwanda, Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan and Malaysia!

The 2017/18 Never Such Innocence competition is supported by The Royal British Legion, the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and RAF100.