GSA Creative Writing Award 2023

THEME: ‘Let Me Put You on Speaker’

Pupils are now invited to send in their best poems to shine a light on their friendships. From BFFs to childhood alliances their work will showcase the social and emotional lives of many girls today, and pay tribute to the transformative power of their friendships.

Karen McCarthy Woolf is looking forward to reading every submission herself and has created unique prompts and resources for teachers, and younger and older children alike to use for their own inspiration. Click through to Karen’s resources using the buttons below.

Schools are encouraged to read the older and younger resources before using their own discretion to decide which is most appropriate to use with their own pupils.  

Resources for Younger Pupils

Resources for Older Pupils



  1. You may interpret the theme in any way you wish.
  2. Entries are free.
  3. Submissions can be poems in any form, and up to a maximum of 40 lines. All entries should fit on one side of A4 and be submitted in word.doc or pdf formats. Save the document as name, poem title, school.
  4. Please include your name, year, and school on your submission.
  5. Please include a title for your submission.
  6. Only one entry per pupil allowed.
  7. There are three age categories:
    KS2 – Years 3 to 6 – most people will be aged 7-11 years
    b. KS3 – Years 7 to 9 – most people will be aged 11-14
    c. KS4 & KS5 – Years 10 to 13 (incl Sixth Form) – most people will be aged 14-18
  8. Entries must be your own original work.
  9. Entries must be submitted no later than May 10 using the form below. A supervising teacher’s email address will be required for submission.
  10. Entries will be judged by Karen McCarthy Woolf, there will be no sifting. The judge’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  11. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
    – Originality
    – Creative expression of the ‘Let Me Put You on Speaker’ theme
    – Language
    – Interesting Use of Form


8pm Wednesday 10 May 2023

The winners in each category will be informed, via their teacher, no later than June 1. GSA will announce and celebrate the longlist, shortlist, and winners over its communications channels and three lucky winners will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of joining Karen McCarthy Woolf in a poetry reading to read their winning poems alongside her at GSA’s prestigious Summer Briefing in London at BMA House on June 12. The winners will also be invited to make a video recording of themselves reading their winning entry. On and after this date, the winners’ poems and recordings will be published on the GSA website at and shared on social media; winners must keep their status confidential until this time.

Submit your entry

All queries to [email protected]

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