Poetry & Art Competition

The 2016/17 Never Such Innocence Poetry and Art Competition is now closed, and winners have been notified.  
The winning work will be published by June 2017.

To sign your school up for the 2017/18 competition please email enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com 

New for 2016/17 is Songs of the Centenary - see here for more details. 

Never Such Innocence invites all 9-16 year olds to send us poems or artwork inspired by the events of the First World War. Our competition is held for each year of the centenary, the fourth and final competition will launch in September 2017. Winners of the 2016/17 Competition will be announced on or before Friday 28th April. 

"This competition was focused on a subject students are interested in, and allowed them to express this in a variety of media. It really allowed students to get involved in the topic without being made to write an essay! I also really liked having past winners to show as examples and a really good resource pack available." - Sarah Penny, a teacher at Alton Convent School

Royal Canadian Legion

Never Such Innocence is delighted to be in partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion and their 'National Poster and Literary Contests', which focuses on the theme of Remembrance, to add an important Canadian strand to the 2016/17 and 2017/18 competition.

Over 100,000 students from across Canada participate in these contests and all entries shortlisted at Provincial level and submitted to Dominion Command are also entered into the Never Such Innocence Competition. Our third edition resource contains a dedicated section on the significant Canadian contribution during the First World War, which is accessible to Canadian children, and indeed children across the world, as a free download .

PRIZES for 2016/17 Competition:

1st £400 per competition
£200-pupil / £200-school

2nd £200 per competition
£100-pupil / £100-school

3rd £100 per competition
£50-pupil / £50-school

Additional prizes for runners up in each competition.

Winner of Years 5-6 £200 per (Gaelic/Welsh) language category 
£100-pupil / £100-school

Winner of Years 7-9 £200 per language category
£100-pupil / £100-school

Winner of Years 10-11 £200 per language category
£100-pupil / £100-school

Every entrant receives a personalised Certificate of Commendation and all winning entries will be published in a special Winners Booklet. See the 2014 Winners Booklet and 2015/16 Winners Booklet

We publish a resource to stimulate responses to the competition - it provides an overview of the Great War and is split into sections. The resource is free to download and we will post copies to your school free of charge! The third edition resource includes country profiles on Germany, Wales, and Canada, and other topics such as Facial Injury, Young People at War, and Female Spies! The fourth and final edition will be published in September 2017 to coincide with the 2017/18 Competition launch. 

Email enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com to request two free hardcopies of the third edition resource for your school.

You can test your knowledge on the First World War with our quiz - use the third edition resource to help find the answers! 

The final edition resource will be published with the winning entries from all four competitions in a special legacy book in 2018!

“This is the second time that I have joined a panel of judges and the first time that I kept a poem [Waking Nightmare’ by Robyn Beckett] by my bedside for so long. I represent the Combat Veteran Players which is made up of ex-service men and women who had suffered from PTSD. This poem has given a clear account of what we are. It has been an honour to be amongst you and a real privilege to be able to learn so much from our young and future generation.” Androcles Scicluna from the Combat Veteran Players, Poetry Judge

“It was deeply moving to find, in so many of those young people, such an understanding of the pain, the bleakness, the unrelenting sacrifice that came with the Great War. In that respect, having members of our jury who had actually seen combat was illuminating.” Nathalie Trouveroy, Art Historian, Art Judge


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