Poetry & Art Competition

The fourth and final Never Such Innocence Poetry and Art Competition is now open – play your part in The Final Push!

To sign your school up for the 2017/18 competition please email enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com or sign up to our newsletter here .

We hope that our final competition in 2017/18 will be the widest reaching, most inclusive, and best yet! Our final competition welcomes poetry in all languages. Existing categories include English, Gaelic and Welsh. We want to ensure as many children as is possible are able to play their part in the centenary, to have a significant voice, and to create their own centenary legacy.

Our competition invites all 9-16 year olds to send us poems or artwork inspired by the events of the First World War. On our journey to 2018, we will continue to engage with children and young people across the British Isles, and the wider world. Full competition rules may be found here.

We have published our fourth edition resource to help inspire your entry to the competition, it is available as a free download, and you may request free copies for your school by emailing enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com

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.

To mark 100 years since the formation of the world’s first independent air force, in partnership with RAF100, our roadshows will travel to RAF bases across the British Isles, where we shall be asking children to consider the war in the skies as a particular theme.  

Our partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion will engage more children and young people across Canada, and we are embarking on a new partnership with the British Council and Commonwealth War Graves Commission on a project called Salonika Remembers. We are inviting schools to visit and explore the CWGC cemeteries in Thessaloniki, Greece, and respond creatively to this experience through poetry, art and song. We are pleased to be working with the Royal Navy and British Army in addition to the RAF. 

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

For more information on our songs competition, Songs of the Centenary - see here 

"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

PRIZES for 2017/18 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

**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. 

Every entrant receives a personalised Certificate of Commendation signed by our President, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and Founder and Chief Executive, Lady Lucy French, and all winning entries will be published in a special Winners Booklet. See the 2014 Winners Booklet2015/16 Winners Booklet and 2016/17 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 fourth edition resource includes country profiles on Belgium , the USA and New Zealand as well as other topics such as Music, Sport and Refugees. This final edition was published in September 2017 to coincide with the 2017/18 Competition launch. 

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

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

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

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 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


Moray school pupils mark centenary of World War I with poignant RAF Lossiemouth event
RAF Lossiemouth hosts children for charity competition
Moray pupils display artwork at First World War centenary event
Prime Minister and school pupils attend First World War centenary event
Projekt erinnert an die Toten in dem Ersten Weltkrieg
Veranstaltung zur Erinnerung an den Ersten Weltkrieg
MP urges young Islanders to enter WWI centenary poetry competition
Children given inspiration as they remember the sacrifices of World War I
Never Such Innocence - RAF Odiham
Schools take party in Great War remembrance event
Local pupils encouraged to get involved with war art project
Rebecca chosen for Passchendaele role
'It was unprecedented' Battle of Passchendaele remembered
Young Poet Rewarded with invitation to Passchendaele
Youngsters invited to get creative in helping to commemorate 100 years since the First World War
Poetry success for Orkney school pupil
Children to commemorate WW1 onboard ship
'Salonika Remembers' - schools invited to explore CWGC sites in Greece
Brighton student wins international art competition
Rule Britannia with Mappin & Webb's military watches
Island youngsters collect awards at House of Lords
Butt to Barra District News
Broxburn Academy artist celebrating after impressing judges during national competition
Lewis and Harris pupils at House of Lords to receive awards
Around Orkney
St Patrick’s pupil wins poetry award
Josh’s poem about First World War sacrifice makes top five in UK
West Lothian schoolgirl takes top poetry award
Teenager from Overseal chosen to win arts award at House of Lords
Never Such Innocence - Commemorating the Men and Women of the Great War
Aileag: Never Such Innocence
Never forget: Glasgow youngsters remember the First World War
Lest we forget: War charity launches schools competition
Children remember soldiers with poetry
Manx children remember the First World War
Take pride in Great War sacrifice
John Madejski Academy to host launch of nationwide First World War art and poetry competition
Royals attend Never Such Innocence poetry launch
How a new generation remembers - interview with Lady Lucy French, granddaughter of WWI General Sir John French
Charity initiative brings First World War into classroom
Today’s teenage war poets make me proud
Transatlantic Ties to the Special Relationship
Students impress in WWI art contest
Teen poet and University College School student Sam Kaplin wins prestigious national poetry competition
Charity of the week
BBC R4 The World Tonight
The Stage
NSI - House Magazine
A sense of theatre…
Centenary News
How Britain will mark Great War centenary
Town mouse visits Australia House

Contact Us

Contact Us

Registered Charity Number 1156148 - Company Number 8680319