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Keats 200: a competition for young writers and artists

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200 years ago, John Keats was inspired to write his best-loved poem To Autumn during a visit to Winchester. Now you can be inspired by Keats! We invite you to write a poem or create a picture celebrating “The Seasons in Hampshire.”

An exhibition of entries selected for judging will take place at City Museum, Winchester, from 13 – 29 September 2019. The winners and runners-up will be announced at an awards ceremony at Winchester City Museum on Sunday 29 September.

Open to young people across Hampshire in three age categories: 4-7 years, 8-11 years and 12-16 years.

Competition closing date: Wednesday 31 July 2019. The winning entries will be available to view online at: https://www.historicwinchester.org.uk/keats-200

How to Enter

Online - poem only

To submit your poem online, click on the competition entry form link below:

Competition Entry Form


by post - poem and artwork

On a separate sheet of A4 paper, please provide the following information:

Your name, address, age at time of submitting entry plus a contact phone number and email address. Please also tell us where you heard about the competition.

Send your poem or artwork and entry sheet in an envelope clearly marked Keats in Winchester Competition to:

Hampshire Cultural Trust, Chilcomb House, Chilcomb Lane, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RB


To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,---
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 



  • The competition is free and open to any young person in the three specified age categories who lives or studies in Hampshire.
  • Poetry entries can be submitted online or by post; art entries can be submitted by post only.
  • The poem should be no longer than 14 lines, in English, be the entrant’s own work and should not have been published elsewhere, including online, and not have won any other competition. You may enter more than one poem if you wish.
  • Artwork should be on one side of an A4 size paper, be the entrant’s own work and should not have been on display elsewhere, including online, and not have won any other competition. Any materials can be used but computer generated entries will not be accepted. Please do not mark the front of your artwork, but on the back add your name, age, contact details and title of your work.
  • Closing date: midnight GMT 31 July 2019.
  • No changes can be made once entries have been submitted.
  • The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The winners will be contacted by email or post and announced at the City Museum, Winchester on Sunday 29th September 2019.

Details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change. Photo credit: Javaid Akhta.

  • Keats competition
How to enter Keats footer


Winchester City Museum

Address: Winchester City Museum, The Square, Winchester, SO23 9ES
Telephone: 01962 863064

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