Tower Poetry Summer Schools

About the Summer Schools

Young poets between 18-23 years old are invited every two years to apply for the Tower Poetry residential summer school. The programme aims to develop writing and critical skills through a series of exciting and challenging workshops run by two established poets, with additional guest readings during the week. All tuition and accommodation costs will be paid for by Tower Poetry. At the end of the summer school, a selection of the students' poems will be published in a poetry pamphlet.

The top three winners from the annual Tower Poetry competition will automatically be offered places on the next summer school after their 18th birthday.

Apply to the Summer School

To be eligible for the summer school, applicants should be usually resident in the UK and Channel Islands. Applicants should be no younger than 18 years old, and no more than 23 years old, on 28 August in the year of application. Applicants must commit to attending all four days of the residential. Students will be selected for the course on the basis of their submitted written work.

To apply, applicants should submit three of their own poems plus a covering letter. The covering letter should list any previous writing achievements and outline the applicant's reasons for wanting to take part.

Applicants must also supply:
•    Date of birth
•    Home address
•    Telephone number
•    Email address
•    Name of current or most recent educational institution attended
•    Address and telephone number of most recent educational institution attended
•    Referee contact details (current tutor/previous teacher)

Summer School Publications

After each summer school, Tower Poetry publishes a collection of poems that the participants have written during the residential. The anthology from the 2018 programme, 'Hatch a Blue Sky' was published in March 2020. Previous editions include:
•    ‘Panado’ (2009), ed. Jane Draycott and Frances Leviston
•    ‘The Twelve’ (2010), ed. Daljit Nagra and Jo Shapcott;
•    ‘Earth-Quiet’ (2012), ed. Alan Gillis and Kevin Young
•    ‘Something to be Said’ (2014), ed. Jane Griffiths and David Wheatley
•    ‘Flowers From the Dark’ (2016), ed. Alan Gillis and Olivia McCannon