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My Norwich

Lord Mayor of Norwich launches poetry competition

Published on Tuesday, 1st November 2022

Budding poets of all ages are invited to take part in the Lord Mayor’s first ever poetry competition on the theme of the River Wensum.

The competition is open to all and split into three categories: primary school, secondary school and adult (18+).

Poems for the primary category should be acrostics, using the word WENSUM as the prompt.

Poems for the secondary school and adult categories can be of any type, relating to the River Wensum.

The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Dr Kevin Maguire, said, “I’m delighted to launch this poetry competition and look forward to receiving entries from all ages from across the city.

“Whether you choose to write about the river’s wildlife, its historic importance to our city, a time you spent on the river, or simply how it makes you feel – it’s up to you!”

The winner of each category will receive a £20 Jarrold book voucher and their poem will be printed in Spring 2023 Citizen magazine which gets delivered to households in Norwich.    

The poems will be judged by the Lord Mayor of Norwich, the Sheriff of Norwich, Caroline Jarrold, Chris Gribble, CEO of the National Centre for Writing, and local poet and author Shannon Clinton-Copeland.

The competition is being supported by the National Centre for Writing and Norwich UNESCO City of Literature.

CEO of the National Centre for Writing, Chris Gribble, said: “I’m delighted that we are supporting this competition and very much looking forward to reading the poems as part of the judging panel.

“We are also delighted to announce esteemed poet, and Norfolk resident, George Szirtes as patron of the competition – a real honour.”

All entries should be emailed to or hard copies sent to Civic office, City Hall, St Peter's Street, Norwich, NR2 1NH.

The closing date is 18 January 2023.

Find out more

Notes for editors


The Lord Mayor and CEO of the National Centre for Writing, Chris Gribble, are available for photos and interview. Please contact or 01603 989240 to set up. 

The historical importance of the Wensum to Norwich

The river is the central thread from which the fabric of the city has been woven, with the early settlements established along the banks of the river, such as the development of the historic King St area.

The river was sufficiently important to the trade and prosperity of Norwich that in medieval times the City of Norwich had dominion over the Wensum nearly out as far as the North Sea, and the Lord Mayor of Norwich assumed the designation of Admiral of the Wensum and was charged with protecting the City’s interests including the right to “mark swans” (designating ownership by a mark on their beaks).

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