The theme of this year’s Paisley Book Festival is Remake and Rebel

  • What does this theme make you think of?
  • Have you felt like being a rebel, admired someone who has stood up for what they believe in or even made a stand yourself on something you are passionate about?
  • Is there anything you would like to remake or in your own life or the world around you?

We would love to read, hear and see your poetry on this theme.

Please email your poems of up to 40 lines to sls@renfrewshire.gov.uk with Janet Coats Memorial Prize in the subject line and include your name, school and age in the email with the poem as an attachment. You can also hand in your poem to your school librarian. You can enter one poem only and the closing date for entries is Sunday 5th December 2022. Entrants to the young person’s prize should be secondary pupils living in or attending school in Renfrewshire.

Shortlisted writers will be revealed in January 2023 and will have their work published and presented at Paisley Book Festival 2023 in February. Our judging panel has yet to be confirmed. Shortlisted entrants will be expected to attend an Awards Ceremony as part of the Paisley Book Festival. Winners will be announced on the night. All short-listed entries will be included in a pamphlet celebrating the Janet Coats Memorial Prize in 2023 and the winner will receive a cash prize of £50 and £200 toward their school library.

Janet Coats was part of the renowned thread-making family, J&P Coats. The eldest daughter of Thomas Coats and Margaret Glen, her father was one of four brothers who inherited a Paisley-based thread manufacturing company that was renamed J&P Coats in 1830. She was also the wife of publisher, James Tait Black and Janet’s own literary aspirations resulted in two volumes of nature-inspired poetry, one of which was published as Verses and Rhymes, in 1899.

Closing date: Sunday 5th December 2022.

Submitting your work: email your poems of up to 40 lines to sls@renfrewshire.gov.uk  as a document, photo, MP3 or MP4 file with ‘Janet Coats Memorial Prize’ in the subject line.  Writers retain full copyright of their work. All poems should be submitted blindly with no names or contact information on the files. The poet’s name, age and school (or contact details if home schooled) should be included clearly in the body of the email.  Poems can also be submitted to the school librarian.  If handwritten, poem should be legible.

Who can enter? Any secondary school pupil living in, or attending school, in Renfrewshire

Prize: £50 for the winning poet plus a £200 donation to their school library supported by the Peter Coats Charitable Trust.

The Janet Coats Memorial Prize is supported by University of Edinburgh and the Peter Coats Charitable Trust.

 Terms and Conditions

  1. Entries received after midnight on Sunday 5th December 2022 will not be eligible for the Janet Coats Memorial Prize.
  2. Writers may submit only one poem whether written, MP3 or MP4 file.
  3. All poems should be submitted blindly with no names or contact information on the file formats. The poet’s name should be included in the email.
  4. Writers retain full copyright of their work and we will only publish work with the permission of each winning shortlisted writer.
  5. There is no entry fee, no purchase necessary and you do not need to attend any of the Paisley Book Festival events to enter this competition.
  6. Poem should not have been published previously.
  7. If poet is learning English as an additional language, entries may be submitted fully / partially in home language, with translation