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Never Such Innocence Competition 2020/21

Deadline: Friday 19th March 2021

This year’s theme is… The Unheard Voices of Conflict: Stories from Around the World

Never Such Innocence runs an international poetry, art, speech and song competition for young people aged 9-18, focusing on conflict and its impact.

Share your reflections on conflict or give a voice to those who may not have one. To inspire your poetry, art, speech or song, use the 5Ws to explore the theme.

  • Who? This could be a conflict that has affected you / your family, or you could bring to light someone else’s story.

  • What? Conflict comes in many forms. What conflict affects you?

  • When? You can look at a historical or current conflict.

  • Where? This could be within your local community or around the world.

  • Why? New voices and perspectives are important if we are to understand the true impact of conflict.

Some examples of an ‘unheard voice’ could include: A personal family story relating to conflict, the feelings of a service child who has a parent deployed, the perspective of people from a defeated army, refugees fleeing from their homes, the perspective of indigenous or minority groups, young people caught in the midst of conflict, or if animals could speak - what would they say? Feel free to be creative with how you interpret the theme!


NSI goodies and other exciting opportunities - to be confirmed when we can! The Volksbund had kindly offered 4 spots into their summer camp for first place winners in the 16-18 age category of each section of the competition!


To inspire your poetry, art, speech or song, use the 5Ws to explore the theme:

  1. Entries are divided into the following four age categories*: Age 9-11; age 11-14; age 14-16; and age 16-18. *the crossover of ages in these categories is to ensure children in the same school year have an equal opportunity. The categorisation is at the discretion of Never Such Innocence based on the information provided on the entry form

  2. Entries must draw on the competition theme: ‘The Unheard Voices of Conflict: Stories from Around the World’.

  3. If you have any special educational needs you would like the judging panel to be aware of please make a note on your entry form.

  4. All submissions are given a unique entry number to anonymise the judging process. We kindly request that only the title be written on the entry to ensure the submission may be identified and kept anonymous. All other details about the entrant should be confined to the entry form.

  5. There is no entry fee.

  6. Only one entry to each category per individual or group will be accepted; entrants may enter multiple categories (for example one poem and one piece of art may be entered by the same individual).

  7. The judges’ decision is final and neither the judges nor Never Such Innocence staff will enter into any correspondence.

  8. The competition deadline is Friday 19th March 2021.

  9. Winners will be notified on, or before, Friday 1st May 2021.


Taking Part

The most important things to know before you enter:

  • The simplest way to enter is online, which you can do by clicking the buttons below. If you would like to send us a physical copy of your work, please send it to: Never Such Innocence, 11 Slingsby Place, London, WC2E 9AB. To request a physical entry form, please email enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com. We regret that we are unable to return work due to the volume of entries we receive.

  • You are welcome to enter each category once - Poetry, Art, Speech and Song - a total of four entries per person.

  • Please don’t filter your entries - every single participant receives a special personalised Certificate of Commendation!

  • If you are an individual submitting one piece of work, please use the Individual Entry Form.

  • If entering one work created by a group of young people please use a Group Entry Form. Include everyone’s names on the entry form, so that all of the young people receive a certificate.

  • If you would like to submit multiple works by different young people, please use the Multiple Entry Form.






" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al