Urban Love Poem Poetry Contest

To mark our 20th anniversary edition, Hong Kong International Literary Festival is running a poetry writing contest for secondary students, together with local poets and the Writing-Plus creative writing initiative at EdUHK. With reference to poet Marilyn Chin’s Urban Love Poem, we invite young writers to compose their own urban love poems, to Hong Kong or another city that inspires them.

Listen to a message and reading from poet Marilyn Chin.

Here are some resources to help students write their poems:

1. An online workshop (and workshop outline) by Hong Kong poet Marco Yan

2. A writing prompt by Marco Yan

3. A teaching pack by Writing-Plus to supplement the workshop

How to Enter

  • Teachers can use the workshop, writing prompt and teaching pack to support students to compose their own poems and enter the contest.
  • Schools also have the option of engaging our local poets, Tim Tim Cheng or Collier Nogues, to run a private online workshop for groups of up to 30 students 
  • The contest dates are from 15 September to 16 October 2020.
  • After pre-screening the poems will be judged by Jennifer Wong S1 to S3 (grades 7 to 9) and S4 to S6 (Grades 10 to 12): Marilyn Chin,
  • Winners will be announced during the literary festival 5-15 November.
  • Winners will be invited to an award ceremony as part of the festival’s closing night event on Sunday 15 November and will be invited to read their winning poems. They can choose to attend in person or online.

Contest Guidelines

  • Poems can be up to 30 lines long.
  • One entry per person.
  • Submit entries as a word doc or PDF including student’s name, age, and school.
  • Email entries to info@festival.org.hk with the subject line URBAN LOVE POEM CONTEST.
  • Students can submit individually, or schools can submit on their behalf.
  • Entries must be received by midnight on Friday 16 October, 2020. No entries received after this date will be considered.
  • 3 prize winners in each age group will be awarded a voucher for HKILF partner bookshop, Bookazine, and invited to read their poems at HKILFs closing event on Sunday 15 November, 2020.  
  • Any queries can be directed to Events Assistant Crystal Lau at crystal.lau@festival.org.hk