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This year's competition has now closed and we'll be announcing the winners in September.
If you have any questions about your entry, please email us on the address below.

Proudly supported by Specsavers Healthcall, our popular competition is in its fourth year. This year we want your photos as well as your words. Whether you’re an experienced writer or photographer or are just beginning to express yourself through words or images, we’d love to hear from you.

Photography competition

This year, for the first time, we are welcoming entries of photographs on the theme of ‘This is caring.’ From portraits to selfies, we are welcoming all photographic entries. We’d love to see images which capture the hidden joys, challenges and day-to-day reality of looking after someone.

Creative writing competition

This year we’re welcoming poems and short stories on all aspects of caring, but we’d particularly like to receive entries on the theme of ‘This was not in the plan’. Sooner or later, most of us will face the challenge of caring for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill, but it can often happen unexpectedly. We look forward to receiving your poems and stories which address this theme.

Jo Cox Poetry Prize

From 14 August to 16 September, Carers UK is undertaking several activities to support the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.

Jo Cox's life was marked by her compassion and by her passion. She worked tirelessly for a fairer, kinder and more tolerant world. Jo was murdered on the 16 June 2016 in her constituency of Batley and Spen, doing the work she loved, as an MP.

Carers UK has joined several other charities and the Co-op to support The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness during 2017. Jo said that "young or old, loneliness doesn't discriminate". Loneliness and isolation can be common among carers and so we are working as part of the commission to shine a spotlight on the incredible contribution that carers make. As part of our Creative Writing and Photography Competition, we will be awarding a special prize which addresses the issue of loneliness. Your poem could be about how it feels to be lonely and isolated, or it could be about connecting with people or be an inspiring poem for people who are feeling lonely.

A good number of the poems submitted so far this year touch on this issue of loneliness, but we’re also giving you a couple more weeks to send in another poem for this special prize. We’ll announce the winner in mid-September.

How to enter

You can enter one or more category with:

  • up to two poems, each no longer than 40 lines (you can also submit an additional poem for the Jo Cox Poetry Prize)
  • one short story, of up to 1,000 words
  • up to four photographs

The closing date for entries has been extended to 14 August

Please fill in the online form, or you can submit your poems and short stories by post*.

Send a printed copy of your entry along with a covering letter that includes your full name, address, phone number, email address and the title(s) of your entry to:
Creative writing and photography competition, Carers UK, 20 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4LX.

*Please note that we can only accept entries to the photography competition online. Please do not send us your photographs by post as we cannot commit to returning them. If you have any questions email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The judges

Once again, we are really pleased to have Cheryl Moskowitz as our creative writing judge. Cheryl is a poet and novelist, and a facilitator of writing for children and adults. We are also delighted that Bella West will be judging the photography element of the competition. Bella has been at the forefront of photographic portraiture for 20 years and in 2015 collaborated with Carers UK Patron Tiggy Walker on the book Unplanned Journey.

The winners

The winning and commended poems, stories and photographs will be announced in September 2017. We will celebrate the winning and commended entries for all three categories in regional and local press or radio across the UK. The first prize in each category is £100 in high street vouchers.

Anthology IV and photography collection I

We are looking forward to producing our fourth creative writing anthology and our first photography collection just in time for Christmas 2017. As this is our first year, the photography collection will be a special edition of Caring Magazine featuring winning and commended entries. We will also include selected entries of poems and short stories chosen by our trustees, volunteers and staff in the anthology IV.

In addition, we would like to print the winning and commended photographs onto large photo boards to use at Carers UK events across the UK and to share on our social media to help raise awareness of the daily lives of carers and their families.

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