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International Students' Writing Competition

Our writing competition for international students is now closed.


We've teamed up with Bayswater Bournemouth and the International Education Association for a beach-themed writing competition to inspire our overseas students living and learning in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 


​With the theme of 'On Bournemouth Beach', we are inviting students, whose first language is not English, to enter poetry or short stories to be with the chance of winning cash prizes!​


Entries are open to any student aged 16 or over studying with an international education provider within Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole (BCP).


With cash prizes and a FREE creative writing workshop to help students, we hope this competition will inspire international students to write!


Deadline is 17th May 2024

Competition Theme

The competition's theme is 'On Bournemouth Beach'. This could be literal or metaphorical, or memories. 

It is a story-starter and you do not have to reference the theme's name at all if you do not want to.

We accept poems of up to 30 lines or short stories of no more than 250 words.

Four Language-Level Categories

  • A1/A2 Beginner/Elementary

  • A2+/B1 Pre-Intermediate/Intermediate

  • B2 Upper Intermediate

  • C1/C2 Advanced/Proficiency

Please state the level on your entry.

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1 x £100 Bournemouth Gift Card for each language-level category - kindly sponsored by the International Education Association.

Publication of the winning stories and poems on the Bournemouth Writing Festival website.

Free Creative Writing Workshop

Come along to Bayswater Bournemouth for an extra special, tailored creative writing workshop to help you improve and progress your writing skills!


Language school teachers will be on hand to support and guide you to write an exciting story or poem using English As a Foreign Language teaching techniques. Join us for a unique experience that will not only enhance your language proficiency but also unleash your creativity on the written page.

Ages 16+ only. Booking essential.

Located at Bayswater Bournemouth (right in the centre of Bournemouth Town Centre), St Peter's Quarter, BH1 2AD.

2pm to 3:30pm, Friday 26th April 2024

Our Judges

Chris Aziz

Christine Aziz has worked as a freelance journalist for almost thirty years. Her focus has been on reporting on the lives of women in conflict areas, particularly Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa. Her debut novel for adults, THE OLIVE READERS was selected from more than 46,000 entries to the Channel 4 How to Get Published Competition with Richard and Judy. She has published poetry, written a libretto, and two of her plays have been staged in London.

She is also a Creative Writing tutor at Arts University Bournemouth. Her latest book is for children and was published in 2023.

Chris will be running the free activity, Writing on the Beach, on Saturday 27th April

Read her latest book The Kingdom of Broken Magic.

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Gary Dalkin

Gary Dalkin has been a published writer and editor for 30 years. He is Senior Associate Editor with Cadence Publishing.


​Gary has contributed to every issue of Britain's best-selling magazine for writers, Writing Magazine, since 1999, and has been published in hardcover on both sides of the Atlantic in Literary Wonderlands and Literary Landscapes.


​He has been a judge of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and played a key role in establishing the International New Media Writing Prize with Bournemouth University.


You can see Gary in two events, Organising  Chaos, and The Art of Adaptation, at the Bournemouth Writing Festival on 27 April.

Find out more at his website To The Last Word

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Deadline for Entries

Word limit: Poems of no more than 30 lines and stories of no more than 250 words.

Each international education provider in BCP must choose their top five entries to send in.

They should send their entries, stating the language-level category and organisation to by 17th May 2024.

Shortlisted entries will be judged by Chris Aziz and Gary Dalkin. Winners will be announced by 30th June 2024.

Good luck!

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