The John McGivering Writing Prize 2023

Entries on the subject of War are now invited


Judges: Jan Montefiore, Mary Hamer, Sarah LeFanu


First Prize £350

Second prize £100

Third Prize £50


The Kipling Society is also, for the first time, offering a Competition for Younger Poets

The subject is also War. Open to those aged between 12 and 17,

We  offer a Prize of £75 and £25 for the runner-up.


Oh, it’s ‘Tommy this’ and ‘Tommy that’, and ‘Chuck ’im out, the brute!’

But it’s ‘Saviour of ’is country’ when the guns begin to shoot.


‘Have you news of my boy Jack?’

 Not this tide.

‘When d’you think that he’ll come back?’

Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.


Throughout his life Rudyard Kipling wrote with sympathy and enthusiasm of servicemen on land and sea and their experiences of armed conflict and its aftermath, and with compassion of civilians mourning their war dead.

We invite entries of poems of up to 30 lines about any aspect of war, which should be also connected, whether directly or obliquely, with the writings and/or life of Kipling.



1. Entries should be a maximum of 30 lines excluding the title. There is no minimum leng

2. Entries must be original. Plagiarism will not be accepted. The poem must not have been published previously, either in print or online or in any other media.

3.Competitors give their permission for the winning entries to be published in the Kipling Journal, and subsequently on the Kipling Society’s website,

4.Entries must be submitted as Word attachments to emails addressed to They must be unsigned, but must have on their title line the writer’s initials in reverse order. These reversed order initials must cappear in the accompanying email, together with the writer’s name and contact details (email, telephone number, postal address).

5.For younger entrants, confirmation of their age by a parent, guardian or teacher is also required.

6. There is an entry charge of £5 for each entry, to be paid to the Kipling Society by Paypal via the John McGivering Writing Prize 2022 tab on our website,

7. The competition will open on 1 March 2023, and will close on 1 May 2023 at 11.59 pm, BST.


Our Writing Competition is funded by the generosity of the late John McGivering, who himself served in the Royal Navyduring the Second World War.