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


For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him 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 about servicemen on land and sea and their experiences of armed conflict, and with compassion about shell-shocked soldiers and civilians mourning their war dead. The Competition is open to poems of up to 30 lines about any aspect of war; the poems should be also connected, whether directly or obliquely, with the writings and/or life of Kipling. This Writing Competition is funded by the generosity of the late John McGivering, who himself served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

The Kipling Society is also, for the first time, offering a Competition for Younger Poets aged between 12 and 17 years, for poems about War, which should likewise connect it with the writings and/or life of Kipling, whether directly or obliquely. For this Younger Poets’ Competition , the Kipling Society offers a prize of £75, and £25 for the runner-up.


  1. Entries should be a maximum of 30 lines excluding the title. There is no minimum length.
  2. Entries must be original and the direct result of human (not AI) endeavour. Plagiarism will not be accepted. The poem must not have been published previously, either in print, or online, or in any other media.
  3. The competition will open for entries on 1 March 2023, and will close on 1 May 2023 at 11.59 pm, BST.
  4. Competitors give their permission for the winning entries to be published in the Kipling Journal, and subsequently on the Kipling Society’s website.
  5. How to enter:
    1. 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 appear in the accompanying email, together with the writer’s name and contact detail: email, telephone number, and postal address, including postcode or Zip code.
    2. For entrants of 18 and above personal details must be supplied via the entry form for adults.
    3. For entrants under 18 personal details must be submitted by a parent, guardian or teacher, with confirmation of the age of the entrant via this entry form for children.
    4. There is an entry charge of £5 for each entry, to be paid to the Kipling Society by Paypal. The mechanism for making this payment is available once the personal details have been supplied via one of the above forms.