The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition 2020/21: Be Careful What You Wish For!

Entry is now closed for the 2020/21 competition.

Details about the judging process can be found here.

News about our next writing competition will also be announced shortly.



The Chaucer Heritage Trust was founded in 1992 and aims to further interest, understanding and appreciation of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, his life and times and influence.

The Chaucer Heritage is hosting its fourth annual writing competition for schools inspired by the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, considered by many to the father of the English Language and England’s greatest medieval poet. The special theme of the competition this year is Be Careful What You Wish For!

Who can take part?

The competition is open to all students of school age including not only those in schools and college communities, but also students who are home educated and in any other young people’s community organisations.

The three age groups are:

Junior – 5-10 years old

Intermediate – 11-14 years old

Senior – 15-18 years old

Age on 31 January 2021. Competitors must include their date of birth on the entry form.

Competition Guidelines

Choose ONE of the following:

  1. A poem or story about wishes coming true
  2. A poem or story about wishes going wrong
  3. A description of a character who grants wishes


  • Your writing should invoke the spirit of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
  • All entries must be in English.
  • Think carefully about the language – choosing the words which best convey your intended meaning and message.
  • You are encouraged to use everyday language and colloquialisms but if appropriate please include explanations in brackets.
  • Think carefully about the characters in your writing and what they say about the world you live in.

Word Count

The maximum word count is 500 words


All entries must be submitted by 28 February 2021*.

*this date was extended from 31 January 2021, at the request of teachers, to allow students more time to work on their entries, a request which was agreed to by the Trustees because of the exceptional circumstance of 2020.

Other Rules

  1. All entries must be original and entirely that of the student (however, rewritings of existing stories are acceptable if sufficiently original in presentation and content).
  2. Only one entry may be submitted per person.
  3. The school portion of each prize is available only to schools in the United Kingdom.
  4. While the Trust cannot offer the school portion of each prize to parents or guardians of home-schooled students, such winners may nominate a library for the Trustees consideration. The decision of the Trustees will be final in these matters.
  5. The decision of the judges will be final.
  6. The Trust and judges reserve the right not to award a prize in any particular categories if there are not sufficient entries or they feel that the entries are not of sufficient merit.


Category Prize for the Winning Entrant(s) Prize for the Winning Entrant’s School Library


(5-10 Years Old)


1st   £300

2nd  £150

3rd  £100

1st   £1000

2nd  £500

3rd  £250



(11-14 years old)

1st  £300

2nd £150

3rd  £100


1st   £1000

2nd  £500

3rd  £250



(15-18 Years Old)

1st  £300

2nd  £150

3rd   £100


1st   £1000

2nd  £500

3rd  £250


How to Enter

You can submit your entry at

Further Information

Further Information can be found at or you can contact us at



The Chaucer Heritage Trust logo includes Chaucer’s portrait from the Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes and is reproduced with kind permission of the British Library (c) The British Library Board (Harley 4866, f. 88).