The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition 2017/18


This year the Trust is holding The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition for school students around the country. Students are invited to submit pieces of original writing inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s most famous work: The Canterbury Tales.

Who can take part?

The competition is open all schools and college communities including pupils who are home educated and any other young people’s community organisations.

The three age groups are:

Junior – up to 11 years old

Intermediate – 12-15 years old

Senior – 16-19 years old

Age on 31 August 2017. Competitors must include their date of birth on the entry form.

Competition Guidelines

Choose ONE of the following:

  • Write a poem about a journey.
  • Write a short “beast fable” (like the Nun’s Priest’s Tale) which explores an important issue through animal characters.
  • Write a General Prologue entry for an imaginary pilgrim, based upon a modern day occupation. For example, “The Nurse”, “The Investment Banker” or “The Politician”.


  • All answers may be in verse or prose.
  • 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 31 January 2018

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. The decision of the judges will be final.
  3. 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




1st   £300

2nd   £150

3rd  £100

1st   £1000

2nd  £500

3rd  £250

Intermediate 1st  £300

2nd £150

3rd  £100


1st   £1000

2nd  £500

3rd  £250

Senior 1st  £300

2nd  £150

3rd   £100


1st   £1000

2nd  £500

3rd  £250


How to Enter

You can submit your entry at

Download Competition Details as PDF

Canterbury Tales Writing Competition 2017-18

Additional Instructions for Home Schooled Students

Guidelines for Home Schooled Students

Further Information

For further information please contact Dr Charles Farris at