Skip to content

Latest updates

Subscribe for updates
Receive our latest news, features author insights, previews, giveaways, events, and more.
10 July 2023

Give Given Words a try this August!

Given Words returns for its eighth year with a new invitation to play with words.

This year the words have been chosen by students of López de Arenas Secondary School in Marchena (Andalusia, Spain) and all you have to do is write a poem which includes all five words and send it in before midnight on 25 August, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

The Given Words competition is free to enter and is open to all New Zealand residents and citizens. Prizes will be awarded for Best Poem and Best Poem by Under-16s. The winning poems will be selected by Charles Olsen, Mikaela Nyman and Sophia Wilson, and winners will receive prizes courtesy of The Cuba Press and Massey University Press.

From 1st August you will find the five words, and full details of how to participate, in Given Words, where you can also read entries from previous editions. For teachers there is a creative lesson plan available to inspire pupils.

Charles Olsen, director of Given Words who lives Spain, invited the philosophy teacher Antonio Martín to do a word video project with his students in the province of Seville. He comments, ‘I love the way words and video can combine creatively and get students thinking. As well as writing poems for this year’s competition, I’d like to invite teachers and students in New Zealand to create their own word videos for the following year’s competition. You can find guidelines in the creative lesson plan and see all the videos made by the students in Spain for inspiration.’

For more information, visit:

Given Words

Instagram: @givenwords

National Poetry Day