A poetry and art competition for frontline                               social care and support staff

Poems in a Pandemic is a poetry and art competition for frontline social care support staff, leaders and nurses to capture their thoughts, feelings and experiences of caring for people in a pandemic.
Social care and support staff working in care homes, the community and in all-care settings are at the front line of the coronavirus fight, working alongside the NHS and supporting the country’s most vulnerable people.

Their contributions deserve recognition, their experiences need to be shared and their stories told.

About Poems in a Pandemic

A coalition of social care providers, supported by Care Talk, invite the whole of the social care sector to express their feelings and share their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic by writing poetry and creating illustrations and paintings.

These poems and artwork should reflect individual experiences of delivering care in this crisis.

Poetry and art can be therapeutic as people may find relief and consolation in putting their thoughts and feelings to paper and sharing with others. Equally, this is an opportunity to capture some biographical reports around our frontline staff and share their contributions.

Who should enter?

We are looking for original unpublished poetry based on experiences of all social care and support staff working in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The competition is open to anyone working within Adult and Children’s social care, statutory, independent and voluntary sectors, as well as unpaid carers.

The Categories

1. Hope
2. Recovery
3. Isolation
4. Humour
5. Reflection
6. Loss
7. Bereavement
8. Observation
9. Uplifting
10. Bravery


A painting and illustrations competition will run alongside the poetry competition. This can be submitted in addition to – or instead of – a poem, to illustrate each of the 10 categories outlined above. In addition to this we are looking for artwork for the book cover, which will represent the overall theme.


10 winning poems will be selected from each category. Each category will have an overall winner.

We will work with category winners to learn more about their experiences and to share their stories. This biographical piece will include photographs of the individuals.

The winning 100 poems will be published in a book with all proceeds going to supporting the mental health of care workers through art projects.

Rules of entry:

1. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 or over at the time of entering.
2. The closing date of the competition is Midnight 31st August 2020.
3. There is no limit on the number of entries a single entrant can make. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judges.
4. Entries must be submitted to poems@caretalk.co.uk
5. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
6. All entries are judged anonymously. The poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself, nor should the poem reference any individual’s personal details in line with GDPR.
7. Poems must be the entrant’s original work.
8. Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website or made public on social media, broadcast or featured among the winners in another competition before 31 March 2020.
9. Entries must be written in English.
10. All entries must include: poem category, entrant’s name, job title, organisation, organisation address and contact phone number.

Email your entries or questions to poems@caretalk.co.uk

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