500 Pompey Words

Write about one of the artworks on show in Portsmouth revisited II and you could win £75 in gift vouchers.

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery is inviting young writers aged 11 to 16 to create an original story, play or poem to bring the pictures in its latest exhibition to life. There are over 70 paintings, prints and photographs on show in Portsmouth revisited II, which all include people, places and buildings in Portsmouth. So whether you like the beach, the shops, Victoria Park, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, the harbour, or watching Pompey play at Fratton Park, you’re sure to find something to inspire you.

Pompey fans oil on linen by Jackie West. Copyright the artist.

Pompey fans by Jackie West. Copyright the artist.

The 500 Pompey Words competition is open to 11 to 16 year olds in school years 7 to 11 who live in Portsmouth. Your entry must be all your own work and must mention at least one of the artworks in Portsmouth revisited II. It should be no more than 500 words long, excluding the title and must be typewritten or word processed.

The museum is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but you can still take a virtual tour of Portsmouth revisited II through our guided video tour:

The deadline for entries is Thursday 18 February 2021.

To enter by email
Please attach your entry as a word document.
Give your email the title of ‘500 Pompey Words entry’ and send it to: 500pompeywords@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.
In the body of the email please give: your name, your age, your postcode, the title of your entry, the total number of words and the name of the artwork(s) in Portsmouth revisited II that inspired your writing – you can find this information on the label next to the object.
Please include the name and telephone number or email address of an adult we can contact if your entry is shortlisted. This can be a parent, guardian or teacher for example.

To enter by post
Please send your entry, plus all of the information listed above to: Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, Museum Road, Portsmouth PO1 2LJ and mark the envelope ‘500 Pompey Words entry’.

By entering you confirm that your story, play or poem is your own work and agree that your name and entry may be used by Portsmouth Museums in publicity material associated with the competition.

The personal data provided will be used only for the purposes of administering the competition.

Spithead light watercolour and pencil drawing by WA Jefferies. Copyright the artist. Portsmouth Museum Service

Spithead by WA Jefferies. Copyright the artist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 500 Pompey Words?

500 Pompey Words is a writing competition for young people organised by Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Who can enter 500 Pompey Words?

You can enter if you are between 11 and 16 years old and in school years 7 to 11. You also need to live in Portsmouth with a PO1 to PO6 postcode.

I am home educated. Can I enter?

Yes, as long as you are between 11 and 16 years old and you would be in years 7 to 11 (Key Stages 3 or 4) if you did go to school. You also need to live in Portsmouth.

How do I enter 500 Pompey Words?

You need to write an original story, play or poem about one or more of the objects in the Portsmouth revisited II exhibition. Remember not to include any personal information – your name, age or address for example.

Your entry must be no more than 500 words long, excluding the title and should be typewritten or word processed.

Send your completed work to us by email or post, using the contact details above.

When is the closing date?

Thursday 18 February 2021. Please don’t send in entries after this date as they will not be considered.

When can I visit Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery?

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check back for details on when we’re able to re-open or take a virtual tour of the gallery on the video above.

Where is Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery?

Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery is on Museum Road next to Portsmouth Grammar School. Several bus routes stop close to the museum. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the museum from Gunwharf Quays or Guildhall Square.

What could I win?

A gift voucher worth £75 or £50. The prizes are awarded in memory of John and Ivy Guy-Hawthorne, supporters of Portsmouth’s museum service for many years.

When will I find out if I have won?

The winning entries will be revealed as part of Portsmouth BookFest on Monday 1 March.  Details of how to join this online event will be shared on Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery’s website and Facebook page when they are confirmed.

Can I enter more than once?

No, you can only enter one story, play or poem.

Does my entry have to be original?

Your entry must be all your own work and it must be original. Remember that it must be about one or more of the objects on show in Portsmouth revisited II.

Who will judge the competition?

Entries will be judged by Charlotte Comley, a local writer and professional storyteller with an MA in Creative Writing and a member of the team at Portsmouth Museums. The names of writers will be removed from entries and they will be judged on:
– Originality
– Description of the object(s) from Portsmouth revisited II
– Use of language
– Enjoyment

If you have a question that we haven’t answered above you can contact the 500 Pompey Words organiser on mvs@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

Moses oil on canvas by Karl Rudziak. Copyright the artist. On loan from Karl Rudziak

Moses by Karl Rudziak. Copyright the artist.

Portsmouth Cathedral oil on canvas by James Arnold Martin. Copyright the artist's estate. On loan from a Private Collection

Portsmouth Cathedral by James Arnold Martin. Copyright the artist’s estate.

Point, Portsmouth watercolour by Alick D Summers. Portsmouth Museum Service

Point, Portsmouth by Alick D Summers. Portsmouth Museum Service.

John Spinnaker sleepwalking pen and ink drawing by Derek Boshier. Copyright the artist. Portsmouth Museums Service

John Spinnaker Sleepwalking by Derek Boshier. Copyright the artist.

Deckchairs opposite Southsea Parade Pier photograph by Garrick Palmer. Copyright the artist. Portsmouth Museums Service

Deckchairs opposite Southsea Parade Pier photograph by Garrick Palmer. Copyright the artist.