Welcome To Shakespeare Week

Shakespeare Portrait Competition

Enter our exciting competition for the chance to win fabulous prizes

Get creative this Shakespeare Week!

Calling all talented young artists! For Shakespeare Week 2020 we're celebrating William Shakespeare's creative genius and you're invited to get arty in our fabulous Shakespeare Portrait Competition. 

We've teamed up with some of the country's best-loved children's illustrators to inspire you to create your very own portrait of Shakespeare, including popular children's TV presenter Ricky Martin from CBBC's Art Ninja; Korky Paul, illustrator of the popular Winnie the Witch children's books; award-winning children's author and illustrator, Marcia Williams, and many more!

There's plenty of inspiration available to get you started. Check out our online exhibition to see a selection of Shakespeare portraits especially created for Shakespeare Week by our celebrity illustrators. You can also see original Shakespeare portraits from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust museum collection.

Primary school children can enter work under one of four categories: 

  • Reception and Key Stage 1 school entry (Years R, 1 and 2 at school); 
  • Key Stage 2 school entry (Years 3-6 at school); 
  • Individual entry (4-7 years); 
  • Individual entry (8-11 years).

Winning portraits will be displayed alongside art from well-known children’s illustrators at a special exhibition at The Lowry in Greater Manchester, in an online exhibition hosted on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website, and in a travelling exhibition to libraries across England.


How to enter

Entry to the competition is FREE. The portrait should be submitted on an A4-size piece of paper and can be in any medium.

Please include the following information on the back of the portrait:

  • First name
  • Age (and school year)
  • School/home address as applicable
  • Email address or telephone number (plus the correct contact name for school entries)

If you would like your portrait to be returned just write 'please return' on the back and include a stamped addressed envelope. Unfortunately we can only return portraits with the correct postage and packaging included.

Please send your entries to us to arrive no later than Friday, 31 January 2020 to: 

Shakespeare Portrait Competition
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6QW

Good luck! We look forward to seeing your fantastic creations! 


The prizes

Each of our four category winners will receive a VIP invitation to see their portrait displayed at a special exhibition at The Lowry** on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, as well as a bundle of Shakespeare goodies, art materials and books*.

Winners will also receive the following fantastic prizes:

Reception & KS1 prize: a creative workshop for the whole class from children’s illustrator, Korky Paul

KS2 prize: a creative workshop for the whole class from children’s author and illustrator, Marcia Williams

Individual prizes (primary school children 4-7 years and 8-11 years): a family weekend away (up to 2 adults and 2 children) in Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday, 21 March 2020, where you'll be able to discover Shakespeare's story in the very place where he was born and grew up; PLUS a year-long family pass to Shakespeare’s family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Runners-up: two runners-up in each category will receive a bundle of Shakespeare goodies, art materials and books*. Their portraits will also be on display in our online exhibition as well as a travelling exhibition to libraries.

*Art materials and book bundles kindly donated by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Walker Books.

** Travel not included. Winners are required to make their own travel arrangements. 


Need to know

Entries must be received by Friday 31 January 2020. Entries must have the correct postage and packaging if you'd like your entry to be returned. We aim to inform all winners by 14 February 2020.

All entrants must live in the UK, be under the age of 12 (in Years R to 6 or equivalent) and should ask permission from a teacher, parent or guardian before entering.

Prizes are subject to availability and do not include travel expenses. If, in circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to provide the stated prize we will try to offer an alternative prize of a similar value. No cash alternative will be offered.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust reserves the right to amend or cancel the competition at any time, if deemed necessary or if circumstances arise outside of the Trust's control.

By submitting an entry you (or your parents/guardian or teacher) are agreeing to abide by the full Terms & Conditions of this competition, so please take a minute to read them over.