Welcome To Shakespeare Week

Diary Writing Competition 2024

Create a diary or journal as though you are a member of Shakespeare’s family!

Who will you be? Find out about Shakespeare's family and imagine what life was like in Shakespeare's time using our fabulous resources.

Who will you be? Visit our online exhibition to find out about nine of the members of Shakespeare’s family. Will you choose to be Shakespeare’s mother Mary, perhaps telling us about life on the farm she grew up on? Or would you prefer to be his grand-daughter Elizabeth who became a ‘Lady’? Or perhaps you’ll choose his son Hamnet or his twin sister Judith. Take a look at the exhibition, watch some of the videos in the exhibition that imagine life in Shakespeare’s time and check out our family fact resources to help you decide.

We can’t wait to read the diaries and journals that you create - and you might win some fabulous prizes! We will also share the winning entries in our online exhibition.

To get you started we asked our wonderful Shakespeare Week patron, children’s author and illustrator, Marcia Williams, to create a resource kit to help you. Marcia has also included her own fictional diary of William Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, to inspire you!

You can also choose how to present your diary – will it be beautifully bound; will it include pockets for memories and thoughts; will you illustrate it? There are so many different possibilities! You may also choose to create a video diary if you wish.

Primary school children and home-educated children can enter work under two age categories:

  • 4-7 years
  • 8-11 years

In addition, a prize will be awarded to the best collective entry from a school.

Winning entries will be displayed alongside the special objects from our collection that are in the online exhibition hosted on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website.

How to enter

Entry to the competition is FREE. Please send your entries by post to:

Shakespeare Week Competition
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
38 Henley Street
CV37 6QW

You may also email your entries to [email protected]. You can send us word files, PDFs and mp4 video files.

Please include the following information with each entry:

  • First name
  • Age (and school year)
  • School or home address as applicable
  • Teacher or parent’s email address

If you would like your entries to be returned just write 'please return' on a slip of paper with your entry and include a stamped addressed envelope. Unfortunately we can only return entries with the correct postage and packaging included.

Please send your entries to us to arrive no later than 10 May 2024.

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

The prizes

Each of our two category winners will have their entry included in our online exhibition, as well as a bundle of Shakespeare themed goodies, art materials and books.

The winner of the collective school entry will receive a day of creative workshops from an arts professional as well as some books for the school library.

Need to know

Entries must be received by Friday 10 May 2024. Entries must have the correct postage and packaging if you'd like your entry to be returned. The winners will be officially announced on the Shakespeare Week website before the end of May 2024.

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.