I’ve spent enough years teaching kids English to know that, as soon as you mention the word ‘poetry’, faces wrinkle. Mouths distort, as if under onslaught by a particularly bitter taste; eyes avert, chairs shift. Teenage discomfort, locked up in one tiny word.
Maybe that’s the reason why poetry for young people doesn’t tend to sell (broadly speaking) and therefore rarely gets published. So much better then, that there is a whole new opportunity out there: the www.literacytrust.org.uk/poetryprize
In partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing, they want poems on the subject of reading and literature, a maximum of 16 lines long and in any format, but – crucially – aimed at children and young people. The winning entry will be printed on posters and distributed to schools nationwide to foster a love of reading.
The winner will be selected from the short-list by a judging panel of:
- Tony Bradman, award-winning writer and co-author of the Space School series for A&C Black
- Sarah Crossan, children’s poet and author of The Weight of Water
- Hannah Rolls, Bloomsbury Commissioning Editor
- Jonathan Douglas, National Literacy Trust Director
All entries must be in by 31st August.
I’m certainly planning to have a go.