Simon Mayo Presents Young People’s Poetry Prizes

Poems on display at Waterstones Chiswick

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On Saturday 13th September, Chiswick Book Festival held the prize-giving of the Young People’s Poetry Competition 2014. Once again, the Church was alive with enthusiastic children and their parents eager to mix with other prize winners and to hear about their poems.

Pupils from 14 schools joined in the competition including local schools Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School, Orchard House, St Augustine’s Priory, Southfield School, Cavendish School, The Godolphin & Latymer school, St Mary’s RC, Arts Educational School Chiswick, St Peter’s C of E, Kew Green Preparatory, Notting Hill & Ealing and Strand on the Green. The competition also welcomed entries from two Tower Hamlets schools (Globe Primary E2, Hague Primary E2) for the first time.

The event started with a poetry session, sponsored by Chiswick Library, for 8-13 year olds with Oscar Kolkowski a professional storyteller and performance poet. James Priestman, the jury leader, then talked about the content and approaches taken by the winning children and how different techniques such as using rhythm, simile, metaphor, alliteration and bathos can add texture and resonance to poems.

Radio 2 DJ and children’s writer, Simon Mayo, then presented the prizes and certificates to each winner. Simon was fresh from talking at the festival about his most recent book about accident-prone teenager Itch who is on a mission to collect all the elements in the periodic table. (Simon’s first book ‘Itch’ was described by Anthony Horowitz as “A great debut novel. You’ll be itching to read more “). Simon delighted parents and children as he encouraged them to keep enthusiastic, and most of all, to keep writing.

Once again, The Walt Disney Company sponsored the event kindly donating generous goody bags for each winner and sponsored the certificates and competition administration.

The winning poems were displayed throughout the festival weekend and were full of original and varied imagery. For Amy Sheridan the “wind is scissors snapping quickly through the trees”. Naomi Quenby imagined jellyfish as “iridescent umbrellas” and Syeda Shakila wrote about water with language of wind and sky: “The gliding water, splashing, windy, breezy”.

Poems ranged from witty odes to Bubble gum to a re-imagining of a soldier’s life in the First World War trenches, a re-working of The Lady of Shalott for modern day and a scary revisiting of Tolkien’s Smaug. Prizes were awarded, within each of the five year groups for ages 8-13 years. (See below for the list of winners).

All the winning poems can be seen now in Chiswick Waterstones, so hurry along and take a look!

Year 3

- First Prize

‘My Magic Box’, Lara Orlandi (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

- Second Prize

‘Save our Bugs’, Amelie Paterson (Orchard House School)

- Third Prize

‘Outer Space’, Jan Mos (Cavendish Primary School)

- Commendation

‘The Magic Box’, Ani Poghosyan (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

‘The Woods in the Wardrobe’, Katerina Ryan (Cavendish Primary School)

Year 4

- First Prize

‘Softly’, Kiana Mirrazavi (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

- Second Prize

‘Go and open the door’, Maya Miers (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

- Third Prize

‘The Soldier', Matilda Littlemore (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

- Commendation

'Weather’, Amy Sheridan (Orchard House School)

‘Water’, Syeda Shakila (Globe Primary School, E2)

Year 5

- First Prize

‘’Ode to Bubble gum’ Martha Sainty (Orchard House School)

- Second Prize

‘The Rose Bush’, Aoife Murphy (St Mary’s RC School, Chiswick)

- Third Prize

‘History Teacher', Alfie Rogers (Orchard House School)


‘Ode to a Gumball’, Amelie Escolme (Orchard House School)

‘Ode to a door’, Nathan White (Orchard House School)

‘Night Monsters’, Alexandra Duckworth (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

Year 6

- First Prize

‘The Story of Jackson’, Sophie Koziel-Pipe (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

- Second Prize

‘Cameras’, Ella Sheddick (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

- Joint Third Prize

‘Red Riding Hood’, Emily Phillips (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

‘Gas’, Katia Mazalova (Orchard House School)


 ‘Jabberblubby’, Bella Georgiadis (Orchard House School)

 ‘The Lady of Shalott -modernised’, Constance Stallworthy (Orchard House School)

‘Within the Waters’, Naomi Quenby (Southfield School)

Year 7

- First Prize

‘People watching’, Lily Heathcoat Amory (Godolphin & Latymer School)

- Second Prize

‘Smaug’, Zoe Mills (St Augustine’s Priory)

- Third Prize

‘The Forest of Darkness’, Sadie Amin (Godolphin & Latymer School)

- Commendation

 ‘Unmistakeably a poem’, Abigail Assis (St Augustine’s Priory) 


September 15, 2014