Young Local Poets Excel in Competition

Their work is now on display in Chiswick Library

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Young Local Poets Excel in Competition

Record Audiences For Best Ever Chiswick Book Festival

Simon Mayo Presents Young People’s Poetry Prizes


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Scoot along now to see the lovely poems written by the winners of the Chiswick Book Festival Young People’s Poetry Competition 2015. They are currently on display in the children’s section of the Chiswick Library.

The annual Young People’s Poetry Competition prize-giving was held on Saturday 12th September, in the Chiswick Book Festival marquee. The tent was buzzing with budding writers and their parents eager to mix with other prize winners and see their poems.

Pupils from 10 local schools participated including local schools Belmont, Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School, Cavendish School, Falcons School for Boys, Latymer Upper, Orchard House, North Ealing School, Southfield School, The Godolphin & Latymer School, and St Peter’s Church of England Primary School.

The event closed a morning of special children’s events at the festival to celebrate 150 years since the publication of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Oscar Kolkowski led a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with a special storytelling session, ending with a fancy dress parade in the marquee.

James Priestman, the Poetry Competition jury leader, discussed the varied techniques of the winning children who used rhythm, simile, metaphor, repetition, alliteration, humour and surprising twists to create original and moving verse.

Their poems were displayed throughout the festival weekend and as always there was an entertaining range of theme and tone.

Cameron Patterson wrote humorously of the joys of food: “Oh Sweet mango you lighten up my day like the glorious sun”, whilst Aneesh Chaudhary spoke of the delights of dinosaurs in his poem “Bob the Dinosaur”. Wallid Jama evoked the wonders of his family’s former home: “Somalia, Somalia, Somalia”. Aaliyah Khan wrote wittily about what it is to be British in his poem ‘It’s good to be British’, in which each verse ended with the line “Simply drink a cup of tea”.

Some poems dealt thoughtfully with issues facing children in everyday life. Jenifer Sumner won the Year 3 first prize, with her poem “If I had Claws”, in which her initial wish to “kill everyone who bullies me” was finally replaced by a touching wish not to cause harm at all. Natasha Cunningham’s Year 6 poem ‘Friday’ movingly captured a woman’s reaction to ‘bad news’, whilst Alekos Jackson’s Year 7 poem ‘Lonely’explored feelings of alienation.

Other children tried to imagine what it would be like to live different lives: in far off or magical lands or in the past, or to be an animal rather than human. In “In the Shelter” which won the Year 4 first prize, Hebe Russell tried to evoke what it would be like to live in a war zone and gave a gripping description of hiding with her family from the blitz bombing in the Second World War. Whilst Lynne Jewson’s Year 6 poem, ‘The Outlaw of Birds’, tracked the plight of that curious rogue of the Chiswick skies: the Parakeet.

Camille Chamber’s poem “Where are all the children?” won the Year 6 first prize and painted an original and rather spooky portrait of an elderly person looking at their younger self.

Isabella Farlow’s poem “Short Capture” won the Year 5 first prize with a beautiful and intimate poem following a cat as he stalked his prey – you will have to read the poem to find out what happened next.

Oscar Barrell sought to capture the feelings of awe inspired by an eclipse, in his first prize winning Year 7 poem “Eclipse”: “Then all at once a silence / unlike anything before / like the haunting ghosts of the past / like fearing death forevermore.”

chiswick book festival poetry competition

Prizes were awarded, within each of the five year groups for ages 8-13 years. (See below for the list of winners). Each child received a Chiswick Book Festival certificate and book kindly donated by Clare Somerville at Hachette Children’s Books. sponsored the certificates and competition administration.

All the winning poems can be seen now in Chiswick Library, for a limited period. So hurry along and get some inspiration for next year’s competition!

(Many thanks to Kathleen Samad, Julie Beagley and Ross Kenning at Chiswick Library for hosting the display).

Year 3

- First Prize

‘If I had Claws’ Jenifer Sumner (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Second Prize

‘If I had Fins’ Eva McEnery (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Third Prize : ‘Somalia’ Wallid Jama (Cavendish Primary School)

- Commendation

‘Bob the Dinosaur’ Aneesh Chaudhary (North Ealing Primary School)

‘The Teachers’ Hope Glyn (Orchard House School)

‘If I had a Magic Wand’ Rosa McGechie (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

Year 4

- First Prize ‘In the Shelter’ Hebe Russell (St Peter’s C of E Primary School)

- Second Prize ‘Secrets at Dusk’ Julie Gallichan-Todd

(Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Joint Third Prize

‘Wonder ‘ Millicent Hildreth (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)

‘Scorching’ Thea Metreweli (Chiswick & Bedford Park School)


‘The Disgusting Sandwich’Maddie Farley (Orchard House School)

‘The Wonder Watch’ Lara Orlandi (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

Year 5

- First Prize

‘Short Capture’ Isabella Farlow (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Second Prize

‘The Shoe’ Matilda Littlemore (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Joint Third Prize

‘Oh Sweet Mango!’ Cameron Patterson (Orchard House School)

‘The Butterfly ‘Lexie Fielding (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Commendation

‘The Cloud’ Henry Fox (Orchard House School)

‘My Big Sister is “ Marlie Ewart-Biggs (Orchard House School)

‘WW1 Horrors’ William Milne (Southfield School)

‘The Pool Monster’ Ruby Foley (Southfield School)

Year 6

- First Prize: ‘Where are the Children?’ Camille Chambers (Belmont Primary School)

- Joint Second Prize

‘The Outlaw of Birds’ Lynne Jewson (Orchard House School)

‘Friday’ Natasha Cunningham (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

- Third Prize: ‘It’s good to be British’ Aaliyah Khan (Southfield School)

- Commendation

‘On the Promenade’ Natasha Cunningham (Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School)

Year 7

- First Prize ‘Eclipse’ Oscar Barrell (The Falcons School for Boys)

- Second Prize ‘Lonely’Alekos Jackson (Latymer Upper School)

- Joint Third Prize

‘Seasonal Family’ Alicia Doran (Godolphin & Latymer School)

‘A Beautiful Wasteland’ Nico Eckstein (Latymer Upper School)

- Commendation

-  ‘Through the Ages’ Ralph Reay (Latymer Upper School) 

October 1, 2015