In our latest issue, Storytime 25, we’re celebrating our 2nd anniversary in the very best way we can think – by holding our first ever children’s poetry competition. Yes, we’re giving our readers the opportunity to see a poem they’ve written in print in Storytime! (And beautifully illustrated too!)
Our poetry competition is open to children anywhere who are aged between 3 and 9, and all we ask is that your poem is original and between 12 and 20 lines in length. Oh, and we’d like it to be about an animal. The animal can be real or imaginary, it can be your pet or an animal you’ve never seen – it’s entirely up to you!
Your entries will be judged by the Storytime team, and one of our all-time favourite children’s poets, Brian Moses. Brian isn’t just famous for his brilliant poems, he’s also well known for visiting schools up and down the country, inspiring children to write poetry. If you haven’t visited his site, you really should. There are loads of great poems on there and they might just give you an idea or two.
Brian was kind enough to share a few top tips in our magazine, but we thought we’d give you some more to help you get started.
Children’s Poetry Competition Top Tips!
- Start with your animal. Which animal will you choose and why? How does it make you feel? Does it scare you or make you laugh? Does it comfort you? If so, why?
- How does the animal look? How would you describe it? If it’s big or small, can you find different ways of saying those words? Can you compare it to something else (e.g. as a big as a house, as yellow as the sun)?
- How does the animal sound, smell or feel when you touch it? Think about these things when you describe it.
- Where is your setting? It doesn’t have to be where the animal lives. Use your imagination – it could be anywhere in the universe or beyond!
- What adventures might the animal get up to? Could they try something they’ve never done before? Maybe a mouse wants to be a strongman or a camel wants to swim the channel? Maybe all the adventure it’s needs is in your back garden!
- Finally, to echo the wisdom of Brian Moses: enjoy it. Don’t spend too much time worrying about long fancy words or clever rhymes. Have fun when you write and that will shine through.
You can find out more about our children’s poetry competition and download your entry forms here.
For more helpful tips, also download our fantastic Poetry for Kids Resource Pack, which is bursting with ideas, inspiration and exercises for writing many different types of poetry, including Narrative Poems, Shape Poems, Acrostic Poems, Haikus, Found Poems and Limericks. Plus there are some fun poetry games too. It’s a great way to spend an hour or two and really helpful in the classroom.
We wish our entrants lots of luck and we can’t wait to read your poems. We’re sure that picking a winner will be a very tough decision.
What are you waiting for? Go and get poetic!