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Premier League Writing Stars calls for ambitious schoolkids

4 Feb 2020

Third edition of poetry competition launches with ambition as the theme to inspire primary schoolchildren

The Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition is returning for a third year, with primary school pupils aged five to 11 across England and Wales encouraged to write on the theme of ambition. 

This year's theme of ambition will encourage children to dream big for themselves and the world around them, highlighting the importance of self-belief and inspiring pupils to celebrate accomplishments as they work to achieve their goals.

The competition is again supported by stars from the world of football and literature, with Leicester City defender Wes Morgan, Waterstone's Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell and poet and hip-hop artist Karl Nova forming this year's judging panel.

Nova has written the poem "Beautiful Ambition" exclusively for this year's competition and hopes it can be used by primary school pupils as inspiration for their own writing.

"Poetry is unique, it allows directness, honesty and authenticity," Nova, the winner of CLiPPA (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) 2018 for Rhythm and Poetry, said.

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"The Premier League Writing stars poetry competition allows children to see poetry in the everyday, create musicality out of words and discover another form of expression.

"Enabling children to explore not just their dreams, but the importance of their own self-belief and confidence in this year's competition is incredible."

More than 50,000 primary school children have submitted poems to the Premier League Writing Stars competition over the past two seasons, where the themes have been resilience and diversity.

Writing Stars is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which has engaged more than 17,000 primary schools in England and Wales.

Using imagination

Cowell said the numbers of children showing the desire to express themselves through poetry by entering Writing Stars as "truly inspiring".

She added: "Poetry is a great way for children to use their imagination to dream big for themselves and the world around them, so this year’s theme of ambition is a great way of encouraging and fostering their creativity.

"I am excited to see what the children write and can't wait to join the other judges to decide this year's winners! Writing is magic, and magic should be for everyone."

Morgan made his Leicester team-mates reflect on their incredible journey to winning the 2015/16 Premier League title because, while footballers have ambitions, he believes rarely do they take time to consider their achievements.

"Encouraging children to think about their dreams and instilling confidence in them so they feel ready to go out and achieve their goals is crucial for development and a great life lesson," the Leicester captain said. 

How to enter 

Primary school teachers can register at PLPrimaryStars.com to download the free Premier League Writing Stars resource pack on ambition.

Entries can be any form of poetic writing, including a rap or lyrics but must be no longer than 150 words.

The judging panel will consider several criteria when selecting the winners, including creativity, tone and originality.

All original poem entries must be submitted through the website or by post by the closing date of Friday 20 March 2020 to be considered. Winners will be announced in May 2020.

This year's national winners will see their poems published in a limited-edition book and will win a Premier League Trophy visit for their school as well as a special poetry workshop with Nova for their class. 

Nova's poem "Beautiful Ambition" features in the free downloadable resource pack available to teachers at PLPrimaryStars.com, where there are more details on the competition.

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