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Writing Stars inspiring a new generation of poets

8 Feb 2018
Premier League Writing Stars

More than 25,000 entries received for the Premier League's national poetry competition

Primary schools across the country have long struggled to make poetry relevant to their children.

"Half the time poetry isn't presented in a modern way that they feel they can connect to," said Caleb Femi, the Young People's Laureate for London. "Poetry is not a dead or boring art form.

"It’s so important, especially in the day and age we live in."

Incredible response

To help drive interest in poetry, the Premier League launched its Writing Stars competition last year to every school in England and Wales.

With support from professional football clubs, current and former players, such as Alan Shearer, stars from the entertainment world as well as the National Literacy Trust, the response from children has been incredible.

In total, 25,200 poems on the theme of resilience have been sent in by primary schoolchildren aged 5-11.

"I am overwhelmed," says former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, who is on the panel that will judge the poems.

"As a father and an author, I am a passionate supporter of encouraging young people to try their hand at creative writing. I can't wait to read the poems and help select the national winners." 

Shearer's PL Writing Stars poem

Lampard will be joined on the judging panel by Femi, by Waterstones Children's Laureate Lauren Child, the author-illustrator of "Charlie and Lola" and by Yannick Bolasie, the Everton winger and lyricist.

"It's wonderful that the Premier League Writing Stars competition has encouraged more than 25,000 young people to write poetry on the theme of resilience," Child said.

"I am very much looking forward to reading what these young poets have created and to hear how a personal challenge can inspire a poem."

Unique prizes

The judges will select 20 regional winners as well as a national winner for each age group.

Prizes include author-led writing workshops at the winners' primary school, a visit from the Premier League Trophy as well as having their poems read aloud by football stars.

National and regional winners of the Writing Stars competition will have their poems published in a limited-edition book.

PL Writing Stars is part of Premier League Primary Stars, which is helping inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

Primary school teachers can register for free resources and parents can nominate schools to join Premier League Primary Stars.

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