and resources for people working with young writers
I’m very excited to be working with St Gregory’s Catholic College, Bath, as Writer in Residence for the next academic year. I’ve already been into school to meet with some of the staff and to decide where to set up camp. I’m really looking forward to meeting students when they return to school, or start for the first time, next week. I’ve begun to plan some writing activities and I’ve been researching poems about ‘Freedom’ which is the theme for this year’s National Poetry Day (which takes place on Thursday 28th September), which I hope lots of students and staff at St Gregory’s will take part in.
I thought I’d begin to compile a list of competitions and organisations which might be of interest to writers of secondary school age – 11 to 18 – and I’ll add to this list as time goes on. Please get in touch with further suggestions. I’ll keep adding to this page as I find more resources so check back from time to time to see if there’s anything new.
The wonderful Poetry Foundation has published what looks like a fantastic collection of resources for teachers working with young people of all ages. And here is a page at the Scottish Poetry Library which is full of lesson plans, poems, ideas and resources. Aimed at teachers, there’s nothing to stop young people availing themselves of this poetry treasure!
Some poetry competitions that I know of are Foyle Young Poets of the Year (deadline 31/7/17) and the Tower Poetry Competition (next competition in 2018). I’ve just discovered the Betjeman Poetry Prize which has a great website. I’ve been sent news of The National Schools Poetry Competition for writers aged 7 – 18. The judges are looking for poems about ‘Peace’ and the winning entry will be set to music and recorded by a professional singer.
An excellent website to visit regularly is Young Poets Network. Although aimed at younger writers, I find these challenges really helpful and interesting for myself! It’s run by The Poetry Society who describe the site as an
online platform for young poets up to the age of 25. Here you’ll find features about poets and poetry, challenges and competitions to inspire your own writing, new writing from young poets, and advice and guidance from the rising and established stars of the poetry world.
The BBC Writers Room is a good site for people of all ages if you’re interested in writing for radio, TV or film. Earlier this year you could apply for the BBC Young Writers Award.
I’d like to end by saying how moved and inspired I was by this article written by Kate Clanchy about her work as a writer in the Oxford Spires Academy. I’ve also really enjoyed reading work written by her students which Kate has posted on Twitter. I will be looking for ways to share work written by St Gregory’s students when I can and I hope to be able to share with you some of my experiences as St Gregory’s Writer in Residence.
Wishing everyone a happy week!