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29 February 2020

Posted by Lucy Pearce

The Great British Write Off

This week, inspired by The Great British Bake Off, the Young Writers are partaking in The Great British Write Off! Tabby works her magic as Mary Berry, while I, Lucy, am the strict Paul Hollywood. 

11-14 Age Group, 18 Attending 

For the Signature Challenge, the Young Writers were asked to write a poem about Spring which included a metaphor. 

Jasmine wrote: 


The flowers grow, row on row,

Last flakes of frost melt, spring is on its way.

A brown stag leaps, away he keeps from the frosted shadows. 

Where his hooves hit, daffodils grow,

Like a life giving mist, spring warms them,

The snow drops bow their heads as spring comes,

The grass waves happily in the wind no longer cold. 

Spring crosses a meadow where it is all frost,

His hooves softly press the cold ground and the flowers come. 

Next - the technical challenge! Recipe for a lantern (cupcake) poem. 

In order to create the shape of a cupcake, it had to be structured in a specific way:

- 1 syllable in first line

- 2 syllables in second line 

- 3 syllables in third line 

- 4 syllables in fourth line 

- 1 syllable in final line 

Evie wrote: 


can run 

once you can walk

on sand

Hailey wrote: 


Iced tea 

My iced tea 

I love iced tea


Eleanor wrote: 



Like the moon 

They shine brightly 


Before moving on to the Show Stopper, Tabby talked through the process of Part D of Arts Awards, and handed out the forms. 

And now we start the SHOW STOPPER! 

For the Show Stopper the Young Writers had to write their best poem on any topic they like - love, school, the mountains, etc. They had to include at least 3 stanzas, and inventiveness of structure and language. 

Evie wrote (in the shape of an hourglass): 

Life if like an hourglass

But you don't know how big it is

You don't know how long it will take to empty it

Life is like the sand 

As time goes passing

You get older 

And closer 

to when 

you die 

Life is like an hourglass 

The size you'll never know 

You'll only know how long you 

had to live, until it's too late.

15-18 Age Group, 13 Attending

And the second round of competitions is off! The writers get their pens to the ready and dive straight into the Signature Challenge, where the theme is 'The Day That Rarely Happens' and they must include at least one rhyme. 

Esther wrote: 

The day that rarely happens

You're wondering what it could be 

Well take a seat and listen 

And I'll tell you of the day I spent in glee

It's the day where I wake up

And think again 'oh dear God no!'

I'll have to bar the door again

Or my mums head will blow!

It is then that I finally get out of bed 

And hesitantly open one eye 

But the sight that meets my unexpected gaze 

Makes me so ecstatic I could cry! 

'Ah yes', I think to myself 

Remembering yesterdays toil 

As I prance around my room with glee 

Breathing in fresh soil 

The soil from the flowers 

Which are now potted on the windowsill (to be continued!)

Next, is the Technical Challenge, there the bakers are asked to write a poem with a Villanelle recipe: 

- Nineteen Lines

- Five three stanza lines 

- One four line stanza (to finish) 

- First and third lines of the first stanza repeated throughout the poem

- Rhyme scheme optional but appreciated 

They were also provided with an examples of a Villanelle poem - Dylan Thomas and Elizabeth Bishop.

Some Young Writers found this challenge difficult and almost impossible (including myself), while others smashed it.

Lily wrote about her grandmothers favourite flower:

When you close your eyes, yellow roses grow 

It's a feeling you hate but begrudgingly love 

It's hard to despise something you know

Thousands of arguments, memories you cannot forego 

They taint your thoughts of someone high above 

When you close your eyes, yellow roses grow 

All the time in the world has been cut short with a blow 

Trying to call for more time, it just won't come 

It's hard to despise something you know 

It's a bottomless feeling, a pit of unknown 

When the worst thing in the world happens so young 

When you close your eyes, yellow roses grow

It courses through you, a relentless flow 

Nothing can hold you against the crush of the grief 

It's hard to despise something you know 

The fabric crumbles in your palm, worm handkerchief 

To be able to hate the feeling would be a relief 

When you close your eyes, yellow roses grow 

It's hard to despise something you know

Finally - The Showstopper! 

Their brief was - at least 3 stanzas, at least one metaphor, and ANY subject.  


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