17 May 2021
Posted by Tabby Hayward
This week, we were looking at the 2021 theme for the Orwell Youth Prize - New Directions, Starting Small. The Orwell Youth Prize invites young writers in school years 8-13 to submit writing with a political theme, about the issues that matter to them, in any form (stories, poems, speeches, articles, essays, etc).
We started by thinking about issues that mattered to us, and then wrote down ten small things we do every day and how they might impact on the wider community/world. We then picked one of these things as the starting point for a 5 minute free write.
Next, we looked at the Orwell Youth Prize website, the rules, some background on Orwell himself, some quotes from Orwell, and some recommended prompts to get started on this year's theme. We also looked at some of last year's winners, and the wide range of themes and approaches they had taken.
Next, the young writers set their work on their own piece of writing inspired by New Directions, Starting Small. As many of these will be entered for the competition, we can't share them here yet. However, as some of our young writers won't have turned 12 in time for this year's competition, we are lucky enough to be able to share two thought provoking pieces from Leo and Neelesh:
Had cows stayed free,
where would we be?
What if trees regrew in a fortnight,
would we be filled with delight?
Perhaps the ice caps would never melt,
How much damage would be dealt?
Why have we crippled the world,
For inside our souls we have curled,
and together we must escape,
and help save nature
from our mistakes.
School makes my friends annoyed but not me, but may be it makes me a bit frustrated. However, school is a place where you do learning which has become crucial for children. More than 72 million of adults are illiterate in the world, can you believe it? About 200 years ago, not everyone in Britain went to school, but now it's compulsory. It's probably because to get a better economy. - BY NEELESH