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14 December 2021

Posted by Tabby Hayward

CHRISTMAS BAKE OFF 2.0

11 attending

Of course for the final session of term we had to have a Bake Off - back by popular demand!

For those not yet familiar, a Young Writers Bake Off takes the three rounds from actual Bake Off (Signature, Technical and Showstopper) and transforms them into writing challenges rather than baking ones! Complete with festive baking puns, and even a few Paul Hollywood handshakes (via the helpful handshake emoji in the chat!) we all had a wonderful time cooking up a storm of festive poems, stories and no soggy bottoms!

For the Signature, inspired by the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker, the young writers were challenged to choose a sweet, chocolate, or wintry drink, and write a poem or story describing what makes it so wonderful – thinking about the taste, the smell, the appearance, the colours, sounds, wrappings, textures and how it makes you feel! And it had to include at least ONE simile or metaphor.

For the Technical, Tabby made it EXTRA tricky by inventing a new poetic form(!) - The Snowflake Poem! The young writers had to follow the 'recipe' below to write their own:

Recipe for a Snowflake Poem:

1st line – one word
2nd line – two words
3rd line – three words
4th line – you guessed it! – four words
5th line – five words
6th line – now it gets complicated! – four words
7th line – three words
8th line – two words
9th line – one word 

EXAMPLE:

Snow
is drifting
past my window
little flurries of white
fairies dancing their winter dance
shimmer in the moonlight
delicate and starry
as they
fall.

But the young writers were unfazed by the challenge and came up with some beautiful snowflake poems:

THREE snowflakes, from Aurora:

Longing
for Winter’s
frozen face to
show its subtle beauty.
Heavy are her eyelids, closed
to the snoring sounds
of hibernation, all
things now
sleep.

Grace,
so soft,
her frosted fingers
stroke the bladed ground
and turn sweet harmony to
gentle quiet, tranquil snow
to cover all:
cold but
trusted.

Her
snowflake-laden
hem dances elegance,
her eyes trace the
lonely treeline, ballet for none,
yet onward she spins
in a flurry
of beautiful
snow.

From Gene:

Mistletoe
It alone
makes me vomit
Because people are kissing
in front of me
It’s getting
weird

From Charlotte:

Snowflakes
Fall slowly
Onto my head
Waking me from slumber
Bringing me back to earth 
Bringing me home again
Cold like ice
Slowly falling
Again

From Leo:

Tonight,
At Noon,
In the evening,
Hot Chocolate can be served
To all nearby or far,
With milk it must
always be, water
only makes
Abominations.

From Safir:

Santa
Is raiding
cookies and milk
and giving peeps presents
With a bunch of deer's
 with a big sack
and COVID vaccinated
Flu jabbed
Healthy

After an amazingly successful technical, we moved on to the main event - the Showstopper! For this challenge, the young writers had to write a Christmas Surprise Story. A character (or characters) received a Christmas surprise when they EITHER pulled a cracker to reveal something unexpected OR opened a present to find something surprising OR bit into a mince pie to find a surprise! The weirder and wilder the better, and we were looking for a description of the shocking moment AND what happened next! Here are some examples:

From Safir:
"3,2,1," A hissing sound takes place so Jeremiah checks the cracker. On the back side, to his horror was a timer, 4 hours until total death. It also had labels saying it was bought from Russia, made in china, assembled in Bangladesh and designed in the UK. Jeremiah though where to throw it. He was living in England so not the UK. He was from Bangladesh ( I actually am) so definitely not. He did eenie meenie mini mo with it but he ended up with Russia. Well he could do it in an uninhabited place.  Turns out, the bomb actually said 4 minutes.
A light flashes and the world explodes. The bomb was so powerful as it also exploded the universe too.

From Gene:
Tis was a very happy x-mas eve and a pitch black night,
Tis was a very happy x-mas eve and everything was just right.
I don’t know if it was the x-mas lights or the decorations that pleased me,
Was it the tinsel or the mistletoe (definitely not) but it was the x-mas tree!
From top to bottom every branch covered and not empty,
The baubles decorated and beautiful and the candycanes there were plenty.
But this one x-mas eve I couldn’t get to sleep,
because this one x-mas eve I heard Santa fall down in a deep.
With Santa filling the stockings and the elves watching the sleigh,
And prancer the silly thing sneezed and did something pretty unusual that eve.
The magic from his sneeze was then covered on my tree,
And then, and then, something strange happened in front of me.
All the x-mas trees in the world came to life and ate all the x-mas fun,
from the lights to the tinsel and all they could do was burp and say yum!

From Neelesh:
It was a 25th December- a Christmas evening. I was already weary but  my brother and I  forgot to open our Christmas crackers so we wer'e going to do it and then have our Christmas dinner. However, I felt something good wasn't going to happen. After we pulled the crackers, I read a Christmas joke which said,'' Beware, you'll be dead but you don't know when'' This wasn't a fun joke at all but I hope it is.

From Aurora:
I have to say, despite everything, it was definitely the strangest present I’ve ever received. Like, not even close. Not a chance of competition. And I’ve had some weird stuff before. Take for example Christmas of ’14, back when I was quite a bit younger, and I was given a set of curtains for my bedroom. Now, I’m not saying I don’t like them, they’ve actually been hanging around for the last 7 years relatively happy with their curtain-y lives. It’s just not the sort of thing you would expect a 10-year-old to get ecstatic about, you know? Then there was ’17, which was utter shambles. One of the uncles who’s not allowed at family gatherings anymore because of his criminal charges for illegal possession of a firearm gave me a “candle”. Well, it was a candle insomuch as it had a roughly cylindrical shape and you could light a fire on the end of it, and it definitely gave off smoke. Needless to say, my parents quickly confiscated it before I could consult reddit on what to do with my new bong.
Anyway, another one of those dodgy extended family members decided that, now that I’m a big girl and about to be eighteen in a few weeks, the perfect thing to prepare me for adulthood was a severed human leg. I must say, I do not agree.

From Leo:
Outside his house in what felt like cold night air, despite it being only 17:00, Tim was encircling his parents as they walked hand in hand, through the city streets, streetlamps shining and headlights blazing. Back and forth Tim was running, holding several burnt sparklers, plucking up the courage to ask for his sixth one. “Mummy, can I have another one,” he asked. “Not now Tim, you’ve had five already”, she replied “Sure you can Tim,” his dad said, giving Tim a lit sparkler “Come on Cassandra, it’s only once a year,”  Joy sparkled in his eyes, just like the flame on the sparkler he was happily waving around.   Sparks spraying in the air, like tinsel shining on a fireplace, all suddenly coming together to form a middle aged russian couple, dancing to a waltz that was crescendoing in the background. Yet more sparks flew from the tip of the sparkler, forming an orchestra, a conductor waving his hands as the orchestra followed his lead. The music was now louder than ever. More and more couples joined the dancing, before it all ended with a blast.

Safe to say, we had a whole HOST of Star Bakers and Hollywood handshakes to go around - another incredibly impressive Bake Off for the ArtfulScribe young writers!

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