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How to enter the Premier League Writing Stars competition

Caleb Femi, Young People's Laureate for London and judge for Premier League Writing Stars, explains why schools should enter the poetry competition

Posted by Lucinda Reid | October 24, 2017 | Events

Tell us about your role as a judge for Premier League Writing Stars…

As a judge for Premier League Writing Stars, I’m incredibly lucky to read so many poems from young people all over the country. We’re looking for a young writer who has passion, enthusiasm and emotion that shines through – it’s about creating something that touches everybody on the judging panel.

What was your reaction when you first heard about this competition?

I was incredibly excited to hear that the Premier League would be running a competition like this. Young people need fresh impetus to read and write, and schools and teachers need support. I know teachers appreciate the Premier League using their influence to have a positive effect on young people in this way.

How can Premier League Writing Stars encourage children to be more creative?

Writing Stars asks you to be yourself. We’re not looking for somebody who’s the best at spelling or grammar. We want to see young people writing passionately about times they have shown resilience to overcome a certain situation.

How can the Premier League help to get more young people reading and writing?

The influence of the Premier League means this competition will be really special for everybody involved. Writing Stars can have a huge impact on young people because the players are role models already, so to see somebody you idolise writing poetry or endorsing poetry is powerful.

I’ve never seen the worlds of football and literacy come together like this… I hope it can inspire and motivate people in a new way! The competition can be a gateway into literature, but it can also be a path back to engagement in school and learning in general.

What advice would you give to teachers looking to engage their pupils in poetry?

If you’re facilitating a writing session, the one piece of advice I would give from my own experience of teaching is to really show your enthusiasm. That enthusiasm rubs off on your students, pupils pick up on it and thrive on it. I think teachers need to let their enthusiasm shine through and then they’ll see it in return from their pupils.

What are your top tips for pupils entering Premier League Writing Stars?

I think there are three important things to bear in mind:

1.     Be honest and be yourself when you’re writing. Think about what you know and don’t try to be anyone else!

2.     Picture a moment when you were resilient, when you had to try hard to get through a difficult situation, and put it down on paper!

3.     Have fun! It’s not homework so just enjoy yourself.

Premier League Writing Stars is a new national poetry competition open to pupils from all primary schools in England and Wales. The competition is delivered as part of the Premier League Primary Stars. programme.

Prizes include a free poetry ‘Book Bag’ for the first 1,000 schools to enter, plus the chance to win author-led writing workshops at your school and a visit from the Premier League trophy. Entrants will have until 22 December to submit their original poems.

All entries are submitted via schools and teachers and parents should visit to register or nominate their schools to take part.

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