Young poets honoured for creative writing at second award ceremony

Judges Fred Ellis and Ian Griffiths with the winners of the Woodbridge Young Poets Competition. Pi

Judges Fred Ellis and Ian Griffiths with the winners of the Woodbridge Young Poets Competition. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Two dozen young laureates were rewarded for their literary talents at the final ceremony of an annual writing contest.

Ian Griffiths speaking at the Seckford Theatre. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ian Griffiths speaking at the Seckford Theatre. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Four hundred youngsters from across the county submitted their best prose for the second Woodbridge Young Poets Competition.

Just 24 were invited to be recognised at a special prize-giving event at Woodbridge School’s Seckford Theatre.

The overall 2017 competition winner in the junior category, for children aged seven to 11, was Woodbridge School’s own Caitlyn Maggs for her poem, Break Free.

Junior runner-up, Gemma Thomas, from Bramfield Primary School, also received a prize for her poem, My Morning Walk.


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Stone Woman, by Ella Finch, from the Royal Hospital School, won the under-18s senior category, while runner-up Katie Bellhouse, from Woodbridge School, was awarded for her poem, Simulated Life.

The final verse of Ella’s poem read: “My body is made of stone, But my soul is made of fire, So be warned, whilst I have allowed myself to be eroded in the past, I will never let the inferno be extinguished.

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Katie poem opened with the lines: “The majestic creature, through the air, began to rise; Slicing the dawn’s silence with his cries. Nature’s purest scene created a beautiful veil, Hiding machines and computers, our simulated jail.”

All entries were judged by local poets Ian Griffiths, the former chairman of the Suffolk Poetry Society, and Fred Ellis, founder of Poetry Anglia.

Shortlisted poems were read aloud at the event, before judges presented the junior and senior overall winners with a £30 book token, certificate and engraved trophy.

Neil Tetley, headteacher at Woodbridge School, said: “Congratulations to this year’s brilliant winners, and to all the young poets who felt inspired to write an entry for our competition.

“We’re thrilled to see that the Woodbridge Young Poets Competition has followed on from last year’s inaugural success, with a great spread of entries from schools across Suffolk.”

The competition was part of the Woodbridge Poetry Festival, which features a series of events and readings, including evenings with nationally acclaimed poets Lemn Sissay MBE, Rebecca Goss and Vanessa Kisuule.

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