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News story

Have a spot of fun with this revolting poetry competition

28 Jul 2020

IPEELL writing

An unusually gross children’s poetry competition has landed in Peterborough, thanks to our collaboration with local poet Paul Hymas.

Paul Hymas, author of Bogey Roads: and other polluted poems, offered support to the campaign after launching his YouTube channel, Splyt Jaws, to bring some much-needed laughter to children during lockdown.

Hymas has joined forces with Peterborough Reads to create a poetry competition that is not for the faint hearted. To take part, children (aged 7 – 13) have to write a poem about a spot – the poem can be long or short, and the more disgusting the descriptions, the better. Entries will be judged by Hymas and the winning poem will be recreated for the Splyt Jaws YouTube channel, complete with a professional illustration.

The topic for the competition is a match for Hymas’s poems, as he writes about everything from farts and belly button fluff to lost socks. Grossness aside, our research shows that children have been reading more comedy (48%) and writing more poetry (21%) during lockdown, and both have made them feel better during an uncertain time.

For more details about how to enter, please visit Peterborough Reads website.

“This competition is the perfect summer holiday activity – it’s not just about learning, it’s about having fun too! We were blown away by the responses to our previous poetry writing competition, inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah, so we know Peterborough’s children are excellent poets. We can’t wait to read the responses to Paul’s super-spotty challenge and see one lucky winner’s words brought to life on his popular YouTube channel for all children to enjoy.”

Sally Atkinson, Peterborough Reads Manager

“When I was furloughed I decided to use the time to give something back to the community. I used to work in schools during my degree and I loved every minute, so being able to team up with Peterborough Reads and see the work of local children is an absolute pleasure.”

Paul Hymas, local poet

Take part in the competition
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