New Premier League Writing Stars competition blends football and poetry

04 Oct 2017
Premier League Writing Stars - Yannick Bolasie

In partnership with the Premier League, we have just launched Premier League Writing Stars, a poetry competition for children aged five to 11. The competition is open to all primary schools in England and Wales and aims to get young people writing poetry in different creative forms.

Inspired by the William Hickson poem ‘Try, Try Again’, which is recited by footballers in the recent Premier League Primary Stars advertising campaign, the competition asks school children to write around the theme of resilience; what does it mean to you to try and try again? Entries can be any form of poetic writing including a rap or lyrics. 

The all-star judging panel includes former professional footballer and children’s author Frank Lampard; Charlie and Lola author-illustrator and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Lauren Child; Premier League star and lyricist Yannick Bolasie and Young People’s Laureate for London Caleb Femi. All judging will be overseen by our Director Jonathan Douglas.

Entries will be considered against a range of criteria including creativity, tone and originality, with the winning poems being published in a limited-edition book. Other prizes include author-led writing workshops and Premier League trophy school visits, as well as winning poems being read aloud by football stars. The first 1,000 schools that enter the competition will also receive a bespoke ‘Book Bag’.  

The campaign is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which has already engaged more than 10,000 primary schools and 13,000 teachers in England and Wales. 

“Poetry has the power to unlock children’s imaginations, unleash their aspirations and boost their attainment. It also enables children to express themselves in a multitude of ways, from raps and lyrics to free verse and traditional poems. Combining football and poetry is a wonderful way to explore the theme of resilience. I can’t wait to read the children’s poems and take inspiration from their messages of never giving up.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director

Entrants have until 22 December to submit their original poems.

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