Strange surprise - have you got what it takes to be this year’s Young Poet of the Year?

Author and owner of Bewilderwood, Tom Blofeld running a poetry workshop at Mile Cross Primary School

Author and owner of Bewilderwood, Tom Blofeld running a poetry workshop at Mile Cross Primary School. Photo: Steve Adams

Children's author Tom Blofeld and his Bewilderwood Boggles helped spread the word about this year's Young Poets of the Year competition at Mile Cross Primary School yesterday.

Author and owner of Bewilderwood, Tom Blofeld running a poetry workshop at Mile Cross Primary School

Author and owner of Bewilderwood, Tom Blofeld running a poetry workshop at Mile Cross Primary School. Photo: Steve Adams

Pupils were treated to a special workshop and readings from Mr Blofeld, and given the chance to craft poems in pairs, based on the game Consequences.

It comes as children aged between eight and 11 are being asked to submit their entries for the EDP and Briar Chemicals Young Poets of the Year competition.

Now in its tenth year, the challenge has been judged by a number of big names, including Stephen Fry, Louis de Bernieres and Amanda Holden.

The theme for 2014 is 'Strange Surprise' and the closing date for entries of up to 40 lines is July 18.


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Mr Blofeld, who is judging this year's competition, said: 'Life is full of surprisingly few pleasures and if you can have a love of something like language, it makes it richer. I love writing but it gives me as much joy to read other people's work. I want to show children that it's cool to do poetry.'

Winning poems and a selection of other work from the competition will be published in EDP and on the newspaper's website.

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Year 6 class teacher, Nich Starling, said: 'There is more focus now on introducing different types of poetry into classrooms. We have been learning about short poems, rhyming poems and limericks. There is the perception that poetry is a bit old and dated, but the children are starting to realise poetry isn't dull, it's a really fun way of getting ideas down.'

Briar Chemicals have supported the competition since its launch in 2004 and always look forward to reading the entries.

'This is just one of the community events we get involved in, but we really like the excitement and the imagination shown by the children,' said site manager Tim Green.

'You always see so much enthusiasm when the winners and the runners-up come to read their poems later in the year. It's wonderful to see how much they have got out of it.'

Entry forms are available in schools. For more information, call 01603 242311 or email poetry.competition@briarchemicals.com

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