CHILDREN’S LAUREATE TO CHAIR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
The Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition for 7-11 year olds starts accepting entries today. The Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, is the Chair of the judges for the second year running. The Competition is organised by the Children’s Poetry Bookshelf, a poetry book club for young people run by the Poetry Book Society. To link with National Poetry Day on Thursday 9 October, children will be asked to write a poem of no more than 25 lines on the theme of ‘Work’.
Joining Michael Rosen is a distinguished panel of people who are passionate about poetry, consisting of Gaby Morgan, anthologist and Editorial Director in charge of the poetry list at Macmillan Children’s Books; Rosemary Stones, Editor of Books for Keeps; Fiona Waters, Editorial Director of Troubadour and poetry anthologist; and Cliff Yates, poet and Deputy Head of Maharishi School.
Now in its third year, the competition has been renamed the Old Possum’s Children’s Poetry Competition after T S Eliot’s much-loved children’s poetry collection about cats. It is open to both individuals and schools, with prizes being awarded in two age groups, 7- 8 year olds and 9 -11 year olds. Entries will be accepted from today, Thursday 11 September, up until the closing date of Monday 20 October 2008. The winners will be announced at a gala celebration with Michael Rosen at the Unicorn Theatre in London on 15 December, where they will be presented with cash prizes and poetry books, and with Children’s Poetry Bookshelf memberships for their schools. Last year’s Competition attracted nearly 5,000 entries from across the UK and overseas, and this year many more are expected.