The Premier League Writing Stars poetry competition has returned for a third year, with primary school pupils aged five to 11 across England and Wales encouraged to write on the theme of ambition.
The competition is once again supported by stars from the world of football and literature, with Leicester City defender Wes Morgan, Waterstone's Childrens Laureate Cressida Cowell and poet and hip-hop artist Karl Nova forming this year's judging panel. The campaign is supported by the National Literacy Trust and is part of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which has already engaged more than 17,000 primary schools in England and Wales.
This year's Premier League Writing Stars theme of ambition will encourage children to dream big for themselves and the world around them, highlighting the importance of self-belief and inspiring pupils to celebrate accomplishments as they work to achieve their goals.
Nova, winner of CLiPPA 2018 for Rhythm and Poetry, has written the poem 'Beautiful Ambition' exclusively for this year's competition, which primary school pupils can use as inspiration for their own writing. This features in the free downloadable resource pack available to teachers at PLPrimaryStars.com.
Nova said: 'Poetry is unique, it allows directness, honesty and authenticity. The Premier League Writing stars poetry competition allows children to see poetry in the everyday, create musicality out of words and discover another form of expression. Enabling children to explore not just their dreams, but the importance of their own self-belief and confidence in this year's competition is incredible.'
More than 50,000 primary school children have entered poems into the Premier League Writing Stars competition over the past two seasons, when the themes were resilience and diversity.
Cressida Cowell said: 'It is truly inspiring to see how many children have been involved with Premier League Writing Stars and had the desire to express themselves through poetry since the campaign launched in 2017. Poetry is a great way for children to use their imagination to dream big for themselves and the world around them, so this year's theme of ambition is a great way of encouraging and fostering their creativity. I am excited to see what the children write and can't wait to join the other judges to decide this year's winners! Writing is magic, and magic should be for everyone.'
Premier League Writing Stars uses the appeal of football to engage and inspire pupils. This year's national winners will see their poems published in a limited-edition book and will win a Premier League Trophy visit for their school as well as a special poetry workshop with Nova for their class.
Wes Morgan said: 'After winning the Premier League with Leicester City, I made my team reflect on the incredible journey we had been on together. Ambition is something every footballer has, but rarely do we take time to think about our achievements. Encouraging children to think about their dreams and instilling confidence in them so they feel ready to go out and achieve their goals is crucial for development and a great life lesson. I feel honoured to be a part of this year's Writing Stars judging panel and can't wait to see what ambitious writers are out there!'
Writing Stars entries can be any form of poetic writing including a rap or lyrics but must be no longer than 150 words. The judging panel will consider several criteria when selecting the winners, including creativity, tone and originality.
Primary school teachers can head to PLPrimaryStars.com to register and download the free Premier League Writing Stars resource pack on ambition. All original poem entries must be submitted through the website or by post by the closing date of Friday 20 March 2020 to be considered. Winners will be announced in May 2020.
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