Congratulations to Form 1 pupil, Joe, and Form 6 pupil, Toby, who are the winners in their respective age categories of this year’s Creative Writing Competition!
Acclaimed poet and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birmingham University, Luke Kennard, who judged this year’s competition recorded a special video message in which he celebrated the wealth of creative writing talent of all the entrants and read extracts of the winning pieces, as well as treating the audience to a reading of one of his latest poems.
Luke said, “In both age categories I encountered so much to admire and such perfectly chosen details and surprising, engaging images and analogies… All of this attests to the limitless power of the imagination to create new worlds and/or to express something urgent and incisive about our own.”
Luke congratulated everyone for entering the competition, saying that it was a pleasure to read their work. “I really hope that every single one of you who wrote something for this contest keeps writing because you have such talent.”
Joe won the Under 14 category for his story Chapter Infinity. Describing it as “a dazzling science fiction epic condensed into three pages”, Luke comments: “Something that leaps out as so effective for me in this story is the attention to ordinary detail in an extraordinary setting.”
The winner of the Over 16 category and Overall Winner of the competition was Toby for his story ShortStory.docx, which Luke praises for the “pitch-perfect character sketches amidst its clever self-enfolding structure”. Toby has recently enjoyed other literary success, having received a commendation from the Tower Poetry Competition for his entry ‘A Tree’.
Luke concluded the virtual prize-giving ceremony by treating us to a reading of one of his new poems, ‘Response to Sonnet 6’, which forms part of a wider work of responses to all Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Teacher of English, Emma Reddy, said: “I would like to express my thanks to Luke for the kindness and care he has shown in taking part in this process. Our pupils are very lucky.”
She continues: “I would also like to congratulate all the entrants to this year’s competition. With so many challenges at the moment, the academic determination and creative drive of these pupils really is laudable.”
View Luke’s video and read the two winning entries below.