Pen a poem to make us smile as part of St Albans LitFest

12:20 14 August 2014

St Albans Literary Festival 2014

St Albans Literary Festival 2014

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The winner of an exciting local poetry competition will definitely have something to smile about – a family ticket to Warner Bros Studios’ Harry Potter tour.

St Albans Literary Festival has teamed up with Grove House, the Herts Advertiser and Walker Books to invite the district’s schools and young people to celebrate the smile.

We want you to share your thoughts on smiling or make us smile through verse in a poem of no more than 40 lines long.

Grove House community fundraising manager Nicola MacKinnon said: “We are really excited to be part of the St Albans Literary Festival. While it may seem odd to choose ‘Smile’ as a theme linked to caring for people at a time when they are dealing with difficult news after being diagnosed or at the end of their life, our patients and their families often tell us how positive they find their time at Grove House.

“Smiling is a big part of our day at Grove House and we would love you to share with us your thoughts on smiling.”

Poems will be judged in three age groups: seven and under; eight-11; and 12-16. The overall winner will receive a trip for four to the Harry Potter studios and a poetry workshop with Ver Poets for their school. The winner in each age category will win a bag of books, a Waterstones voucher and other related goodies.

Terry Jones, chair of Ver Poets, said: “Poetry is sometimes thought to be the refuge of a tiny enclave of dreamy and impractical people. Nothing could be further from the truth. No-one is immune to the beauty of words and the ideas, pictures and sounds that are carried by them. If you have responded to a song then you have responded to poetry.

“If you surveyed the whole population you would find the writing of poetry peaks in two groups: the old and the young. Why the young? As they begin to experience the world for the first time they use poetry to express their response to its joys and sorrows.”

LitFest children’s programme director Jenni Blackford added: “St Albans Literary Festival is delighted to support Grove House Hospice through a children’s poetry competition. They are a very special, local charity that provides support for people at a very difficult time.

“We also love poetry! So this is the perfect way to raise awareness of a brilliant organisation as well as encouraging children of all ages to give poetry writing a go. And thanks to Warner Bros Studios, Ver Poets, Walker Books and Waterstones we have some excellent prizes for our winners so if your children are looking for an activity this summer it really is worth a try. ”

To enter email your poem to: smilepoem@renniegrove.org by November 14, 2014. Winners will be contacted directly and the four winning poems will be published in the Herts Advertiser newspaper, while other entries will feature on our website.

Entries will be considered by an independent panel of judges, and their decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. Poems must be the original work of the entrant, and all winners must agree to publicity after the event. The copyright of each poem remains with the author.

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