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Premier League Writing Stars Poetry Competition

We ran a poetry competition, inspired by the poem Try, Try Again, as featured in our advert. This competition is now closed and winners were announced in March!

Using the title of Try, Try Again, we asked pupils to write poems based on the theme of resilience. You might recognise the title Try, Try Again from the poem used in our TV advert for Premier League Primary Stars – it encourages you to work hard and to never give up, and these are themes that ran through this programme.

Link to transcript and audio-described version

The competition is being judged by our high-profile panel, including Children's Laureate and writer of the Charlie and Lola books Lauren Child, former footballer and now childen's author Frank Lampard, Everton star Yannick Bolasie and the Young People's Laureate for London, Caleb Femi. Head judge is Jonathan Douglas from the National Literacy Trust.

Key information

  • The competition ran from Thursday 28 September 2017 – National Poetry Day – until the end of the autumn term – Friday 22 December 2017.
  • There were two categories – one for pupils in Key Stage 1 and one for those in Key Stage 2.
  • Individual or group entries were allowed for Key Stage 1, only individual entries for Key Stage 2.
  • Poems could be no more than 20 lines or 150 words and be on the theme of resilience.
  • Pupils could continue the Try, Try Again poem or start a new poem. Poems could be of any structure and didn't have to rhyme.
  • Teachers needed to be registered for Premier League Primary Stars to enter their pupils’ work for the competition. Teachers could enter their whole class or select top entries.

We would like to congratulate everyone who took part and are delighted to announce the national and regional winners as follows:

Olivia, Wales, KS1
Brecon, Wales, KS2
William, Yorkshire and the Humber, KS1
Thomas, Yorkshire and the Humber, KS2
Lauren, East of England, KS1
Juan, East of England, KS2
Ella, East of England, KS2
Class 6, North East, KS1
Kyle, North East, KS2
Aashvi, North West, KS1
Matilda, North West, KS2
Naina , East Midlands, KS1
Callum, East Midlands, KS2
Amy, South East, KS1
Eve, London, KS2
Evie, South West, KS1
Elizabeth, South West, KS2
Lydia, West Midlands, KS1
Reeha, West Midlands, KS2
Sadie, South East, KS2
Amelie, London, KS1

The judges selected 20 highly commended poems as well as the overall winners for each age group:

Tyler, Ysgol Sarn Bach
Samuel , Ravenhurst Primary School
Faye, Padiham Primary School
Gabriel, Bitterley CofE Primary School (Aided)
Isla, The Prince of Wales School
Megan , Allenton Community Primary School
Fern, William Levick Primary School
Maya, Shirenewton Primary School
Mia, Short Wood Primary School
Ruby, Waycroft Academy
Sammy, Ramsbury Primary School
Omari, Crownfield Junior School
Sophie, North Waltham Primary School
Ben, Chetwynd Primary Academy
Libon, SS Peter and Paul RC Primary 
Xenon, The Firs Primary School
Jake, Newcastle School for Boys
Charlie, Valley Gardens Middle School
Jessica, Ossett South Parade Primary

Yannick Bolasie


There are top national prizes and 10 regional prizes for each category (Key stage 1 and Key stage 2).

Prizes for national winners:

  • A visit to your school by a children’s author or poet to lead a poetry workshop, plus the Premier League Trophy!
  • The winning poems read aloud by a Premier League star and captured on film

Prizes for regional winners and national winners:

  • The winning poems featured in an illustrated book of Premier League Writing Stars poems
  • A framed version of the winning poems
  • Premier League football kit

Brilliant bags full to the brim with poetry books have been awarded to the first 1,000 schools who submitted entries and will be sent out in the new year!

Books in a Primary Stars bag

Judging criteria

The judges are looking for the following:

Appropriate and precise vocabulary – does the poem include determined and resilient vocabulary?

Message – is the tone appropriate?

Poetry – does the poem use figurative speech and devices to build a picture in the reader’s mind in a creative and effective way? For example, alliteration, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, symbolism? Does it use the elements of poetry – words chosen for effect, a sense of structure, clever use of rhythm, purposeful use of rhyme, (although not all poems have to rhyme)?

Effect – does the poem inspire or demonstrate resilience? Would you feel like never giving up having read this?

Originality – does this entry stand out from the rest? Is it original and unique?

Appeal – will it appeal to other primary-age pupils? Does the reader feel a connection to the poet/poem?

We are judging poems on their creative merits. Primary-age children develop their skills in writing, spelling and punctuation as they go through school and poems will not be disqualified for errors in handwriting, spelling or punctuation. However, we encouraged all entrants to proofread their poem carefully and send us their best copy.

Supporting resources and activity ideas

We have created some competition packs with just the right amount of useful resources, including lesson ideas, activity sheets, entry template sheets and inspirational videos. Even though the competition has now closed, there are lots of fun activities for you to try with your pupils. You need to register to access all the resources - it's free and really quick to do. 

Key Stage 1 Writing Stars resource pack

Key Stage 2 Writing Stars resource pack

You might also be interested in our other English poetry packs – have a look at our Key Stage 1 resource Matchday Magic and our Premier League Reading Stars resource Poetry Slam, for pupils in upper Key Stage 2. There is also a Key Stage 2 PSHE pack all about Resilience.

Full terms and conditions are available.

Enter now

4. Which Key Stage are your pupils in?*
8. Did you work with a football club community organisation on your entries?*

Please provide us with more information:

This competition is now closed.