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Writing Stars Poetry Competition

We have launched a poetry competition, inspired by the poem Try, Try Again, as featured in our advert. Make sure you enter for your chance to win some amazing prizes.

Welcome to the Premier League Writing Stars competition! Here you can find out how you and your pupils can take part and win some money-can’t-buy prizes.

Using the title of Try, Try Again, we want your 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 run through this programme.

Link to transcript and audio-described version

The competition will be 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 will be Jonathan Douglas from the National Literacy Trust.

Key information

  • The competition is open from Thursday 28 September 2017 – National Poetry Day – until the end of the autumn term – Friday 22 December 2017.
  • There are two categories – one for pupils in Key Stage 1 and one for those in Key Stage 2.
  • Individual or group entries are allowed for Key Stage 1, only individual entries for Key Stage 2.
  • Poems should be no more than 20 lines or 150 words and be on the theme of resilience.
  • Pupils can continue the Try, Try Again poem or start a new poem. Poems can be of any structure and don't have to rhyme.
  • Teachers can upload entries as PDF, Word or PPT documents using the upload function on this page OR by posting them together with the completed entry form which you can find in the KS1 / Foundation resource pack or KS2 resource pack. As part of the packs, we have included poem entry activity sheets for pupils to complete.
  • Teachers need to be registered for Premier League Primary Stars to enter their pupils' work for the competition. You can enter your whole class or select your top entries, it's up to you.
  • In February, we'll be in touch with all schools that have entered to let them know if they are one of the winners.

Yannick Bolasie


There will be a top national prize 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:
- An invitation to an exclusive award ceremony in March 2018 in London
- 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

There will also be some brilliant bags full to the brim with poetry books up for grabs for the first 1000 schools who submit entries!

Books in a Primary Stars bag

Judging criteria

The judges will be 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 will judge 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 would encourage all entrants to proof read 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. There is also an entry form if you’d rather submit your entries by post. Download what you need and get your pupils writing! 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.


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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:

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