The 2019 Young Person’s Poetry Competition Winners

In 2019, for the first time, the Charles Causley Young Person’s Poetry Competition was open to entries from across the UK instead of just Cornwall.  We were delighted to receive 453 entries and the poems were judged by our Patron, Patrick Gale, and our Trustees Penelope Shuttle and David Devanny,  The prize winners were awarded their prizes at the North Cornwall Book Festival in October and it was fantastic that prize winners were able to travel to Cornwall from as far afield as Dorset, Bradford, and London to receive their prizes.  Other winners, who were unable to make the journey, had their prizes posted and received them at their school assemblies.

Pictured L-R above are Samuel Bradford, Teignmouth School (Cat B, Commended), Joseph Dowlan, Saltash School (Cat B, Third Prize), Epp Bithell, Wey Valley Academy, Dorset (Cat B, Runner-up), Anthony Handy, Hanson Academy, Bradford (Cat B, Commended), Ethan Bridger (Cat A, Second Prize), Penelope Shuttle (Trustee and Judge), David Devanny (Trustee and Judge), Aruna Moorghen Ansell, Hornsea School for Girls, London (Cat B, Second Prize).

Pictured L-R below receiving their prizes at their school (New Longton Primary School, Lancashire) are Charlie Fishwick (Cat A, Joint Third), Phoebe Day (Cat A, Joint Third), and Ava Leigh-Hodgetts (Cat A, First Prize).  Huge congratulations to all our Prize Winners!

The winning entries, on the theme of ‘Place’, are detailed below and are reproduced exactly as they were submitted.

Category A 5-11 years age group – KS1 & KS2

1st Prize

My Grandma’s Sand Paddock by Ava-Leigh Hodgetts
New Longton All Saints C.E. Primary School, Preston, Lancashire

My Grandma’s Sand Paddock

Sand, straight from the beach
Filled with shells, filled with life
Beach-smelling sand
Small hooves, large hooves, deepened within
Sand sprays in every movement
Shells collected, shells cracked, each one is so very precious
Stones of shapes that make you think.
Will you ride?
Will you picnic?
Will you venture in the sand for bugs?
Shetlands rear up,
Shetlands buck
And this is all in the sand paddock of life
Horses will fight and play all night
And this is all in the sand paddock of life
And all these memories are written inside the book that is right through the gate
You just have to walk and imagine …

2nd Prize

The Hospital by Ethan Bridger
Individual entry


I leapt into the hospital,
Ready for the day.
For exiting adventures,
Will soon be on their way.

I sped into John-Attwell ward,
Looking my very best.
But before my operation,
I have to take a rest.

I went to have my cannula,
Slotted into a vain.
I thought it would be pleasant,
But all it was was pain.

They put the anethstetic in,
And in my blood it seeped.
But what a terrible effect,
It made me fall asleep.

I woke up from the strangest dream,
Of a pretty little gnome.
But looking on the bright side,
I now can visit home.

What a busy day I had,
It gave my head a whack.
But after all that busy day,
I’m happy to be back.

Joint 3rd Prize

My Bedroom by Phoebe Day
New Longton All Saints C.E. Primary School, Preston, Lancashire

My Bedroom

Come on!
Open the door and have a peek into the room of glee.
Inside the room,
you can see a sea of irrational teddies.
Whatever I do, whatever I say, these teddies will not listen.
All day, all night, the terrible teddies play games, shout and swing on my lamp.
Finally, there is a fight between all the teddies and the teddy who won was
Tough Ted.

On my door, there is a onesie-hugger, dressing gown-lover and bag-snatcher.
I gaze and gaze and my eyes are just set on a drawer.
I wonder what is in the drawer.
Should I open it?
In just one glance I can see notepads, bows and other things.
This is my bedroom that I have toured you round.
I hope you enjoyed the magical room.
But now it is time to say goodbye to the enchanted room!

Joint 3rd Prize

My Bedroom by Charlie Fishwick
New Longton All Saints C.E. Primary School, Preston, Lancashire

My Bedroom

A small hallway leading to a door of mystery
The sound of a door creaking open
Walking through the creaky door
A glance, a memory
Wonderful view
Wonder for a moment
Caught in shock and excitement
In front of me, a huge cabinet
A huge stock of Lego lies there
The secret cage under my bed is filled with secrets
Not far from the secret cage is a massive beanbag which is where the ancient
teddy sits

He will beg you to come closer
Why might he want you to ?
A pink, mysterious and massive box filled with all sorts of notes and toys
Lego – builder
The Lego will beg and beg you to build it
You will start to smell a juicy succulent smell coming from somewhere
But where?
Come and explore the mysterious but exciting bedroom!

Category B 11-16 years age group – KS3 & KS4

1st Prize

Jallianwala Bagh by Ahana Banerji
Individual entry, London

Jallianwala Bagh

April 13th, 1919. General Dyer orders troops to open fire in Jallianwala Bagh.

Some kind of jumped-up Jupiter, is he?
To parade as juniper blood splits from their skin.
Talk about a God as if he is not standing right there,
for it is he who flips the coin between a man’s
galvanised life and coppered-up death.
Words erupt from his machine-gun mouth —
“FIRE LOW!” he bellows,
as the stench of his bullet-gum breath
ruptures the throat of a generation
who were slit by a cut up monarch into slivers.

Cowrie shells are cracked under foot —
a talcum mutiny in a stampede of sweat.
Cradle the baby but don’t let her drink to
the hollow breast of the empire;
don’t let her know that her people are hanged
like the swinging branches of the banyan
because of him:
some kind of jumped-up Jupiter.

2nd Prize

Place by Aruna Moorghen Ansell
Hornsey School for Girls, London


Do you remember? She whispers in my ear,
I whip my head around,
There’s nobody there,
But a knowing smile creeps up my cheek
Do you remember?
The sun is shining but the sky seems bleak,
A small cherry tree sprouts out of the ground
The large apple tree its frown,
It reaches out a long, parched tongue to catch the last drops of rain,
Balancing a wooden treehouse like a pot on its head,
A boy with a glowing smile and radiant cheeks,
With flour coloured hair garnished with crumpled blossom petals,
With freckles scatted over his face,
Perches like a bird on the edge of a golden haystack,
Howling, giggling with a girl with dimples,
With orange, flaming hair the colour of laughter,
And shell-pink lips that naturally formed a reassuring smile,
On a homely farm with rich green grass the colour of a lizard’s scales,
They thrust powdery pink blossom at each other,
As if it were confetti,
As they carelessly bump each other on the arm,
They inhale the scent of each other’s warmth,
And breathe the perfume of tree bark,
The sky returns to its dark old self,
And the treehouse is armed with sharp splinters,
Do you remember?

3rd Prize

Harbour by Joseph Dowlan
Saltash Community School, Cornwall


Rainy Stormy sky
A little, shiny fish sings
betrayed by the net.

Runner up

There are many! by Epp Bithell
Wey Valley Academy, Dorset

There are many!

Does it somehow offend you,
How much we are prepared to take?
Several blows, man-held,
Yet with cheers left in our wake?

Are our protests useless,
All those people we have gathered?
Women and girls with pretty bonnets,
Yet with a fierceness in our words?

How much more do we have to fight,
To earn our rights as women?
Should our gender matter?
Were we born to bare this burden?

We have been underestimated,
Us and what we desire.
We have been underestimated,
So our only route is higher.

Is it so very hard,
To stop this hard-worn feud?
Is it so unclear,
How much more blood are we prepared to lose?

Poor, dear, Mrs Davison.
Is this truly our fault?
Do we have so much little to lose,
That a little bloodshed is not bold?
I fear for our safety,
Dear Men,
I fear for our sanity.

I fear for our lives,
Dear Men,
And our future in this battle.

Oh, surely it is not hard,
Dear Men,
Oh, surely we matter?

Oh, surely you can understand,
Dear Men,
Oh, surely we matter?


Basically right by Tasfia Ali
Hornsey School for Girls, London

basically right

theres a place down the road
it’s the corner shop
love the owners
love the food
it’s the corner shop


Nostalgia by Anthony Handy
Hanson Academy, Bradford, Yorkshire


Our hands wrapped around the new controllers
The old metallic fan whirring inside the rundown console
Quiet soft music started crying from the screen
And the blocky city loaded, but that didn’t matter
It was the fact I could make memories with my best friend


The House by Samuel Bradford
Teignmouth Community School, Devon

The House

There was a house as dusky as a dark
There was a painting as attractive
as a flower.
The painting was as anciant as
a mummy.
The house is as pleasent
as me.
There was a dead tree as boneless
as a leaf.
The house was as big as
a castle.


/ Competitions
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