Poetry Competition - Judges report

As part of our year long celebration of the life of Craven legend and poet Tom Twisleton, Settle Stories ran a poetry competition for young people in the area.

The high level of entries we have received has been incredible. The winning poem will be published in a Settle Stories family publication celebrating the life of Tom Twisleton later this year. In addition they will be invited to perform their poetry at a public event. 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed will receive Amazon vouchers. 

Local published poet Jean Harrisson judged the competition. Here is her report: 

This was a very interesting bunch of entries, the general standard high. All poets are to be congratulated. It was especially good to see so many good entries from boys. 


The qualities I was most looking for were: - 

1. Authenticity, the feeling that the poet was writing from direct experience rather than trotting out standard responses.

2. A sense of rhythm and form, not overdone, but enough to give the poem structure and movement.

It was good to find so many vivid phrases in poems that didn't make the shortlist but still had their moments, eg the black see-through ice; owners shouting 'fetch'; everyone smiles, giving 'Hello', or 'All right', as you pass; bread... from wholemeal to granary/ and the plain white bloomer; when it (the sun)'s out people have fun/messing around with water guns. Many more examples could be found. 


Commended Poems

Carnival Day by Evie Hayward - A real feeling of authenticity

Glowing Fire, author unknown - Some vivid descriptions of flames and an original observation - the midnight coloured cat.

Summer in Yorkshire by Daniel Gillies - Good observation.


Highly Commended 

A farmer's morning by Oliver Stroh - A very good understanding of the haiku form.

The farm by  William Duncan - The most beguiling humour of this 'Moo', 'Baa', especially the final 'Moo' picking up the sound of 'mood' and the feeling of direct experience throughout.

The Yorkshire Dales by Thomas Birkett-Bentley - Some excellent descriptive phrases, eg the Kingfishers nd the line 'A cautious steady time' is very well poised and mature in its feeling.



1st place - The Yorkshire Rose by Max Clark - Very carefully focused, the reader never comes away from the rose; a description of the flower that is based on personal observation, and a good grasp of form and rhythm.

2nd place - Settle is my Home by Daniel Craig - A very good use of form and rhythm and, although the statements seem very generalised, he gives the impression he really means them.

3rd place - The Dales by Freddie Fairweather Smith - A brilliant second stanza followed by the liveliness of the final one.

If you know a young person that loves creative writing and poetry, do let them know about our 10 day creative summer school in Settle during the summer holidays. There are plenty of opportunities to explore writing and performing poetry as well as a chance to develop storytelling and creative writing skills.