Poetry Competition 2015

NPD-logo-red-amber-landscapeThis competition was organized by the Garvald Website Team in support of National Poetry Day, 8th October 2015. We had a fantastic response with nearly eighty entries! The theme, as for National Poetry Day, was ‘Light’. The poems were sent as anonymous entries for judging and this year we were delighted to have Edinburgh-based Poet and Playwright Donald Campbell as our expert judge.


Books, poetry postcards and book tokens were awarded to the winners.

Donald very much enjoyed reading all of the poems and commented that he found the standard impressive. The results and Donald’s comments on the winning poems are below. We thank Donald for taking the time to judge the poems and our congratulations go to the winners.

The winning entries have been published here (scroll down to read them) and will also be published on the Scottish Poetry Library blog for teachers. We are grateful to Georgi Gill, Learning Manager at the SPL, for her support and for arranging some lovely prizes. The Scottish Poetry Library has recently been refurbished and is well worth a visit if you are looking for a huge range of poetry all in one place. We would also like to thank Garvald and Morham Community Council for their support in funding generous book token prizes and the printing of competition poetry book, in which all entries have been printed.


Category: 7-8 years

Winner:  Olivia Urquhart McKendry (Beautiful Night)
Second: Helen Stoddart (The Moon Shadows)
Runner Up: Honor Thomson (The Lights of Edinburgh)

Our judge, Donald Campbell, said: “In the poem Beautiful Night I liked the idea of the dark reflecting the light. I liked the way the final line turned the poem Moon Shadow into a story. The Lights of Edinburgh is a brave attempt at a spatial, which only just misses. In addition, I would commend Sunlight (by Harry Lee) and The Bonfire (by Inika Robertson) for their imagery.”

Category: 9-10 Years

Winner:  Molly Clark (I Hate Living in the City)
Second: Zoe Doig (Sun)
Runner Up: William Gale (Mr. Light)

Our judge commented: “In I Hate Living in the City I loved the use of rhyme and the refrain. Sun was the best of the spatials. In Mr Light I liked the treatment of light as a person. In addition, I would commend Power Cut (by Isla Irvine) and Sun at Day (by Jemma Swan) for their original treatment of the theme ‘Light’.”

Category: 11-12 Years

Winner:  Ruth Meynell (Ocean Moonlight)
Second: Lucia Bivar Segurado (I Have a Friend)
Runner Up: Katya Eardley (Light)

Our judge said: “I liked Ocean Moonlight for the sense of movement in the lines. In I Have a Friend I liked the way that a great deal was said in a few words. I enjoyed the use of the refrain in the poem Light. In addition, I would commend The Fire Warm and Inviting (by Reuben Phoenix-Hill) for its very strong beginning.”

Winning Poems

Age Group 7-8 Years

First Prize – Beautiful Night

The sky is dark, the moon is out,
The animals are in their slumber.
The stars are out
The sun is away for the very next day.
The stars are burning with light
Like diamonds sewn across black silk of the night.
The sky is blacker than coal
From the fire beneath the logs in my home.

Olivia Urquhart McKendry, Age 8

Second Prize – The Moon Shadows

I lurk around in the dark
Running through all the rivers and streams
To hide from light
It’s so hard to find a bed at night
Munching on the cold winter grass
Under the trees then finding dark
And resting my tiny fawn head.

Helen Stoddart, Age 8

Runner Up – The Lights of Edinburgh

The lights of Edinburgh shine so bright.
But not too bright that you cannot see.
At the airport in the hospitals.
All over Edinburgh shines so

Purple and green blue and red.
Dots and lines stripes and checked.
They look so beautiful like coloured

Honor Thomson, Age 8

Age Group 9-10 years

First Prize – I Hate Living in the City

Light, light in the night,
Why is it so bright?
I hate living in the city.

It seems at night,
That it’s daylight,
All the street lamps
And signs are terribly bright,
I hate living in the city.

I feel like it’s the sun
It’s so bright,
I’ve said it twice
And I’ll say it again
I HATE living in the city.

Molly Clark, Age 10

Second Prize – Sun

When she is being naughty she makes the volcanoes on earth
When she is in a huff she shoots fire out her
When she is happy she simply says
But when she is asleep and the moon takes
With just a little help
The moon is shining just as bright and all is well.

Zoe Doig, Age 10

Runner Up – Mr Light

Mr Light came down from the sun
And landed on this beautiful Earth
He did not know where he was
But Jack said he was in Perth.

Because he was the sun
It was all dark
Only he was light
So there was none in the park.

But one day he met a bulb
And made her a light.
He did it all over the planet
So this world would be really bright.

Then one day it was time to return
So let’s say goodbye to the Earth
And lets burn once again
Also most of all goodbye Jack and Perth.

William Gale, Age 9

Age Group 11-12 years

First Prize – Ocean Moonlight

Little boat, vast ocean
Cold, calm, gentle motion
Flickering, flaring
Soothing, settling
Little boat, vast ocean

Tiny stars, giant moon
Dancing, swirling, darkish loom
Sharp white, lapping light
Tiny stars, giant moon

Little boat, vast ocean
Deafening silence, faithful motion
Sharp shadows
Twinkling turquoise
Little boat, vast ocean

Tiny stars, giant moon
Bright display, blackish loom
Glowing gas
Black, blue
Tiny stars, giant moon.

Ruth Meynell, Age 12

Second Prize – I Have a Friend

I have a friend,
Called dark,
He comes out,
When the sun,
Goes down.

I have another,
Friend called light,
She comes out,
When the moon,
Goes down.

Lucia Bivar Segurado, Age 11

Runner Up

Sun. Bright, amazing, warm
Calm and happy
Weird surprising and beautiful
Wishing the sun was out every day.

Sitting eating on the grass
With the sun shining
The beautiful ball of light
Hanging above our heads
Oh the sun, the sun, the sun.

Bright colours spreading
Across the sky
Giving the world happiness
All through our life
Oh the sun, the sun, the sun.

Light, love spreading throughout our hearts
Grass humming from the producer of life
Oh the sun, the sun, the sun.

Relaxing, lying now
Letting sunlight wash over me
Warm grass on my back
Wanting to stay forever
Oh the sun, the sun, the sun.

Wondering, wishing the sun would never die
Her forever guiding us to love
Oh the sun, the sun, the sun.

Katya Eardley, Age 11

Want more poetry?

If you’d like to read all of the competition entries, they have been published in a PDF file, see Garvald Children Poetry Competition – All Poems 2015. Copies of this book can be read at The Garvald Inn and Haddington Library.

Websites of interest for young poets, parents and teachers:

Celebrating National Poetry Day (Thursday 2nd October, 2014).
Supported by the Scottish Poetry Library

Scottish Poetry Library logo