Monday 16 March 2015

The Mid-Somerset Festival's Creative Writing Day, 14 March 2015

This year I judged each of the 17 classes for the Mid-Somerset Festival's creative writing day. It was a pleasure to work with its co-directors, Jane Riekemann and Hilary Bufton. While I enjoyed the whole of the day Saturday, giving prizes and commenting on the winning entries, the best part was seeing young people taking pride in their writing and reading their work, often for the first time, to a public audience.

I asked Rebecca Sneyd, age 11, if I could publish her winning poem on my blog, and her father sent along this photo as well. She won both first prize in her age group as well as winner of the highest overall score for an under-18 entrant in creative writing.


Touch the wooden gate warped with age as it swings open.
Walk up to the door under the arch of red roses, not picking them.
Do not touch anything that does not belong to you as you pass through the house.
In the wild woods, take care to lay a path of pearl-like stones, leading you home.
Beside the river, take the boat but do not look back.
Inside the castle, take care not to climb up the tower on a thick golden rope.
Remember not to trust the man with many names.
Do not eat the apples ripened rosy red.
Trust the princess of Crete, your dreams and your beliefs.
Ride the majestic winged horse, you will not fall.
Follow the yellow brick road back home and rest.
Rebecca Sneyd
You can learn more about the festival--eager for more creative writing entries next year--here: 

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