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Literacy for Life: Voices writing competition

Whilst Literacy for Life is giving students the essential skills and confidence they need to access the language of the classroom, the programme also aims to celebrate students' regional language and local literary identity. Therefore we launched the Literacy for Life: Voices writing competition in the Summer term of 2016, to encourage students to both experiment with language and explore their community through writing.  



 Out of over a hundred students who took part in the competition from six Academies across the UK, Savannah McFadden, aged 14 from Quarry Bank, received first place with her piece ‘My Little Meadow’. Fellow student Maymunar Nasir, aged 13 from Cradley Heath,  received second runner up for her poem ‘A Place Called Home’.

Voices challenged students to write 500 words about a public space they feel strongly about. Students could choose any format; poem, essay or story, but it had to include a description of the place, and a reason why it was personally significant to the author.

The entries offered judges a tour across the UK from beaches to city parks, football pitches to grandparent’s houses, libraries and schools. The variety of topics explored, highlights the different ways in which young people engage with their surroundings and the variety of things which shape their identities.

Savannah wrote about a local meadow and the animals and plants which made it so special.  Savannah’s vivid descriptions made it clear that she had spent many years exploring it and how important it was to her.  

Maymunar wrote her poem ‘A place called Home’ which was about her primary school and the friends and teachers who helped make it, in her words, a ‘paradise’.  Maymunar’s poem took the reader on a journey through her experiences there, year by year which judges felt linked beautifully with the theme of place and identity. 

Alex Bousoulengas, Project Manager for Literacy for Life at the National Literacy Trust said, “We were delighted with the number and variety of entries to the competition. The quality was extremely high and this is a testament to how well the schools have done in engaging children in reading and writing.”

On hearing the results of the competition, Savannah and Maymunar said:

“We were delighted to have done so well in this prestigious competition. Our prizes are great but the books we've won for the school are fantastic, it means that everyone benefits from our love of words and reading.”

Savannah Maymana certificates




The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.