Telling the truth about youth
In the spring of 2013 The National Literacy Trust joined forces with the to provide teachers and librarians with a competition and resources to engage young people in writing, and to teach them about copyright and the importance of protecting their own and others’ creativity.
Research has shown that there is a relationship between attitudes towards writing and writing attainment; 75% of young people believe that to be a good writer means you have to enjoy writing but less than 50% of young people say that they enjoy writing.
Write On aimed to put the enjoyment factor back into writing by using an engaging form of writing—poetry—and by focusing on a topic that is sure to be interesting and relevant to young people: themselves!
How did it work?
“What do you think about the way young people are viewed in today’s society? Do you get a fair deal? Now’s the time to have your say…”
The challenge was simple: Students wrote an original poem expressing their thoughts about perceptions of and attitudes towards young people in today’s society.
To provide some inspiration for the students, we linked up with four fantastic young poets who penned their own poems on this topic especially for us. These poems were a great stimulus for discussion around the topic, and also provided an opportunity to introduce the importance of copyright and the boundaries around it.
Bonus category: It’s Slam Time!
"Think you could pull out a performance that would blow the competition away? Film yourself performing your poem for the chance to win more prizes”
A poetry slam (performing poems in front of a live audience) is an exciting and accessible way to engage young people in poetry. For the chance to win some great bonus prizes, students could hold a poetry slam in school and send in videos of their performances to our judging panel.
What were the prizes?
The winning entries for both categories were chosen by a judging panel that included poet Bridget Minamore
, and the students selected will won some fantastic prizes, both for themselves and their school:
- For the school: A performance and a writing workshop from Dean Atta, a brilliant writer and poet whose work has been featured on Channel 4 and Radio 1Xtra.
- For the student: Signed work from the poets featured in the Write On competition, £50 worth of Amazon vouchers and a brand new tablet computer!
Slam Time bonus category
- For the school: A performance and poetry slam workshop from Catherine Brogan, performance poet and winner of numerous poetry slams.
- For the student: Signed work from the poets featured in the Write On competition and £50 worth of Amazon vouchers.
The winners and shortlisted entrants from both categories were also invited to perform their poems alongside some of the professional poets featured in the competition at a Write On celebration event in London in May 2013
How can the competition fit in with school activities?
The Write On competition is a great activity for English, PSHE and Citizenship lessons, and could also make an excellent tutor time activity or library-based challenge. Poetry slams would also work well as part of a Drama lesson or club.
To help you integrate the competition in school we have put together a 12-lesson plan, complete with supporting resources. This plan includes two lessons that introduce students to the concept of copyright and the importance of protecting their own and others' work.
What supporting resources were available?
Every school that took part in the Write On competition could access a whole host of resources to support them in running the competition in school.
Poems from four exciting young poets
Inspire your students and fuel discussion with these thought-provoking poems written especially for this competition. Download
Scheme of work
Embed the competition task into class time using this 12-lesson plan, complete with supporting resources. Includes two lessons that introduce students to the concept of copyright and the importance of protecting their own and others' work.
A toolkit for running a poetry slam in school
Learn how to successfully run a poetry slam in school with this comprehensive and practical introduction to the slam world.