PoetryZone Competition – get your entries in!

Roger Stevens is asking for Christmas poems on PoetryZone – “It can be a funny poem about reindeer on the roof, Grandad hanging up his socks for Santa or Mum dropping the Christmas pud. It can be sad. (Not everyone has a happy Christmas. Think about the homeless or refugees.) Or it could be serious. How about writing a prayer for peace? Your poem might be religious – Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus – or about other aspects of the festive season. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, send us a poem about the holidays or all about winter.”

For young people between the ages of 3-18. Details on how to enter here.

Posted in Poetry Celebration/Anniversary

Poetry Zone – a Celebration of 20 years of Children’s Poetry!

Last night in London, in the setting of the CLPE‘s wonderful library, was the FABULOUS party to mark the 20th anniversary of PoetryZone, the website started by the wonderful poet Roger Stevens, and the publishing of the excellent book above by way of celebration.

PoetryZone has supported and encouraged many generations of children in their poetry by giving them arena to post their poems, see them published, and get feedback – it is a wonderful resource for young poets everywhere; it has had more than a MILLION visitors in its 20 years on the web!.

PoetryZone, a Celebration of 20 Years of Children’s Poetry, is published by Troika, and is chock-full of Roger’s favourite poems by a number of top children’s poets – and also some mind-blowing poems by some of the 30,000 children who have had their work published on the PoetryZone website.

The night was a happy mix of lovely children’s poets (a whole boatload of whom turned up to help celebrate and honour Roger) and poetry, with readings from the poets present, including me, Sue Hardy-Dawson, Laura Mucha, James Carter, Andrea Shavick, Trevor Parsons, Coral Rumble, Celia Warren, John Agard, and of course, Roger himself.

A very lovely evening indeed.

 

Posted in Poetry Awards

Apes to Zebras, Winner of the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards 2018 for Poetry

Award winning children's poetry
Apes to Zebras, by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, Award Winner!

There aren’t many awards for children’s to poetry so it’s pretty special to win one of them!

I’m thrilled to announce, with Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, that we have won this year’s North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award for Poetry, which is voted on by teachers from North Somerset and all over the UK.

A huge thank you to all the teachers who took the trouble to read the entire shortlist and vote on them. What a special thing. We are overjoyed that our book is helpful and being used in schools.

Over the next few days I will be sharing videos of some of the poems from the book read by the authors.

Book Award

 

 

Posted in Poetry Awards

North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards Shortlist for Poetry Announced

This award is voted for by teachers who use poetry in the classrooms, so it is thrilling to even be nominated.

Here are this years shortlisted books in the poetry category:

#NSTBAs team go all out; the longlist reviews all the books (poetry and fiction and non-fiction) in wonderful detail, and the shortlisted books are all pictured with fabulously cute dogs, making the whole process very, very special.

The organisation involved in getting Lady and Mungo dressed in the correctly coloured bows to set off each book alone must be epic!

Here’s each book in detail:

I’m thrilled to be involved in this shortlisting with lovely Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens. The work involved in writing and shaping all these poems into the animals they are about took months and months of back-breaking work, and it’s wonderful to have it recognised! This book was published by Bloomsbury, who have made a beautiful hardback book on quality paper with two colour printing to properly show off the loveliness inside! Artwork by Lorna Scobie.

Matt Goodfellow‘s first entry on the shortlist is his wonderful single voice book, Chicken on the Roof. Matt has a sensitive and lyrical way with words, and Otter-Barry, the publisher, always do a fine job with quality paper and excellent illustrations, in this case by Hannah Asen.

Zaro Weil’s fabulous Firecrackers is an amazing bumper book of poems, wordplay and stories with gorgeous illustrations by Jo Riddell. It is published by Troika in association with ZaZa Books in an eye-catchingly large format hardback.

And lastly – I’m over the moon to be shortlisted again for this award with The Same Inside, with Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens, both also shortlisted twice. The Same Inside is a book of poems all about empathy, tolerance, kindness, and love; there are poems in here to spark conversations and opinions about many sensitive subjects that are or could be worrying our young people today. It was hard to write! But a subject dear to our hearts. The publisher is the long-time stalwart of children’s poetry, Macmillan, with a wonderful cover by Debbie Powell.

The winner is announced on November 10th at the award ceremony.

Posted in National Poetry Day 2018

Send Me Your Poems About Change!

The theme of National Poetry Day (October 4th) this year is ‘change’.

If you have a children’s or young people’s poem on the theme of change, or if you are a young person who has written a poem on the theme of change, would you like to see it on Poetry Roundabout?

Send poems for a chance to see them here to: lizpoet @ gmail.com with ‘Change Poem’ in the subject line.

Here is a poem of mine, published as a shape poem in Apes to Zebras, an A-Z of Shape Poems, by Liz Brownlee, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, pub. Bloomsbury.

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The Paradox Frog

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The ambition of all frogspawn

in any pond or bog,

is to change from tiny tadpole

into a fine, fat frog;

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But to be a giant tadpole

is quite unorthodox,

and to grow into a smaller frog –

well, that’s a paradox.

.

Liz Brownlee

Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

S is for Children’s Poet and Author Roger Stevens, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

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Roger Stevens

Roger Stevens has had nearly 40 books published: novels, numerous solo poetry collections and edited poetry collections. His most recent books are The Same Inside: Poems about Empathy and Friendship (Macmillan); The Waggiest Tails: Poems Written by Dogs illustrated by Ed Boxall, (Otter-Barry) and Apes to Zebras: an A – Z of Shape Poems illustrated by Lorna Scobie (Bloomsbury). When not writing, he visits schools, libraries and festivals performing his work and running workshops for young people and teachers. He is a National Poetry Day Ambassador for the Forward Arts Foundation, a founding member of the Able Writers scheme with Brian Moses; and runs the award-winning and most excellent poetry website PoetryZone, here, for children and teachers.

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Roger is a dear friend and a tireless supporter of children’s poets and poetry. Here is one of his fab poems!

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The Brown Bear

 

In the dark wood

In a clearing

Sleeps a brown bear

Dreaming, dreaming

 

His skin is furless

His paws are clawless

He walks into the city

Lawless, lawless

 

The moon is hidden

The clouds are weeping

A princess slumbers

Sleeping, sleeping

 

The thief creeps through

The royal bedroom

And steals her ruby

A priceless heirloom

 

The ruby glows

With fire and lightning

A spell is cast

So frightening, frightening

 

The thief grows fur

His body thickens

His hands grow claws

He sickens, sickens

 

Beneath the black sky

Thunder rumbles

Into the dark wood

He stumbles, stumbles

 

For in the ruby,

Gleaming, gleaming

A wizard’s mind

Is scheming, scheming

 

Now, in the dark wood

In a clearing

Sleeps a brown bear

Dreaming, dreaming

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© Roger Stevens (First published in Moondust and Mystery. Chosen by John Foster. OUP, 2002)

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Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018, Poetry Competition

AMAZING #AtoZChallenge of Children’s Poets STARTS tomorrow! Find out about the COMPETITION!

Above is just a mini-glimpse of the fabulous children’s poets who will be showcased in this year’s #AtoZBlogChallenge on Poetry Roundabout and Liz Brownlee poet. Every day there will a new post of one to nine poets for that day’s letter of the alphabet. BUT – I am not going from A-Z! I am going from Z to A! Then at the end of the challenge, all my posts will read from A-Z.

After April finishes, the posts of British Poets and US and World Poets will be put A-Z in separate pages above the title on this blog. These lists will become permanent resources for poets and teachers and industry professionals and – anyone interested in children’s poetry!

There is a COMPETITION! For those in the UK, four of the poets in the list DO NOT EXIST! They are completely made up! Four real poets in the A-Z have made anagrams of their names and posted a false bio and other information and have written a special poem for their alter-ego. You have to work out which poets have an alter-ego! Get all four right and you stand a chance of winning a copy of Apes to Zebras, an A-Z of Shape Poems by me, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens; Animal Shape Poems for 9 to adult. A beautiful, glossy hardback.

You cannot enter until the A-Z has finished, because you need all the names of the poets to work out the answers. Unless you think you can guess because you know a lot of poets! The judges decision is final. You will be picked at random from all the entries. Please email your answers, with answers, name, email and home address, to poetryfunfactory @ gmail.com. Please follow poetry roundabout. You won’t miss a post, then! Follow me here on Twitter or Children’s Poetry Summit here on Twitter for more children’s poetry news – maybe some clues? Who knows. But share, share, share and spread the love! Thank you, see you on the challenge!