UK poetry competition selects first Emirati in its judging panel
School aged children in Sharjah have been invited to take part in the UK poetry competition called ‘Eight Line Rhyme’ and the General Coordinator of Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, Hind Lenaid has been invited to be one of the judges.
The competition is open until 5th May and is aimed at 7 to 11 year-olds and pupils are invited to pen an eight line rhyme on one of two topics, either Exercise or Healthy Food. The winning entry will be published in the UK in the next Felicity Fly book or the Children’s Poetry Book, An Invitation That Captured the Primary School Nation Volume 3.
Children’s author and organizer of the competition, Christina Gabbitas, will be at the SCRF to provide more information and to encourage children to take part. She said, “I wanted a writing initiative that children of all abilities could have an opportunity to take part in with the chance of having their work published. Rhyming is fun and a great way to engage children. By taking part in this competition school children have lots of fun whilst learning.”
Christina Gabbitas’ created the Felicity Fly series of books, which are written in rhyme to help dyslexic readers to learn about the world. The Eight Line Rhyme poetry competition has become a popular UK initiative, encouraging school aged children to write and gaining the support of UK’s Education Minister, Michael Gove. “I visit many schools throughout England, staging poetry workshops and encouraging reading through storytelling. I love encouraging children of all abilities to get involved and I’m looking forward to working with children in the UAE and reading their work,” she added.
This year’s poetry competition will see participation for the first time from the UAE, with Hind Lenaid joining a prestigious line –up of literally figures invited to judge submissions. Dr. Stephen Fear, an Ambassador of the British Library, Claire Young, the Apprentice Finalist and Tatiana Wilson, founder of the People’s Book Prize are among those on the judging panel. Entries will be evaluated for imagination, expression and interpretation of the topics. Each of the judges will receive approximately twenty poems to judge.
Hind said, “I am honoured to be invited to be part of the judging panel for this worthwhile children’s competition. The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is one of the largest reading festivals in the world which aims to encourage children to pick up books. It is a testament to the value of the Sharjah festival and the hard work of our team that we are able to attract interest from leading figures in children’s book and to participate in such a high profile international initiative. I am sure the entries will be of a very high standard and that local children will gain valuable experience by participating in the competition.”
Hind added: that “Rhyme is helpful education tool, enabling children to become better readers, and helping to improve memory and listening skills.” “Poetry and rhyming skills enable children to grasp language in new and refreshing ways, and gives them access to a world of expression that’s fun to create and share. We hope many pupils in Sharjah will sign up to enter,” she said.
Every entrant to the competition will receive a bookmark as a thank you for entering and a number of rhymes will be chosen and showcased in a special Eight Line Rhyme Book which will be available to buy from the author’s website.