Poetry competition to mark charity milestone

Cheetah in Ethiopia � T Grobet SUS-140606-103805001

Cheetah in Ethiopia � T Grobet SUS-140606-103805001

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Founder of international wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation and much loved actress, Virginia McKenna OBE, is calling for young animal lovers to get creative and take part in a very special poetry competition – ‘Wild About Animals’.

Virginia said: “I know, from meeting lots of children during school visits, that young people have deep and instinctive feelings about animals. Sometimes these feelings are hard to put into words but that is exactly what we are hoping they will do now.”

“Our ‘Wild About Animals’ poetry competition will offer an unusual and exciting opportunity for children to express their thoughts about animals - how perhaps they care about them, befriend them, admire them, or are fascinated by them.

“Through poetry one has a particularly powerful yet economic way to do just that. Every word counts”.

“That we have two famous and admired poets amongst the judges – Pam Ayres and Brian Patten - should be an added incentive to pick up a pen. We are all looking forward to reading the entries – I know they will be written from the heart.”

The competition celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Born Free Foundation’s work to save wildlife, and is being run in partnership with ‘Paws n Claws Publishing’.

Children in school years 3-9 (ages 7-14) are invited to submit poems abot animals… or about what it’s like to be wild about animals! With five weeks left to enter, now is the time for budding young poets and animal lovers to set their imaginations free!

Fifteen to twenty winners will then be chosen from each year group by the panel, which also includes top children’s author Lauren St John, Born Free’s poet in residence Richard Bonfield and ‘Paws and Claws’ director and author Debz Hobbs Wyatt. Poems chosen will feature in a special book to be published later this year.

Entrants can also submit pictures to illustrate their work and help bring their poems to life!

A number of drawings will be selected to feature in the book, including one very special illustration which will be picked for the front cover!

The competition is open for entries until Monday 30th June. For more information about this exciting competition, and to submit an entry, visit: www.bornfree.org.uk/poetry.

Report contributed by The Born Free Foundation. Picture by T Grobet.