Cranleigh re-launched a creative writing competition for prep schools this year and judges Peter Longshaw and Andy Mulligan were so delighted with the quality of the entries that eleven prizes in all were awarded.
In the category on the topic ‘The Seasons’ first prize went to Rachel Saunders of Cranleigh Prep School for her beautifully structured poem The Balance of the Seasons, with second and third prizes for prose pieces by Hector Day-Lunn of Northcote Lodge and Charles Wainhouse of Hoe Bridge School.
Will Brown, also of Hoe Bridge, and Toby Hubbard of Shrewsbury House School were highly commended, the latter for a sequence of four haiku poems.
In the ‘Open’ category Chris Bailey of Tower House School took first place for his poem inspired by and titled the same as Larkin’s Home is so Sad. Second prize went to Freddie Metson (Cranleigh Prep) for a piece narrated by an unwanted teddy bear and third to another Tower House pupil, Oscar Gleghorn, for his poem Endless Fields.
Three more young writers were highly commended: Chan Thilakawardana (Lanesborough) for a poem, The Eagle; Harriet Bates (Barrow Hills School) for her stormy prose piece; and Max Coveney (Cranleigh Prep) for ‘Bullet’. The judges were excited and in some cases deeply moved by the power of these young writers’ pieces.
The winners, along with family members and teachers were invited to a presentation and tea in the Dining Hall at which the winning entries (or substantial extracts) were read and prizes of book tokens presented. The young writers were also all given a signed copy of Cranleigh teacher and author Andy Mulligan’s novel The Boy With Two Heads, newly out in paperback.
The Balance of the Seasons
When the cold, harsh winter has given its last breath
When the sky above is bright, not grey
When the claws reaching to the sky become covered with blossom
And the animals in hiding scurry from the trees,
Then you know it is Spring
Home is so Sad
Nothing for me to admire but…
My vase broken in loneliness
My two windows, shattered
My glass shards pouring into the street below in sadness
My door, ripped away
They used to walk in, but now only out.
Home is so sad.
Report and picture contributed by Cranleigh School.