School pupils across Cumbria are being given an extra two weeks to enter a prestigious poetry competition.
The annual Rydal Mount Wordsworth prize for young poets is organised by the descendants of William Wordsworth, and is open to students at all schools in the county.
The closing date for entries has been extended to Friday March 11, after the Wordsworth family confirmed that they will be attending the award ceremony at Rydal after Easter.
The announcement and prizegiving will be held at Rydal Mount on Thursday April 11.
The poems this time are invited on the theme: Mind the Gap. Peter Elkington, the curator of Rydal Mount, who is organising the contest on behalf of the Wordsworth family, said: “The writers can interpret the theme in any way they wish, but we thought that it would be an opportunity for some of them to consider how the winter storms and the Gap on the A591 have affected their lives and their family lives.”
The winner will receive a £50 cash prize, a personal trophy, and his or her name will be added to the roll of honour on the plaque at Wordsworth’s former home at Rydal Mount near Ambleside. There are book prizes for the poets judged as highly commended in the primary and secondary school categories.
Each entrant also receives a certificate signed by the descendants of William Wordsworth.
Last year’s winner was 13 year old Jessica Dickinson, a pupil at Keswick School, with “I wandered into my childhood”, a tribute to William Wordsworth’s Daffodils. Her poem was deemed to be the best from more than 150 entries from school pupils across Cumbria by members of the Wordsworth family, who will judge the entries again this year. Her poem has been framed and displayed at Rydal Mount for visitors to read.
The closing date for entries is Friday Feb 26, and an award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount later in the spring when the winner will be announced.
Entry forms can be found at https://northwestnewsandfeatures.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/the-rydal-mount-wordsworth-prize-for-young-poets-2016-entry-form/ or via the Cumbria education department schools’ information portal.