I love campaigns which are both practical and utopian, so I was pleased to be asked to judge the Ocado and Peace One Day poetry writing competition, where children are asked to think about who they would like to make peace with and what peace means to them. It’s so easy to think that violence happening in other countries has nothing to do with us, ignoring the practical acts of peace we can all adopt locally and within our families. Children are tomorrow’s peace-makers, and I hope everyone who takes part will take time to consider ways we can all behave more kindly to one another. (Horrid Henry, pay attention!)
I also spend a lot of my time encouraging literacy and trying to enthuse primary school children about reading and writing, so I will be eager to see imaginative poems from children and to discover how they engage with the competition. The poems can be funny, or thoughtful, or provocative; what I will be looking for is a strong, individual, and personal voice.
Part of the prize will be a school visit from me, so everyone, good luck, and get writing.
Francesca Simon, Children’s Author
The Poems for Peace competition ends on 18 August 2013, so don’t forget to email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org