Creative Writing Competition 2017


The book!

We’re pleased to announce that the This is My Dream paperback edition is now available!

The Winners…

winners 2017

The winners of the 2017 creative writing competition, pictured with judges Sufiya Ahmed and Nadine Kaadan,

The final decisions were very difficult to make considering the quality of the work, inspired no doubt by the writing workshops.

Along with work by the Syrian prize-winners, their stories and poems will be published in paperback this year, with the book launch taking place at the Write Idea festival in November.

View winners

Please send details of any missing or misspelled names to

A creative writing link between children in Tower Hamlets and Syria

This is My Dream is the second year of our creative writing link with Syria. The project’s  vision is to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in schools in London for new arrivals, as well as providing a platform for children in Syria to tell their story to an empathic audience.

The project builds on the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service’s annual creative writing competition for Key Stages 2-5, and extends the competition to schools based in Syria, leading to a bi-lingual Arabic-English publication for and by children.

The publication will be a collation of the winning contributions from both the Syrian and British cohorts and will be distributed to participating schools in Tower Hamlets and Syria, with a view to engaging pupils in a process of reading, discussing, interpreting and analysing the contributions of their counterparts, using tried and tested Global Learning methodology.

This is My Dream

Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service Creative Writing Competition will launch in January 2017 with winners announced following the Easter holiday.

This year we have successfully bid for funding from the Arts Council to provide 25 author-led creative writing workshops to primary and secondary schools during the spring term. The aim being to inspire pupils and offer them expert advice on writing.

The competition will also continue to link pupils in Tower Hamlets with young writers from schools in Syria. Work by children from both countries will be published by the Schools Library Services as a dual-language English/ Arabic book later in the year.

Interpreting the theme

This is My Dream builds upon the 2016 creative writing competition, Out of Place. The theme covers:

  • Children’s rights
  • Human Rights
  • Hopes and dreams
  • Journeys (metaphorical or otherwise)
  • Overcoming obstacles and challenges
  • Imagination

Why take part?

This year the competition is a way to engage pupils with global issues including children’s rights, human rights, and the crisis in Syria. Guidance on these topics will be provided in partnership with the HEC Global Education Centre

Pupils taking part in the competition are encouraged to engage with literature and to read around the themes in order to inspire their own writing. Schools participating in our creative writing competitions have expressed how they have seen pupils develop in confidence, knowledge and in their ability to write.

To take part

  1. Register your school. A fee of £30 to cover judging and prizes, is payable via SLA online
  2. Choose the date for your author writing workshop. If you are one of the first 25 schools to register, contact the Schools Library Service to arrange your free workshop
  3. Children write the stories and poems! Guidance and promotional posters will be sent upon registration.
  4. Send us your shortlist of up to 10 entries for each category (short story or poem) by Friday 7th April 2017 for the final judging.

poster-sample-smallOnline resources to support the theme

Selected online resources chosen by the HEC Global Education Centre

Children’s Rights : A Teacher’s Guide

What Makes Me Happy series from the Ragdoll Foundation

UNICEF Child’s Rights Launchpad

UNICEF Teaching Ideas and material

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