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Wimbledon Bookfest Young Writers Competition - RPHS Winners!

Wimbledon Bookfest Young Writers’ competition is an annual contest open to 71 schools around South London and Surrey.

The challenge was to write a poem or short story of no more than 500 words inspired by the theme. What do names mean to you? How do they define us or reflect our relationships with the people around us? The possibilities for ideas and storylines were endless.  All of our students who submitted an entry had clearly put a great deal of thought into their work and were a joy to read. However, this made my task of selecting a final three all the more difficult. The following students made that shortlist:

Zoe, Year 8

Mina, Year 9

Jonathan, Year 9

The judges were looking for imagination, creativity, originality, energy, life and each of these entries had that in abundance. Although very different, the common thread that bound them was the emotional impact that each piece delivered. I am delighted to say that each of the shortlisted students were recognised for their excellent poems. All were entered into the KS3 Senior category and Zoe’s poem ‘My Many Names’ was Highly Commended. Mina’s poem ‘My Name is’ was a Runner Up. It came as no surprize to find out that Jonathan’s exceptional poem ‘My Name is 2020’ was awarded the prize for Overall Winner of the entire competition! I knew straight away that this was a special piece of writing, so timely and able to express so much about the last year and the events we have all lived through. All three poems will be published in an anthology, alongside the other winning entrants. Congratulations to Zoe, Mina and especially Jonathan, it is fantastic to have such talented young writers representing Raynes Park High School.

Ms S Sharp



My Name is 2020
By Jonathan (Year 9)

My name is 2020,
I started many lives but ended plenty,
A prosperous year inside many prayers,
And all so determined this year would be theirs,
Yet tragedy struck and to a name that holds weight,
The shock of the passing of a basketball great,
Many thought murder and began to conspire,
Yet meanwhile Australia was struck by fire,
Firemen died, the whole world was stilled,
To honour the firefighters innocently killed,
In pure disbelief and the whole world stung,
Little did they know, the year was still young.

My name is said the worst year to be seen,
From issues of race to COVID-19,
The pandemic left nations with an enormous task,
But the world saw a saviour in the surgical mask,
Restrictions in place and rules were applied,
It was on Boris Johnson the UK relied,
Millions glued to the news when they heard,
The rules imposed on March 23rd,
From cities like London to Paris and Rome,
The whole world was told that they must stay at home,
With many in lockdown and death rates rising,
Many jobs lost but online businesses thriving,
The public told to lend a hand to a friend,
And follow the rules as they neared to the end.

My name is 2020,
With war being threatened and foes far from friendly,
All was paused including education,
To fight the real war of today’s generation,
The awkward conversation which we all avoid,
But was ignited by the death of George Floyd,
Many campaigned for the whole world to see,
A powerful message portrayed by the knee,
Yet in a cry for help not all saw good,
But simply a message misunderstood,
Statues of slave owners smashed to a tatter,
Their whole lives overshadowed by the screams
The horrid disease remains in the system,
As the world continues to battle racism.

My name is 2020,
I’m sorry to everyone who may stand against me,
I assure you that this was not what I hoped,
So if it helps in any way I’m glad that you coped,
A historic time on which we all reflect,
And to all the key workers my utmost respect,
In my final few days I must say I’m relieved,
It’s my time to go as I stand here besieged,
The memories of my life will stay with you forever,
I hope that you have no regrets whatsoever,
My back has turned it is now I am done,
Goodbye and good luck for 2021.