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Wimbledon BookFest winners

Young Writer's Competition winners

Congratulations to Zoe in Year 11 and Clara in Year 10 for their success in the Wimbledon BookFest Young Writer’s Competition. On the last Friday before half term, with the help of George the Poet, BookFest hosted their prize-giving ceremony, where Zoe was awarded the KS4 runner-up prize and Clara was the joint KS3 winner. BookFest’s Young Writer’s Competition is open to all schools across the Borough of Merton, and with more than 70 schools taking part this is a wonderful achievement for Zoe and Clara. We are very proud to share their winning poems below.

The Feeling of Home by Zoe

“The End.”

A breath of silence,

A moment of exhilaration, expectation-

The storm of the crowd,

Hands clapping in bursts of thunder,

Feet drumming like droplets of rain,

Wolf whistles flashes of lightning,

The darkness of the night, the theatre, lit up by the storm,

By those you love more dearly than life and those you will never meet-


The bows, brief, awkwardly enjoyed,

Twice for yourself, your cast,

Once for your tech, your crew,

And once for all of you,

Creators of something never to be experienced again-


Every show is different,

Each one a masterpiece of barely avoided disaster,

An artwork of not enough space,

not enough time,

A symphony of swear words backstage,

faltered lines onstage,

invented lines to fill the bars of silence,

But it is your masterpiece,

your artwork,

your symphony,

your chaos,

your triumph-


It bubbles in your chest,

All of you drunk on champagne you’ve never tasted,

Overflowing, babbling, every word useless and yet perfect,

To describe that moment,

that expression,

that line-

It is everywhere, this feeling of invulnerability,

As if the very sky is on fire and yet you are untouchable,

Like you are burning but unharmed,

Shot in a dozen places but not yet bleeding,

It is in the discarded costumes in every corner,

In the props left everywhere but where you expect to find them,

In the programme devoured, though it fails to capture this moment’s enormity,

In those you know who came to watch, who come to find you backstage,

In the photos of each other, of hated costumes, of difficult props-


A futile attempt to catch the uncatchable,

A feeling felt by so few, for such a short time,

Lost in your blankets and dreams,

Replaced by the slump of finality the next morning.


You can never catch that feeling in the same way again,

You can never perform that show the same way again,

You can never know your lines,

your cues,

your props,

your costume changes, the same way again,

You can never know this cast the same way again-


But you try.


It is in every new show you perform,

In every song you hum,

In every movement turned into dance,

In every in-cast joke,

In every show you ever see-


That insatiability.

That search for something felt but once,

The reason every scriptwriter scribbles,

every dancer learns their movements,

every crew member learns their cues,

every actor learns their lines-


To us?


To put on a show,

To find that feeling?


That feeling is what it means to be home.


A voice made of stardust by Clara


I have sat down to dinner with the moon

And kissed red hot flames,

I have sprinkled sugar on stars before eating them

And held hands with the ocean as we danced,

But this.

This is the first time I have ever understood what they mean when they talk about ‘home’.

I tell her this and she laughs, kisses me.


I love it when she kisses me.


Her eyes are the windows to a house made of memories,

Her freckles the notes to a melody of stars,

Her hair a silky curtain to be hung in the living room

When guests are round.

Where ever did you get those curtains? they’ll ask

And I’ll smile knowingly

Because they wouldn’t believe it.

When she sings the birds stop to listen

And the whales cry fat, mournful tears

Because somehow she has the ability to tell the world exactly what it is to feel love and joy and pain

In a single song.

She smells of lemons and rain, and hope and beauty and the promise that life can be good and will be good

Because every night I am falling asleep in her arms,

In the arms of a beautiful girl with a voice made of stardust.


And I am home.


I tell her all of this aswell

And she laughs again;

Kisses me again.

What about me? Am I your home? I ask.

The stars are my home, she replies.

Because whenever I look up at them I am reminded that somehow,


You are looking up at them too.

I laugh, nestle against her.

As long as we’re under the same night sky, I’ll be okay, I whisper.

And for the first time in a long time, I am telling the truth.


And I am home.