16 January 2014

Cadbury College welcomed Joanna Skelt (Birmingham's Poet Laureate) on Tuesday 15 January to celebrate its talented young poets. Announcing the winners of the college’s poetry contest entitled "Water Water Everywhere", the work of fifteen students was celebrated with each poet receiving a small prize to encourage the continued development of their creative writing talents.

The contest attracted poems with wide ranging themes including the environment, love and life. The overall winner was first year A Level student Shannon Jones with her piece entitled "Seasalt Grave", which is based on a traditional tale of Scottish widows waiting for their lovers to return from sea.

The former Swanshurst School pupil is currently studying AS Level English Literature, Religious Studies, Psychology and History and has ambitions to become a writer. She said: “It felt amazing to win and so unexpected. I am passionate about poetry and have always written at home but I’ve never done anything like this. The competition and meeting the Poet Laureate has inspired me to keep going and keep on writing.”

Organiser of the competition and Cadbury College English Teacher, Jo Klaces, commented: "The competition gave students the opportunity to express ideas and develop their writing talents outside of their A Level studies. The standard was very high; we were really impressed by the quality of the writing and thoroughly enjoyed reading them.”

Joanna Skelt, Birmingham’s Poet Laurent for 2013-2014 said: “It’s great to see a wide diversity of talents being encouraged and recognised. It’s really important for the students to continue to read widely, keep writing and get involved. There are lots of events and activities available locally to support and encourage writers of all ages.”

All the poems will be published in a college anthology which will be displayed in the college’s Learning Resource Centre.