Clever Competitions


Desmond saving cat

Do you have a pet? Or would you love to have a pet? Or are you friends with somebody else’s pet? It’s a great thing to have a pet in your life, be it real or imagined, so for my next Clever Competition, I’d like you to write a poem about that Perfect Pet!

It can be any kind of poem except a shape verse: an acrostic, a haiku, any form of rhyming verse, or even free verse! (I can’t accept any shape verses as, sadly, the shapes won’t reproduce on my blog :)) . The only limitation is length – please don’t write more than 16 lines.

Here are the rules:

Your Poem

  • Your poem must be about a pet – but it can be any pet you like, even an ant or an elephant, provided you would like to keep it as a pet!
  • Your poem can be of any kind except a shape poem, but with no more than 16 lines;
  • Your poem can be funny, or sad, or strange, or dramatic, but above all I’ll be looking for a poem that makes me feel something 🙂;
  • I’ll also be looking for great vocabulary! Please use gorgeous words!
  • I”ll need to be able to picture your pet in my mind’s eye! So please use lots of adjectives and include some interesting detail!
  • I’ll also be looking for great style, originality and a unique voice!
  • And of course, I’ll be looking for that special X-factor that makes your poem stand out from everybody else’s.

How to submit your poem

  • Once you’re happy with your poem, please send it to me in the body of an email to:
  • In your email please include your first name and surname; your school (and campus if your school has more than one campus); the city and country that your school is in; your grade at school; your age. And don’t forget to include your poem!
  • Please put Competition No. 33: Perfect Pet Poem Competition in the subject box;
  • Please do not use any illustrations or strange fonts – if you are one of the finalists, I will not be able to reproduce these on my blog and it may cause difficulties posting your poem on my blog; also, please remember that it’s the writing I’ll be judging, not the font or pictures!
  • Please only send ONE entry; you are very welcome to write as many as you like for fun, but please just send in the one you like best;
  • If you are a teacher and wish to send in multiple entries for your class, please feel welcome, but please paste each poem into your email, with the details requested above for each student at the top of each entry;
  • I will always acknowledge receipt of your entry; if you don’t hear from me after 3 weeks, please write to me to enquire.

No Plagiarism or Copying is allowed

I always check the finalists’ poems for plagiarism. If I find any in your poem, I will report it to your school and you will be banned from entering any more of my competitions. So please resist the temptation to go online, or into a book, to find a poem to copy. I want to see original work from your very original and creative minds!

Eligibility and Categories

The competition is open to any primary-school aged student anywhere in the world, including home-schooled children (provided you include an indication of the grade you would be in if you were at a school and a parent or guardian’s email address).

There will be two categories in the competition: Grades 1 to 3 and Grades 4 to 6. I use Grade rather than Age as the division for each category, as I receive entries into my competitions from children in many different school systems with different starting ages, and also from students who are not native English speakers, who may be in a younger year at an older age than native English speaking children. So I believe that the fairest system is to categorize according to the number of years the child has been in school. Please don’t worry about this! If you look at the results of my previous competitions (see the scroll on the right hand side) you will quickly discover that age has nothing to do with writing talent and very young students have come first in each Category in the past!

Competition Results

  • The results will be announced on my blog within 4 weeks of the competition deadline;
  • The top ten entries in each category will be published on my blog;
  • I will notify each of the top ten entrants of their result;
  • I will also notify each school (or parent/guardian in the case of home-schooled entrants) about their students who entered, and how they got on in the competition;
  • The winners of First Place in each category will receive a FREE SIGNED COPY of one of my books, sent to the school to be awarded in Assembly!
  • I am the sole judge of this competition, and my decision shall be final, with no correspondence entered into after the results have been announced.

Deadline Date

The deadline for entries will be 12 midnight Eastern Standard Time on Sunday 28 October 2018.

So what are you waiting for? Find that Perfect Pet, put Pen to Paper, and write that Poem!

And if want to read the results of my last Clever Competition, just click here!

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