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Going for a song

A new competition offers primary pupils the chance to have their poetry set to music and released on CD. Michael Rosen and Paul Austen Kelly suggest ideas for would-be lyricists

Children who dream of having their poetry published can go one better with the new "Poetry in Song" competition being run by TES Teacher and children's music label Walking Oliver - the 10 winners will have their words put to music and released on CD later this year.

The annual competition is inspired by Walking Oliver's latest CD, Hello, Michael Rosen!, in which the poetry of Michael Rosen is set to music and performed by singersongwriter Paul Austin Kelly.

Open to all primary students, the competition invites poems of any form or length, but they must be based around the theme of "dreams" - daydreams, nightmares, wishes, hopes, imaginary stories, real situations and so on.

Illustrations are welcome but not necessary.

The 10 winning poems will be used as lyrics for original songs, which will then be composed, arranged, recorded and released on CD as part of the Walking Oliver catalogue.

The panel of judges will be children's poet Michael Rosen, children's book editor at Oxford University Press Ron Heapy, bassist and composer Herbie Flowers, the director and musical force behind Walking Oliver Paul Austin Kelly, and deputy editor of TES Teacher magazine Rod Savage.

The deadline for entry is May 21, 2004. Entries can be submitted as hard copy to: Walking Oliver, Ferrers Road, Lewes BN7 1PY, or email:

Entrants must include their name, age, name of their school and contact details, including phone and email if possible. Winners will be notified by the first week of July.

The Poetry in Song CD, featuring cover art by illustrator Korky Paul and a booklet containing the lyrics, will be available to the general public via the Walking Oliver website or at selected bookshops.

The 10 winning entries will also be published on The TES and Walking Oliver websites.

Further information:

NEXT WEEK: Music Subject Focus, including reviews of Hello, Michael Rosen! and The Walking Oliver Sing-A-Long

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