Schools Poetry Competition 2023: Winners revealed

School pupils in Greater Manchester have been recognised for their winning entries into the University’s Schools Poetry Competition this year.

Now in its seventh year, the competition is aimed at pupils from Greater Manchester schools, encouraging children to use poetry as a means of self-expression. The Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester’s 2023 Schools Poetry competition took place from 21 March 2023 to 21 June 2023, and entries were received from pupils at four Greater Manchester schools. 

Each year, school pupils are invited to draft poems relating to a particular theme. This year’s theme, shared with the annual Great Science Share was ‘Science Around Us’. 

Led by Professor of Poetry and Director of Creative Manchester, John McAuliffe, and Lecturer in Poetry and Creative Writing Project Manager, Dr Chad Campbell, judges awarded several prizes to pupils from Whalley Range High School, Levenshulme High School, The East Manchester Academy and Burnage Academy.

The judges assessed the poems and were looking for unique takes on the theme, effective imagery, innovative use of form, and creative command of language.

Congratulations to all the winners, who are as follows:

  • Mohammad Jawal, Year 7, Burnage Academy
  • Arazw Hasan and Serin Simpson, Year 7, Whalley Range High School
  • Eshaal Rishan, Year 8, Whalley Range High School
  • Amira Shahid, Year 9, Whalley Range High School
  • Roheen Dar, Year 10, Whalley Range High School
  • Nimrah Kamal, Levenshulme High School
  • Mariam Attya, Year 7, East Manchester Academy
  • Marina Ciubotari, Year 8, East Manchester Academy
  • Brooklyn Thompson, Year 10, East Manchester Academy

On the competition, John McAuliffe said:

We love to read and engage with the students and their inventive, ingenious and inspiring poems. Some of the students’ work had passion, some were filled with humour and crafted to showcase the smart and engaging entries. The poems, and the support we received from the teachers at the schools, showed the creative future of the city is in good hands.

All winning entries from this year’s competition were also featured on Manchester City of Literature’s inaugural Schools Writing Trail, a city-wide exhibition of the ‘best of the best’ student writing displayed, in conjunction with the Festival of Libraries, from 1 -15 June.

Please see below all the first, second and third place entries plus honourable mentions:

Burnage Academy

1st Place: Mohammed Jawal, ‘Golden Poem’
2nd Place: Adhain Mohammad, ‘Untitled’
3rd Place: Cruz Reid ‘Space’s Wonders’, Haris Waqas ‘Ocean’

Honourable Mentions: Abdullah Ashar ‘Untitled’, Adam K ‘Earth Poem’, Arash Ranjbar ‘I Wonder’, Arshmaam Arshmaam ‘Atoms’, Hasan Rafiq ‘Other Life’, Zahi Khan ‘Space’


Whalley Range High School

Year 7 Winner (Joint): Arazw Hasan ‘Matter Poem’, Serin Simpson ‘The Seed that Grew’
Year 8 Winner: Eshaal Rishan ‘Altered Memories’
Year 9 Winner: Amira Shahid ‘Untitled’
Year 10 Winner: Roheen Dar ‘All the Parts You No Longer Love’

Honourable Mention: Menahil Imran ‘Mosaic’


Levenshulme High School

1st Place: Nimrah Kamal ‘Light in the dark Galaxy’
2nd Place: Zonaira Khan ‘Nature’
3rd Place: Zainal Muhammed ‘Untitled’

Honourable Mentions: Aleeha Kiani ‘Einstein’, Fatime Elani Arif ‘What am I? Oxygen’


East Manchester Academy

Year 7
1st: Mariam Attya ‘The World in its Light’
2nd: Jordan Byfield ‘Untitled’
3rd: Lourdes Boakye ‘Untitled’

Honourable Mention: Isha Hayat ‘Birds’, Daniel ‘What’s Science’

Year 8
1st: Marina Ciubotari ‘Have You Ever Wondered?’
2nd: Paris Hedgecock ‘Dear Aliens, I’m Sorry’
3rd: Elijah Kirkickaite ‘Take a Closer Look’

Honourable Mention: Cyrus Nixon ‘Untitled’, Mercy Osifesto ‘The Wonders of the Galaxy’

Year 10
1st: Brooklyn Thompson