Creative Writing Competition 2018

grant_png_blackThe Book

We need to make some changes around here, the winning entries of the 2018 Creative Writing Competition, has been published as a paperback and an eBook with funding from Arts Council England. Copies of the printed book have been sent to schools subscribing to the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services. To request copies, please contact

The following electronic editions are available.

About the competition:

Changes for webThe Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition is an annual event for schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for students aged nine years to sixteen. Conceived in 2004 by Tower Hamlets Gifted and Talented strand of the Excellence in Cities programme, it has been run by Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service since 2011 with the aims of promoting wider reading and literacy, and to encourage young people to express themselves through the written word.

Research carried out during the 2017 competition showed that pupils participating in the competition and the author workshops benefited by gaining confidence in their writing ability and gaining greater insight into the issues raised by the competition themes.

The winners!

I am pleased to announce that the prize-winners for the 2018 Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition have been chosen!

DSC_0012 croppedAward-winning author Berverley Naidoo judged the pupil’s work on creative approaches towards the theme, engaging stories and characters, and inventive and original writing styles. The quality of the work was incredible this year, so very well done to all of the winners. There were definitely some surprises!

The Schools Library Services would like to thank Clifford Chance for hosting the prize-giving.

View winners
Category Prize Pupil name Pupil school Title
KS2 Poetry 1st & best in school Tasnimah Nasrin Clara Grant Primary Ms Tower Hamlets
  1st & best in school  Fahim Ali Marner Primary A mother’s cry…
  2nd & best in school Marwa Aya Zaouchi Osmani Primary Look at it in a different way
2nd & best in school Nyah Mahdiya Rahman Stebon Primary In 100 years
3rd & best in school Umyma Ahmed St Paul’s C of E Beauty is Pain
3rd Jeannette M Goldman Solebay Primary Up to You
Commended Khadija Begum Osmani Primary Changes in my world
Commended  & best in school Oluwafeyikemi Abodunrin Calverton Primary I dream
Commended  & best in school Sarah Hasan Ben Jonson Why do we have to live like this?
Category Prize Pupil name Pupil school Title
KS2 Short Story 1st & best in school Mahek Yasmin Virginia Primary The forgotten note
2nd Saarah Noor Virginia Primary The Unexpected
3rd & best in school Yusuf Hussain Blue Gate Fields Junior The animal revolution
Commended  & best in school Safwan Ahmed Halley Primary The forgotten child
Commended  & best in school Yahya Alam Wellington Primary A million-mile flight
Commended  & best in school Phoebe Harniess St Saviour’s C of E Home
Commended Ruby Caldarone Wellington Primary Dealing with body image
Best in school Saima Zahra Rahman Thomas Buxton Size Doesn’t Matter
Best in school Tawheed Murshed Old Palace Help Save the Earth
Best in school Tazkia Hoque Globe Ways to change a woman’s rights
  Best in school Mauli Islam Cayley We are all different
Best in school Dolly Harvey St Johns The Heart of Stone
Category Prize Pupil name Pupil school Title
KS3 Poetry 1st Yusra Abdul Central Foundation Girls My World and Me
1st Rhaven Coster Central Foundation Girls I’m walking home
2nd Humairah Yasmin Central Foundation Girls Together we can
3rd Sara Uddin Central Foundation Girls Underneath
3rd Fairoz Faria Central Foundation Girls Prescribed By Those Who Want to Silence Us
Commended Sameen Jannat Central Foundation Girls Change
Commended Daiyan Ahmed Stepney Green Problems
Commended Labibah Siddiqah Central Foundation Girls Feigning the Fight for Freedom
Category Prize Pupil name Pupil school Title
KS3 Short Story
1st Namira Qaisar Sandhu Swanlea Secondary I’m not happy
2nd Nashid Tabassum Central Foundation Girls Surprise
3rd Anisha Khanom Central Foundation Girls On the Inside
Commended Tahiya Rahman Central Foundation Girls Adilah’s Terror
Commended  & best in school Jannatul Rashid Bow  Secondary Society’s ignorance
Commended Bella Donaldson Morpeth Secondary This Girl is Called Jazmyn
Commended Maisha Tanvir Ali Central Foundation Girls Truly be me
Commended Charlotte Worley Morpeth Lost
Commended Ayesha Yasmin Morpeth More to life
Best in school Siddika Khanom Oaklands Secondary Homeless
Best in school Mohammed Sadad Hossain SJC Sec It all started as a dream
Category Prize Pupil name Pupil school Title
KS4 Poetry 1st & best in school Taqiya Labiba Central Foundation Lost pearls

DSC_0015 croppedPrize winners were also invited an exclusive workshop with Beverley, kindly hosted by the Canary Wharf Idea Store, where they explored poetry, stories and storytelling.

The winning work will be published this autumn as a paperback. The official launch will be during the Write Idea Festival in November. For more information about the competition anthologies, please contact

The Theme

We need to make some changes around here wat the theme for the 2018 competition. The theme changes each year and suggestions and resources to help pupils approach each theme are sent to registered schools.

Taking Part

Registration for the 2018 competition is now closed.

  1. Register for the competition via SLA online (Tower Hamlets Schools) or by contacting the schools library service (non-borough schools)
  2. Contact us to arrange your free writing workshops (see below)
  3. Inspire your pupils to write stories and/or poems around the competition theme
  4. Send the work to us by the end of the spring term for judging

Free writing workshops

The Arts Council England is supporting the project by funding a series of author-led workshops for participating schools.  Two workshops per school will be allocated on a first come – first serve basis in the spring term.

The intention is to run the workshops in February/ March so as to provide inspiration and advice to pupils prior to the competition deadline.

Workshops will be available to schools registering for the Creative Writing Competition

So that we are able to book the most suitable authors; Please send us

  • date(s) that you’d like to hold your workshop(s) on.
    • Workshops on different dates may be run by different authors
  • the year group(s) that you’d like an author to work with (primary schools should note that the KS2 category of the competition is for years 5 and 6 only).
  • an estimate of numbers. The maximum size for a workshop is one class (30 pupils).

The date of the workshop can be at any time during the spring term. Once you’ve chosen the date we will let you know which authors will be available to visit your school.

Please note that the funding is to run practical workshops and not group talks/ assemblies.

Publishing the winners of the 2017 competition

We’re pleased to announce that the This is My Dream paperback edition is now available! This book collects the winning work by Tower Hamlets and Syrian pupils who entered the 2017 creative writing competition

  • All winners (below) are entitled to a free copy.
  • All schools who participated in the 2017 competition will receive a set of these books.
  • All schools subscribing to the Schools Library Services will receive a free copy

Please contact the Schools Library Services for more information

Opening Times

Opening times

Term time Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Fridays and holidays: 9am to 4:30pm

Christmas holiday

23rd December to 1st January : CLOSED