READING CAMPAIGN: Sheffield youngsters urged to get creative and take part in our fun poetry competition

The Off the Shelf festival organising committee.
The Off the Shelf festival organising committee.
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Here at the Sheffield Star we love reading.

It is fun, a great way to relax and perhaps most importantly is key to a child's development.

Poet Michael Rosen.

Poet Michael Rosen.

That is why we have teamed up with the Off the Shelf literary festival to launch a new project designed to encourage youngsters across Sheffield to pick up their favourite book and have a good old read.

Our competition challenges primary and secondary school pupils up to the age of 16 to submit videos of themselves performing a recital of their favourite poem or piece of prose by Michael Rosen, one of the most well-known figures in the children’s book world.

Renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter, Michael has been involved with over 140 books and anthologies, and was selected as the Childrens’ Laureate between 2007 and 2009.

Some of his most celebrated works include 'Don't Put Mustard In The Custard', 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' and 'The Zoo At Night' – but you can pick any section from any of his children's books and poetry collections to perform.

Recitals can be made by individual students or a class as a whole. Once all the entries are in a special judging panel from The Star and Off the Shelf will decide the winner.

And the winner will have plenty of reasons to celebrate as they will earn up to 30 books worth around £200 for their school from the kind people at Off the Shelf.

Maria De Souza, one of the Off the Shelf festival organisers, said: “The festival is for everyone and wants to encourage a passion for the written and spoken word.

“Young children love stories and this is great way into the wonderful world of imagination.

“We can’t wait to see the poems or text the children and schools choose to use as their competition entry.”

The competition will be run alongside the 26th festival, which comes to the city on October 7 and promises a whole host of fantastic events right through until early November.

This will include a presentation by Michael Rosen himself at the University of Sheffield Students' Union on Thursday, October 12, at 7.30pm in which he will talk about his memoir 'So They Call You Pisher!'

Email your video performance of a Michael Rosen poem to offtheshelf17@sheffield.ac.uk by midnight on Tuesday, October 10.

The winner will be announced shortly afterwards and the judging panel will visit your school to present you with the prizes.

Terms and conditions

*Videos can be filmed on a professional video recorder or mobile phone. Please submit them as MP4 files and include the child's full name, age, class and school on the email.

It is the school's responsibility to ensure all children who submit performances have parental permission.

The content may be used both online and in print in The Star and associated titles. It could also be used at events held as part of the Off the Shelf festival.

Any child and school submitting content must be available for interviews with The Star once the winner is announced.