Animal Tales Challenge – the winners!

We are delighted to announce the winners of the British Library Animal Tales Challenge!

This challenge asked young poets to write poems about animals of all shapes and sizes, and was inspired by the British Library’s Animal Tales exhibition which ran at the British Library until 1 November 2015.

An illustration from the 1793 edition of History of the Red Breast Family by Sarah Trimmer on display in Animal Tales at the British Library

From tigers to Yorkshire Terriers, we received some amazing animal-inspired writing. Out of the many brilliant competition entries we received, we are now delighted to announce our winners:


Cat’ by Emily Reader (17)

“He was nibbled butter, softened by stolen sunlight,
He was drowsily half-closed eyes”


Goldfish’ by Jerrold Yam (24)

“your skin of orange taffeta,
sequinned by effervescence”


The Duck’ by Xenia Prinz (8)

“When he came
to the end of the grass
he looked left and right.
The path was clear.”

The Practical Man’ by Denisa Vítová (20)

“Outside in the yard, the unlucky
one ran around in circles, squealing hammer and tongs”

Caged’ by Chong Kai Qing (14)

“back limbs taut at a french curve
like the wretched crosspiece of an armchair”

Otter’ by Lizzie Knell (13)

“She knows she is all cheekbones
Like flint-stones –
Or the pebbles in her eyes”

Huge thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to our winners!

The judges for the challenge were The Poetry Society and the British Library. Thanks to the judges for giving their time to judge the prize. Thanks also to the British Library for its generous donation of prizes for the winning poets.

Published December, 2015

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