Sophia Michael wins our Girls Allowed Poetry Competition

Sydenham Arts’ first ever poetry competition is set to become an annual event after we received an unprecedented number of entries.

Writers of any age or background were invited to submit their responses to the theme (Girls Allowed). Judge Isabel White told us: “It was difficult to separate the final two dozen entries, given the quality of the submissions. We therefore decided that a few entries, although not quite crossing the line as prize winners,  deserved particular merit and accordingly, we have awarded them “commended” status.  Our three winners were just ahead of the field, both in terms of the way they interpreted the theme and the discipline applied to their poems”.

We awarded third place to Matilda Murphy-Write for her brave take on female friendships in her poem Me and My Friends,  Second place went to Olivia Scott-Berry for her poem Girl Walking, or Right to Roam to questioning how much progress women have made in 25 years.

The winner was Sophia Michael, who not only wrote a moving poem, but whose discipline in producing six stanzas of perfect haiku won the day.

The first prize winner will be performing her work on the opening night of the festival prior to Deanna Rodger’s performance, this Thursday, 6th July. The other prize winners will have an opportunity to perform their work too, at our second poetry event “Marinade of the Ancient Rhymers”, which takes place on Saturday 15th July at 2pm in Sydenham Library.  For full details visit

Thanks, and commiserations are due to all the other entrants. We will be running the competition again next year (theme to be confirmed) and will give you all much more notice next time.