Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019-2022, Cressida Cowell MBE joins the Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition


Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019-2022 and internationally bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series, Cressida Cowell MBE, will be at the Tes SEN Show on Friday 8 October 2021, where she will be presenting the winning prizes for the Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition.

Cressida Cowell, MBE, in her writing shed
Cressida Cowell, MBE, in her writing shed
The Poetry Competition is a brand-new national competition for pupils in primary and secondary education to promote creative writing and conversation around SEND inclusion in the classroom. Focusing on the theme ‘Dreams and Aspirations: a vision for SEND inclusion’, pupils are invited to put pen to paper and transform their thoughts, experiences, and aspirations into a poem to help encourage the development of dreams and aspirations amongst all children and young people, especially those with SEND.

The Tes SEN Show is delighted to announce that Cressida Cowell, the number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the Waterstones Children's Laureate 2019–2022, will be joining the poetry competition judging panel. Cressida, along with the panel of judges, will review all entries submitted into the four categories, primary (individual), primary (group), secondary (individual), and secondary (group), and a shortlist of commended poems and four winners will be selected.

The winning authors and their teachers, parents or carers will be invited to attend a prizegiving ceremony on Friday 8th October 2021 at the Tes SEN Show, with the winning poems displayed around the two-day show for all attendees to view. The prizes, consisting of a range of book vouchers, picture books and a Scanning Pens Reader Pen, will be presented by Cressida Cowell to the winning authors, along with their certificates. The winning and commended poems will be published into the digital Tes SEN Show Poetry Anthology, to be shared with teachers and schools across the country.

The Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition is delighted to award the winning poets and their schools with an exciting mix of book vouchers and resources, kindly donated by our Partners, The English Association and Scanning Pens.

The Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition is free to enter. If you would like to find out more, submit a poem or download resources for the Tes SEN Show Poetry Competition, click here.

Don’t forget to register your free place at the Tes SEN Show for two days of dedicated SEND focus. Register and book CPD seminars here.

About the Waterstones Children’s Laureate
The Waterstones Children’s Laureate is managed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, and sponsored by Waterstones. It is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field, and celebrates children’s literature as an art form, recognising its contribution to culture and bringing it to the attention of a wider audience.

This prestigious role was originally created by Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and author Michael Morpurgo. The ‘League of Laureates’ are the foremost representatives of children’s literature, showcasing the extraordinary and dynamic art form and its rich contribution to culture in the UK. Each Laureate brings their own passion to the prestigious role and focuses on their own particular themes to create a unique legacy.

The current Waterstones Children’s Laureate is Cressida Cowell, the international bestselling author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series and author of the Emily Brown picture books. The previous ten Laureates are: Quentin Blake (1999-2001), Anne Fine (2001-2003), Michael Morpurgo (2003-2005), Jacqueline Wilson (2005-2007), Michael Rosen (2007-2009), Anthony Browne (2009-2011), Julia Donaldson (2011-2013), Malorie Blackman (2013-2015), Chris Riddell (2015-2017), Lauren Child (2017-2019).

About Cressida Cowell
Current Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell is the number one bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. She has sold over 11 million books worldwide in 38 languages. How to Train Your Dragon is also an award-winning billion-dollar DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC; The Wizards of Once has also been optioned for film by DreamWorks.

Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, a trustee for World Book Day, founder patron of the Children’s Media Foundation and is on the Council of the Society of Authors. She has won numerous prizes for her books, including the Blue Peter Book Award and the Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy. She is an honorary fellow of Keble College Oxford, and has a honorary doctorate from the University of Brighton. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and two dogs called Pigeon and Zero.