Tell Sidmouth Literary Festival organisers why you love valley

Mantie Lister

Mantie Lister - Credit: Archant

Organisers of Sun, Sea & Books, Sidmouth Literary Festival, have launched a poetry competition for both children and adults.

Called ‘Why I Love Sidmouth and The Sid Valley’, the festival, which will be held at Kennaway House on June 10 and 11, wants to inspire people of all ages to send in their poems, expressing their love of Sidmouth.

It will award book token prizes for the best poem in three categories: eight to 11-year-olds, 12 to 18-year-olds and adults.

John Betjeman CBE, described Sidmouth as ‘a town caught still in a timeless charm’. The renowned UK Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death in 1984, loved visiting the town, which inspired his writing.

“We hope that our poetry competition, which is the first festival event centred on poetry this year, will encourage young people to have a go at writing a poem and they can be inspired by the sea, the landscape, the buildings, the people and the history of Sidmouth,” said David Lloyd, festival chairman.

One of the competition judges, Mantie Lister, former Bard of Exeter, will be at Sidmouth Sea Fest event on May 7, where Sun, Sea & Books will have a stall, to talk more about the competition.

Winners will be announced at a special award ceremony at Sidmouth Library from 6pm on Monday, June 6, which will be hosted by Mark Chapman of Paragon Books. Performance poet Matt Harvey will also judge the competition.

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Entries to the poetry competition should be typed on one side of A4 and include name, age, telephone number, email and address and be sent to David at Devonia, 1 Coburg Terrace, Sidmouth, EX10 8NL by Monday, May 18. Email: Check out the festival website: for more details.