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Once Upon A Dream
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Poetry Competition For 7-11 Year-Olds

Once Upon A Dream Once Upon A Dream - The BFP

Your pupils are invited to write a poem inspired by their dreams. Whether it's a real-life aspiration, a wonderful world created inside their mind or even influenced by a nightmare or fear, Once Upon A Dream is a fantastic way for pupils to express themselves!

Let pupils' imaginations run riot and unleash their creativity, because with Once Upon A Dream, anything is possible…

See what others think of Once Upon A Dream…


Once Upon A Dream
  • Only one entry per pupil

  • Poems can be written or typed on any theme and in any poetic style

  • Please ensure that all pupils include their name, surname and age on the pupil entry form



Once Upon A Dream

For Schools

The best school will win the Young Writers' Award of Excellence, which they can showcase in their school.

They will also win a huge bundle of books for their school library.

PLUS, each participating school will receive a free copy of the book that their pupils feature in!

For Pupils

The best poet in each book wins a £10 National Book Token.

Each participating pupil will receive a free Bookmark & Sticker.

How To Enter

Once Upon A Dream Once Upon A Dream Once Upon A Dream
  • You can enter via post, to:
    Young Writers PS
    Remus House
    PE2 9BF

  • Or you can upload poems to Online Entries

  • If you are in need of more entry forms, please go to Downloads / Resources Request

  • Please ensure that all pupils include their name, surname and age on the pupil entry form



Once Upon A Dream

To see the competition pack, including Full Competition Information, Posters, Lesson Plans, resources, and more…please fill in the short form below. All download links will appear once the form is sent and the links will also be emailed to you.



Request Additional Resources

I would like further resources posting to me… Please insert 0 if you don't require a particular resource.

Writing Tips

Tip #1

Have your pupils made any New Year's Resolutions? What would they like to achieve this year? What do they dream of right now? Capture your pupils' hopes and dreams for 2017 in poetry; from an acrostic to a rhyme, there's a poetic style to suit every budding poet!

Tip #2

Encourage pupils to read dream (or nightmare) inspired stories, such as The BFG by Roald Dahl, The Dark by Lemony Snickett, Spells by Emily Gravett, The Red Tree by Shaun Tan or Amnesty International's Dreams of Freedom.

Ask pupils what their favourite parts of the story are, how these make them feel and if can they see how the author has used their words to make them feel that emotion. Understanding how language is used makes for better poetry writing and lends itself well to writing a narrative poem too!

Tip #3

If you haven't already, then watch our poetic techniques lesson plan with your pupils! Let the BFP (Big Friendly Poet) take them to Dreamland, where they will learn about 4 poetic techniques and be given a poetry starter to help prompt their poetry writing.

Watch the video here!

Tip #4

Create shadows on the wall or on the floor (pupils can get involved too!) What do they think the shadows look like? Do they all relate shadows and darkness to nightmares and fear? If not, explore why! Can making shadows turn fear into fun? Can your pupils then write a poem that is inspired by the shapes and shadows; what do their minds' eyes see...

Tip #5

Can your pupils write a dream (or nightmare) recipe poem? What do they think is needed to create their perfect dream or nightmare? Maybe a dollop of kindness, or a tablespoon of terror, or even a sprinkle of magic?

1 tablespoon of terror
500g of fear
250g of shaking
1kg of panic
1 big, hairy spider
10 beads of sweat

In a metal container mix
500g of fear, 250g of shaking and a big, hairy spider
Combine them really well, until a thick paste forms
Beat in 1kg of panic, slowly, in 3 or 4 stages
A dark, smelly dough should have formed…
Knead it for 2 minutes and shake in the 10 beads of sweat
Roll the dough thinly, like a cobweb that sticks to you
Place on a baking tray
Scatter the tablespoon of terror over the top
Put in a pre-heated fan oven as hot as it can go
Bake and bake and bake
Until it’s black and charred, charcoal-like
Once cooled, crumble it up
Next, open the window
Blow the dust into the wind, along with your fear
And breathe.
You’re safe now.


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Contact Us

Once Upon A Dream

Young Writers PS
Remus House

Tel: 01733 890066 / 898110
Fax: 01733 313524

Alternatively, you can upload your entries!

Enter online
For Young Writers entering independently (not via their school)

Send school entries online
For teachers to upload their pupils' submissions


Competition Terms & Conditions