Young linguists in poetry search

SCHOOLCHILDREN are being given the chance to show off their linguistic skills in a writing competition which will be judged by the Poet Laureate.

Schools from across Wigan are being encouraged to enter the contest Mother Tongue Other Tongue, organised by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Youngsters aged eight to 18 are being asked to write a poem, lullaby or song in a language which is their first tongue but not English and describe what it means to them, or compose an original piece in a foreign language they are learning during their lessons.

The finalists will be whittled down by a panel of writers and language experts, before Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will present the winner with their prizes at a final ceremony in October.

She will also launch the event at the university later this month.

Last year’s competition saw poems entered in 41 different languages, including Romanian, Somali, Pashtu, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Welsh.

The best poems will be collected in an anthology and published.

The closing date for entries is June 30. To find out more about the competition or enter poems, visit