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National poetry competition win

One of my proudest moments came in January 2016, when I won a national competition to write a poem that would encourage children to read.  It felt great to write something that has nothing to do with running a business, and might make a difference in some small way.

The competition was run by The National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury Publishing and I was lucky enough to be invited to Bloomsbury's HQ in London to read my poem along with ten finalists.  This is the home of the Harry Potter series, amongst many other wonderful titles, and my heart certainly skipped a beat.  In fact, when the winner was announced I thought I had won a box of chocolates.  On later inspection, the chocolates turned out to be an iPad mini!

My poem 'What is Reading?' is going to be illustrated and sent to every primary school in the UK.  I used to be a secondary English teacher so encouraging children to read was - and is-  a subject very close to my heart.

I tried to make the poem as simple and short as possible in order to make it easy for weaker readers to engage with it while they were lining up in a corridor.   But I also tried to give them a little to visualise and puzzle out.  See what you think!

What is Reading?
 
It’s a ticket to a journey
It’s the key to a door
It’s the passport to a country
That you’ve never seen before
It’s dinosaurs and dragons
It’s rebels and robotics
It’s pyramids and pirates
It’s hurricanes and hobbits.
It’s animals and aliens
It’s families and friends
It’s wizardry and wonders
It’s beginnings and it’s ends.
It’s a living an adventure
It’s travelling in time
It’s walking in another’s shoes…
In every word and line.
 
Joanna Miller

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