Futurist poem wins national award for West Malling youngster

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Veer Khanna, winner of a national writing competition

Submitted for publication by Consilium Communications

Veer Khanna, an eight-year-old boy from West Malling, has been selected as the winner of key stage two of a national writing competition. He is a pupil at Somerhill School in Tonbridge and will have his poem about life in the future, Into the Blue, published in a brand new book.

In the fall of 2021, the Pearson Learning Society invited children and young people aged four to 19 to put pen to paper and write their own stories and poems of the future, compiling the winning entries into a book , My Twist on a Tale: Our Tomorrow.

Pick up the award in the Key Stage Two category, Veer’s entry, Into the Blue, was chosen alongside 16 other stories and poems written by children across the country, including The Cave Men are Back by West Midlands winner Jasmine Hussain, A Mother’s Plea by South West winner Sophia Papasouliotis and New Atlantis from Northern Ireland winner Emma-Louise White.

Veer’s poem is set in the year 21000 and examines how the Earth has changed. Countries are united and connected by tunnels, filled with gossip and friendly laughter. Travelers take people from Dover to Delhi in just 20 minutes, and earthling families ride around on hoverboards. Cities and vertical forests are a haven for humans and animals, with plants and grasses engulfing skyscrapers.

Veer said, “I was so surprised but also very excited to be chosen as one of the winners. Sometimes when we hear about what the future could be for us, climate change and pollution can seem a bit scary and unpleasant. But I don’t think it should be so at all.

“I imagine a world where we learned from our mistakes and used our minds and our technology to create a caring, united, fun and interesting world. Look at the Channel Tunnel – a train under the sea – If we can do this , we can do anything.”

The competition attracted entries from over 1,200 school, sixth form and university students, with 17 winning entries selected across all categories, including KS1 to KS5, and all regions of the UK. The resulting book, My Twist on a Tale: Our Tomorrow, is available for download from the Pearson website, with all aspiring authors receiving their own hard copy as part of their prize. Audio versions of each story were also made available.

Lindsay Nadin, Head of Primary at Pearson, said: “Veer should be extremely proud of the poem he wrote. His creativity and writing skills make him a worthy winner, alongside the 16 other young authors whose stories and poems ranged from “selfish ancestors” who failed to pay attention to climate change, to the need for new laws to protect people from harassment in the future.

“My Twist on a Tale allows us to encourage and excite young children with writing, motivating them to create work that represents their own perspectives of the world we live in, and to find joy in the written word. Everyone who submitted a story should be very proud of their creation.”

To learn more about Pearson’s My Twist on a Tale: Our Tomorrow, and to download a copy of the book, please visit go.pearson.com/OurTomorrow or follow us on Twitter @PearsonSchoolsFacebook @PearsonUK and Instagram @pearsonprimaryuk

Or Click here to download a copy of the book.

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