LAMDA Exams Poetry Competition Results

Announcing the winner and runners-up of the LAMDA Exams Poetry Competition.

14 March 2024

The upcoming publication of LAMDA Exams’ Verse & Prose Anthology: Volume 20 is particularly special. Amongst the brilliant authors and contributors contained within are three talented young writers who submitted pieces to the LAMDA Exams Poetry Competition in 2023: winner Avni Patel, and runners-up Rosa Terry and Leo Alderin.

With the release of the anthology approaching, we were delighted to speak to the three young poets about their inspirations and experiences, and how excited they are to see their work in print this April!

New Anthologies

The brilliant poems by our winner and runners-up will be featured in the updated Verse & Prose Anthology: Volume 20, publishing in collaboration with Nick Hern Books on 25 April 2024.

The competition saw applications from young LAMDA Exams learners under the age of 18, with a variety of colourful, funny and impactful poems across the three main themes: friendship, home and objects. One of Avni’s biggest inspirations for her poem ‘Can I Sit There?’ was everyday life, gathered from observing the people around her, as well as the relatability of social media: “I chose the mood and tone to be funny and slightly rude, taking inspiration from the styles of poem I had really enjoyed performing.”

Likewise, Leo took inspiration from everyday situations: “The inspiration for this poem came when my mum made my sister a cup of tea and just as she took a sip, the tea bag popped up. We laughed because my mum had left the tea bag in and I said it looked like a shark’s fin swimming in the mug! I decided I would write a poem about it as I thought it would be very relatable.”

Rosa chose the theme and title of ‘Home’ for her submission: “Often, we perceive our home to be physical places or objects, and it can be these things, but when I was on holiday, I was inspired by my family… My poem was inspired by the idea that home can actually be the people who surround you and make you feel safe, that home can follow you in a way that a house cannot.”

All three writers spoke about their experiences taking LAMDA Exams and their love of performing. Leo told us about how fun and rewarding the exams can be, and said he particularly loved choosing a character to bring to life. For his clever poem, ‘There’s a Shark in my Tea!’, he said: “I really wanted others to find the funny side of this dilemma that happens all the time in my house!”

"It’s quite unbelievable that something I have written will be performed by other children in exams. That’s really exciting."

Avni Patel, Poetry Competition Winner

Rosa entered the competition in the first place because of her love for drama and English. “I’ve always enjoyed creative writing as well as performing,” she said. “I love poetry and was excited by the opportunity to get involved in LAMDA in a way I hadn’t before.”

Avni said, “I am always nervous and have butterflies before an exam, but once I’m in the room and see the friendly examiner, I instantly feel comfortable. It feels great to escape into a different character for a short time and I love presenting all of my hard work to the examiner.”

With over 150 pieces in total, the Verse & Prose Anthology offers a wide range of themes, topics and worlds for learners to explore during their exams, and ties closely to the release of our updated syllabi this spring. “The experience of LAMDA Exams has really helped build my self-confidence and develop my communication,” Avni said. “It’s quite unbelievable that something I have written will be performed by other children in exams. That’s really exciting.”

Pre-order now

These new anthologies are now available to pre-order via the Nick Hern Books website, publishing on 25 April 2024.

Pre-order now

Syllabi update

Learn about the updated syllabi, available from April for Introductory, Performance and Communication exams.

Read more