2019/20 Competition “Impact of Conflict on Communities”


For the 2019/20 academic year, the Never Such Innocence competition will be bigger than ever!  We are delighted to open a new speechwriting category, and to broaden the age range to 9-18. This years theme is “Impact of Conflict on Communities”. We encourage children and young people to look at conflict that has or is currently affecting their community and respond through a poem, speech, song or piece of artwork. Visit our resource page to gain inspiration!

The Never Such Innocence competition invites young people to write a poem, speech, or song, or create a piece of art responding to war or conflict. After six successful creative arts competitions to mark the centenary of the First World War, Never Such Innocence is giving children and young people from across the world the opportunity to process, respond to and reflect on all forms of conflict throughout history and consider the value of commemoration.  We invite young people to have a strong and powerful voice to influence the world’s decision makers.

Giving Children and Young People a Voice on Conflict, Larbert High School

Taking Part

David, 13, from Romania has entered the competition early with this piece in response to conflict

David, 13, from Romania has entered the competition early with this piece in response to conflict

The competition is completely free to enter. Every single participant receives a special personalised Certificate of Commendation. Click here to view the competition rules.

The most important things to know before you enter:

  • Please don’t filter your entries - everyone receives a certificate!

  • Make sure you have filled in an entry form

  • If entering one poem written by multiple students please include everyone’s names on the entry form, so that all of the students receive a certificate.

  • Any problems just ask us! We are a small and dedicated team and will be more than happy to assist, email us at enquiries@neversuchinnocence.com or call 0207 836 2603

Online entries to the 2019/20 competition will open 20 September.

Please email any work you’d like to contribute to the development of Never Such Innocence to competition@neversuchinnocence.com, or send in the post to:

Never Such Innocence
11 Slingsby Place

Please make sure you enclose or attach an entry form.

Please note that all certificates for the 2019/20 competition will be received in May 2020.

Five tips for writing a song by Marty Longstaff, The Lake Poets

THEME - Think about something that you care about, that has moved you or that you want to raise awareness of. For example, you might care about animal welfare, or you might have been moved by a sad story you read about someone during the First World War. When you have a theme that you hold dear to you, words come easily.

IMAGINATION - Your imagination is a powerful tool and to write a good song you need to use it. Try to think a little differently to others and see different takes on things. If your songs theme is about a soldier, try to think about what he is thinking and feeling, or what his family back home are thinking and going through. Put yourself in the shoes of another and dream.

Lossiemouth High School  won the song competition for their age group in 2017/18 . They were inspired by the Royal Air Force!

Lossiemouth High School won the song competition for their age group in 2017/18. They were inspired by the Royal Air Force!

STYLE - Pick a style of music you like and then write a song like that. You might like sad mellow piano songs, or loud noisy guitar songs. You might like happy, bouncy pop music, or heavy, rhythmical hip-hop. Once you have style in your mind the process of getting a 'feel' for your song comes quickly

WORD POWER - Use tricks and techniques you know from English class such as rhyme, alliteration, metaphor, and simile to add flavour to your writing. Be descriptive, contrast and compare, make full use of adverbs and adjectives, and get your point across as concisely as you can. You don't have long in a 3 minute song to make a point, and these features of language help your words stay in the mind of the listener

HAVE FUN - Song writing is meant to be fun, it's meant to be expressive and it's meant to make you feel good. If you aren't having fun, step back and look for another route to get where you want to be. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to being yourself and saying how you feel about something.

Now get writing!

Five Tips for creating artwork by Caroline de Peyrecave

1. Never underestimate the importance of drawing.

2. Take a black and white photo to help with tonal values to create a life like 3D effect.

3. Stand back from your work to get perspective on it and see it as a whole.

4. Have your work vertical when working so you can see it as it would be when hanging.

5. Loose and effortless effects can only be achieved once you've mastered control.

Five Tips for writing poetry by Dr Martin Stephen

1. Write about what you know and have experienced. Sincerity speaks!

2. Ask yourself at the end of every line, ‘Do I really need all these words? What are the ones that carry power, and what are the ones that are padding?’

3. Remember you don’t have to write in complete sentences in the poetry.

4. Never use a word just because it rhymes, and remember rhythm is as important in poetry as rhyme.

5. Think IMAGES! Images are pictures that tell a story, so are you going to write:

‘I’m sad, lonely and miss my friends’

Caroline de Peyrecave pic.JPG

OR are you going to write:

‘I saw the mongrel dog,
Tied up outside the shop.
His owner out of sight, inside.
The dog ignored the hand
I stretched out to him.
Looking round it frantically instead,
To see his owner was there.
Lost, neglected, sad.
Just like me’.