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The Winners

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 FLY Competition. We received so many outstanding poems that our judges, Jeremy Noel-Tod, Lewis Buxton and Jos Smith had long discussions before deciding the final winners.


The winner of the 12–14 category and the overall winner is: Rebekah Bongers from Reigate Grammar School for her poem, "Afterwards. After the party."


The winner of the 15 – 17 category and the Norfolk Prize Winner is: Maud Webster from City of Norwich School for her poem, "Afterwards, we perch."


As the winner of the Norfolk Prize, Maud wins the opportunity for her poem to be made into an animated film, courtesy of our generous sponsors, Somo Global. 


The runners up are:

12 – 14: Megan Valerie-Cooke from Wymondham High Academy

15 – 17: Jessica Holmes from Turing House School, Hampton


Huge congratulations to all of them.



by Rebekah Bongers



After the party.

Cups shoved into plastic bags.

Balloons let down, discarded.

Empty packets line the swelling bin.



The next morning.

Rubbish truck shunts into view.

Bags swung in.

Drives off to next collection.



Truck overloaded.

So much waste for one area.

Pulling into temporary home.




Seagulls screech in excitement.

Rubbish pours onto the heap.

Soon torn apart by crazed birds.

Mountains of waste.



Plastic bottles crushed together.

Small packets roll around.

Plastic bags blow everywhere.

Straining to be free.



Several bags escape.

Spread everywhere.

One is caught by a crying gull.

Another is blown into a forest.



One falls into the sea.

Tossed by large waves.

Travels far and wide.

A painful trap.



Shoals of fish swerve in unison.

Sharks avoid the bright plastic..

Turtle swims to it cautiously.




What happens afterwards?

We kill animals.

We put that bag in the bin.

Think twice.





Maud Webster


afterwards, we perch

baked by the sun, legs swing

laughing at the exploits of summer


this time, that time, and

the murmur of names bring

back the lazy, hazy faces

frame our existence in the minds of places


the soulless winter heralds

a crawling spring

long-awaited rays of gold

of which our memories told

to us, would be worth waiting for


beach riots and sandals slapping

the sandcastle king.

boardwalk encounters and

dune disasters, we missed this land.

land of being present and

land of sandwiches and swimming and


that ‘sweltering’ sun.