Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize 2024

We are delighted to announce the winners of the annual GDST Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize.

Poetry gdstThe poems were judged by Croydon High School alumna Georgina Day. With a background in English Literature and a lifelong love for reading, Georgina embarked on her professional writing journey in 2023 when she published her debut children’s book ‘Honey and Sugar Get Adopted’. Georgina combines being an author with her passion for animal welfare whilst also holding a prominent position as an Associate Director of a large corporation, where she utilises her skills and leadership to drive successful transformation initiatives.

Please find below the results of the GDST Laurie Magnus Poetry prize, alongside Georgina’s comments, and the winning poems.


GDST Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize Results 2024

Years 1 & 2

Winner: Dara, Norwich High School for Girls – The Everyday Magic of Music

“The winner, The Everyday Magic of Music, is an impressive poem for these year groups. I really liked how the structure followed a specific flow of 6-5-5-6 across the four stanzas. Good use of vocabulary for the subject and I particularly liked how the poem takes you through a journey from the “silence” and then finishing with the impact of music. Great work!”

Highly Commended: Navya, Northwood College for Girls – Before You Get Any Pets

“Special mention also to the poem Before you get any pets. This was an interesting one, as I loved the educational element whilst keeping it fun and introducing a flow with a singular line repeated throughout.” 

Years 3 & 4

Winner: Lexi , Wimbledon High School – I Matter Too
Highly Commended: Duru , Blackheath High School – My School

“The winner, I Matter Too, has very good technical application, following a constrained formal quatrain structure for every stanza and has applied a consistent rhyming scheme at the line breaks. What is particularly impressive about this is that the rhymes don’t feel forced, but well chosen for the subject.”

Year 5 & 6

Winner: Avani, Northwood College for Girls – Breaking the Mould

“This poem particularly stood out with the clever method of the use of a refrain of “Breaking the Mould” that is woven throughout each stanza. There is also a pleasing metrical element to this when read through, keeping a good tempo and consistent rhyming scheme.”

Years 7, 8 & 9

Winner: Anjali, Oxford High School – The Brooch

“Technically this poem is very well thought out; you can really get a sense of the emotional change and transition from the structure applied. The first half feels full of hope, cleverly reflecting the traditional wedding ‘something old, something new’, and applying that across the stanzas, consistently quatrains. The poem then uses a single line to demonstrate the transition from one emotional change to the next using a single nonet, that is rarely seen.”

Years 10 & 11

Winner: Beatrice, Oxford High School“  “

“This poem is such a stand out for me. It is technically interesting and original; the punctuation is expertly used in direct opposition to the standard application in prose as a method of highlighting the message of the poem. The use of free verse and enjambed lines is very appropriate here, aligning with the misuse of punctuation. Very impressive work!”

Years 12 & 13

Winner: Florence, Wimbledon High School – What We Don’t See

“This is a powerful poem; the author’s imagery and symbolism enable the reader to relate to their thoughts and feel the depth of reflection over their schooling. From a technical perspective this is strong; there is a good use of both end-stopped and enjambed lines within this poem to enable the flow of message as appropriate. I also like how the structure changes from tercet to quatrain as the narrative adjusts. Well done!”

Many congratulations to our winners and to all of the students who participated in the competition.

Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize

The Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize is one of the GDST’s longest-running prizes, established in memory of Sir Laurie Magnus, by his widow. Laurie Magnus was a GDST Council member from 1907, and Chairman from 1929 until his death in 1933. The competition encourages students with an active interest in poetry to put pen to paper. Each school and academy was invited to submit one entry for each of the six age categories. Prizes are awarded for original poetry and each winner is presented with a book voucher.

Discover past Laurie Magnus Prize winners