We were joined by acclaimed author Irfan Master and pupils from Colston’s School, Fairfield High School and Norton Hill School for the final of the 2019 Clifton Carnegie Contest on 27th June. The competition showcased the work of Year 9 students who have been shadowing the 2019 Carnegie shortlist this term, working in groups to put together creative presentations. The Carnegie Award is the oldest and most prestigious prize in children’s literature; past winners include C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett, Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan. The aim of the inter-schools contest to promote and celebrate reading for enjoyment.
As well as talking about his novels, the vital importance of libraries and his own journey as a writer, Irfan Master took on the role of Carnegie Contest judge for the morning. He declared Mr Callander’s class overall winners, praising their stunning creative interpretation of The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. The presentation featured slam poetry, interpretative dance, bold images and live saxophone and violin accompaniment. Coincidentally, the group also managed to choose the book that went on to win the 2019 Carnegie Medal. The Poet X is a beautiful coming of age tale written in free verse about a Dominican teenager who finds her voice through slam poetry. It was described by the Carnegie judges as a “searing, unflinching exploration of culture, family and faith within a truly innovative verse structure.”