OUR RIVER - poetry and creative writing competitions

in partnership with the river teign restoration project

This competition was for anyone who feels the pull of putting pen to paper, and particularly those who have a personal connection to the River Teign.

There were three catergories for entries:
Category 1 – Poetry writing by 5-12 year olds
Category 2 – Poetry writing by 13-18 year olds
Catergory 3 – Creative writing by Adults

Scroll down to read the winning entries!


The competition received an incredible selection of more than 80 entries. Thank you to all entrants and congratulations to our winners!

Please click on the image link to the right to read the winning entries, or scroll down to enjoy some other wonderful writing from our runner up entries…



Our River
By Andrea Foxwell

You move me as you slip wetly by.
I cannot chart the times
Your wordless voice has counselled
Your length and breadth surprised, with gifts,
That startle and salute
The wet and living in me.

When times were cold and hard,
And life hard to bear
You taught me to let go,
The prime example of flow, of change
Accepting a course and moving through
From sky to cloud rain earth
Stream and river to sea
And back again, as cloud to sky. 

Wet cycles of renewal.

Teign Lore
By Lucy Smart

We follow you, stony waterscape,
Your rusty floor through drifting skin.
We descend on mossy boulevard,
and can not help but press and smell the verdant fuzz, tentacled mattress.

Crowds of trees parade you, leaning in, waving flags,
you are majestic in their reflections.
Today you are hurtling, roaring, then tripping dizzily over rocks.
We watch from a distance.
At times we’re like the salmon,
breathless, silver with need.
At others we’re free in your rhythms,
shouldered, lulled, moving together.

Our River
By Tracey Fuller

She tips upside down, feet flipping, to swoop into the clear depths, exploring the brown-tinted, moor-sloughed rocks and valleys deep below. The light below water is golden, sepia tinted, and peat infused. She shoots back up, torpedoing. She has found the one rock taller than all the others and springs from it. She stands back on the rock which is just under the surface making it look as if the water there is shallow, fooling newcomers. My daughter, otter-like spins and twists in the water, goggles tight, wetsuit slick. She finds a place where she can swim on the spot as if she is in a trough for injured horses. After a while she stops her front crawl and allows the eddies to pull her gently back. She starfishes and is turned gently in circles like a leaf; fish jump, flick and plash around her.


Our River
By Elisha Adnitt

I was swimming through the sky blue river, 
I came up for air, 
And as I did, 
A colourful delicate dragonfly poised on the end of my nose, 
Making me give a little shiver. 
I go back under the water, 
With a lone salmon,
It’s sparkling scales glistening in the light of the sunset. 
The day is coming to a cloudy closure.

The beaver, 
Lay upon my back in the lukewarm water,
Soaking up the last of the summer sun.
Watching the sunset turn to darkness.

Our River
By Aiyra Maria De Castro

The river looks up, huddled low in corners
Wet sandy banks seem to emerge. 
There is nothing left but a skeleton
Of the river’s former self.
Rubbish laps and flows around every pool
And sand clearing.

The river wishes it was once again, 
The great, wondrous beauty it once was. 
Maybe one day… 
The river will flow happily
And majestically again.


By Ollie, Chudleigh Knighton

Splash! Goes the river as the salmon leaps up, 
The current is strong but it can’t stop her.
She’s going so fast you could miss her in a hiccup
Moving her fin harder, she goes faster and faster. 
Swimming to the place she grew up,
To lay there a small group of eggs.