A CHILDREN’S literature festival was organised as a part of Selby Abbey’s 950th anniversary celebrations.

Pupils from all 42 primary schools in the surrounding area were encouraged to produce an eight-line rhyming poem, on Selby Abbey.

Selby poet and author Christina Gabbitas set up the Selby Children’s Literature Festival poetry competition.

The idea behind the initiative was to educate children on the history of the Selby area and the abbey.

Christina said: “It is a fun and creative way for the children to learn information they may not be interested in otherwise.”

The competition was aimed at children of ages 7-11, as an eight-line poem was seen as suitable for children of these ages.

From the hundreds of entries, two were chosen as winners.

Poems from Kieran Brigham, 11, from Barmby Moor CE Primary School and Maci Dews, 7, from Barwick-in-Elmet CE Primary School, were the winners.

Christina said: “The children have made a huge effort and done really well with their entries.

“It’s great to give the kids a chance to have their work recognised.”

A service was held at the abbey on September 15 as a part of the 950 year celebration.

Some of the children that entered were involved along with the Bishop of Selby, John Thomson and Mayor of Selby, Malik Rofidi.

The top ten poems were placed on a decorative board located in the abbey signifying the 950th anniversary.

The top 20 poems will make up a poetry book which will be published on October 3, which is National Poetry Day.

The proceeds raised from the book will be donated back to the abbey.