The awards evening for the Farnham Poetry Competition 2024, part of the Farnham Literary Festival, will take place this Saturday at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, from 5pm.

Everyone is welcome to come and hear the winning poems plus performances by the two judges, poets Linda Daruvala and Coral Rumble. There will also be an open mic and anyone is welcome to read a poem or two. Admission is free.

The theme of this year’s competition is friendship and there were more than 120 entries between the adult and under-16 classes. 

Revd Stella Wiseman, who has organised the competition on behalf of the Literary Festival, said: “Once again we have been delighted to have received such wonderful poems from writers not just from Farnham but far further afield. And the age range has taken us by surprise.

“The youngest entrant we know about is four and the oldest 96, though of course there may be older ones as adults tend to be shy about their ages! 

“It has also shown us how important people find their friends. Friendship can sustain us through the most difficult times and we know that loneliness is a major cause of heart disease and strokes. Humans are social animals and we need each other.

“Please do come to the awards evening to hear the winning poems and the two fantastic judges who will perform, and to hear and take part in the open mic. You don’t have to have entered the competition to read out a poem. 

“We are starting it at 5pm so that children can leave early if they wish and will be providing refreshments. Admission is free.”

The children’s poetry competition is being judged by poet Coral Rumble and the adult one by poet Linda Daruvala. Linda is the author of Selah, a book of her own poetry published by Onwards and Upwards Publishers in 2021. 

The poem Diamonds on the sole of his shoes inspired the commission of a beautiful painting which now hangs in St Mary the Virgin church in Charlton-on-Otmoor. 

Her poem Forgiveness was highly recommended in the South Downs Poetry Festival in 2022 from 350 entries, and she performed at their evening festival event. She has been interviewed by UCB radio. Linda has her second book of poetry currently underway with the same publishers.

Coral Rumble is a popular, award-winning poet, with five poetry collections, plus 170+ anthology contributions. The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat picture book was long-listed for the Oscar’s Book Prize Award. Coral won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize, 2018. Her collections have been promoted by education magazines and short-listed for awards. Her verse novel, Little Light (2021) was a recommendation for National Poetry Day 2021, and was a chosen text for Empathy Day 2022. It has also been long-listed for the UKLA Book Awards 2023. 

Her debut novel, Jakub’s Otter, was published in September 2023.

The Farnham Literary Festival is organised by Farnham Town Council and continues this weekend.

There are ten events on Saturday which include author talks, workshops, a children’s workshop, audio walk, showcase and discussion and a panel discussion. 

The festival concludes on Sunday with two panel discussion. One is titled Why is Crime Such a Thriller and the second, which is sponsored by Moonflower is Fearfully Good: Why we can’t get enough of Gothic Fiction. Both could make for a lovely Mother’s Day treat! 

Information and tickets for events is available at