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The competition closed on Monday 28 February. We have had some great entries; thanks to everyone who took the time to submit one.

Connell Co-op College has today launched a community competition for local schools as part of the year-long Manchester campaign, 2022 Our Year.

The 2022 Our Year campaign aims to create a programme of activities, opportunities and experiences for children and young people to help them shape theirs and their city’s futures post-Covid. 


School children and young people from across Manchester (key stages 1-5) are invited to create a piece of art, poetry or short story inspired by one of the eight key themes: 

  1. Equal and included
  2. Safe and secure
  3. Health and wellbeing
  4. Connections (digital, transport…)
  5. Climate and environment
  6. Family and friends
  7. Education
  8. Play


The piece of art can be created from any medium that you like, including photography. And there is no limit to the poetry or short story other than to keep them below 2,000 words.

Ellen Harrison, who’s a poet/author, has written 10 top tips for writing short stories and 12 top tips for writing poetry that you may find helpful. Ellen works for Warwickshire Libraries and holds an MA in Professional Creative Writing. She writes both poetry and fiction, and her work has been published in Here Comes Everyone, Lucent Dreaming, and elsewhere. Follow Ellen on Twitter and Instagram, @_EllenHarrison.


To take part, you first need to register your interest using this form, then email your piece of art (take some nice photos of it and keep it somewhere safe in case you’re shortlisted!), poetry or short story to Please include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Age
  • School year
  • School name
  • An email address of a teacher at your school

Download the competition’s flyer.


A shortlist of the best entries will be selected from years 1-2, 3-6, 7-9 and 10+. An awards ceremony with prizes will then be hosted at Connell Co-op College on Thursday 31 March. The winners will have the opportunity to have their work put on display for the remainder of the year at a number of businesses throughout Manchester.

Any questions, please get in touch with us at

We want as many children and young people as possible to take part so they can help shape a future that’s safe, happy, healthy and successful. So, please spread the word and share this web page!