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Write a love poem to books!

Dear friends,

We are celebrating World Poetry Day by launching a poetry competition for primary schools. The class that submits the best "love poem to books" stands a chance to win their own copies of the Otto Foundation Reading Journal.

The theme

For the Love of Books

Who can participate?

Classes from all South African primary schools (one entry per class, we want you to write your ode to books together!)

What is the goal?

We love books— a lot. We think there may be others who love books too!

We want you and your friends to find the words to say how much you love books and what they mean to you.

By writing love poems to books, we want children to reflect on the impact that books have on their lives, what they love and appreciate about books, what they learn through books, and how books connect them to people and ideas.

How long should your poem be?

Between 60 and 200 words.

What is the closing date?

Please submit your poem by 14 April 2023.

What can you win?

Each learner in the winning classes will win a copy of the Otto Foundation Reading Journal – a great tool for children to explore the world of words and stories.

(Note: Our Poetry Panel will select two winning poems. A class can win up to a maximum of 40 copies of the journal. The Poetry Panel reserves the right not to choose a winning poem.)

Where can you find inspiration?

We’ve asked Open AI’s Chat GPT to write a love poem to books. The poem below is what the bot came up with. Challenge your class to “Beat The Bot!”.

A love poem to books – by Chat GPT

Books, my dear books, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways, as Shakespeare once wrote

For you have been my solace and my sanctuary

My constant companion on life's winding road

You transport me to worlds beyond my own

To distant lands and times long past

You teach me lessons I could never have known

And fill my heart with wonder that will forever last

Your pages are a treasure trove of knowledge and beauty

Of wisdom and insight that speak to my soul

Your words inspire me to be the best I can be

And help me to see life's mysteries unfold

You are my comfort when I am feeling low

My joy when the world is bright and new

You are the one thing I can always count on

To be there for me, no matter what I'm going through

Oh, books, how blessed I am to have you

To hold you close and let your magic flow

For in your pages, I find a love so true

That only in your embrace can I truly know.

How should you submit your entry?

You can email your entry to before 14 April 2023.

In order to qualify for the competition your entry must include:

- The name of your school

- What grade you are in

- The name of your teacher

- An email address where we can reach your teacher

- A telephone number where we can reach your teacher

- The text of your poem (60 to 200 words)

It would also be wonderful to see some photos of your poetry creation process, or of the groups that are submitting poems. Please include some photos in your entry (which you would be happy for us to use on social media) or tag us on social media when you post about your process!

What if you have questions about the competition?

Teachers or classes that have questions about the competition can email our team at


We can't wait to read your poems.


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