The Judges

Paul Francis - Secondary Schools

Paul has won two national poetry competitions, and last year read a poem about Gareth Southgate on the main stage of the Tenbury Festival. He writes a mixture of poems – funny and serious, about films and history, music and the news. He’s been fascinated by regular forms since he was ten, when a teacher made him write a sonnet for homework.



Deborah Alma - Primary Schools

Deborah is a UK poet, editor and lectures in creative writing at Keele University. She is known as the ‘Emergency Poet’ – for travelling the country and prescribing poetry from her vintage ambulance!

She has edited the poetry anthologies, Emergency Poet, (an anti-stress poetry anthology). #Me Too (an anthology about harassment) and Ten Happy Poems for Candlestick press.

Her, ‘True Tales of the Countryside was published by Emma Press and her first collection Dirty Laundry was published by Nine Arches Press in 2018.

She is soon to be proprietor of the Poetry Pharmacy in Bishops Castle with her partner, the poet, James Sheard.