Creative Writing Competition 'The Wait' 2017

This years competition will open on 1st July 2017 and close on 1st August. The final two winners will be chosen from a shortlist of 6 by Michael Morpurgo.


To download a poster about the event please click here.

To download an entry form for our 2017 competition please click here

To download additional information for teachers please click here.


Damien Boyd will be launching this years competition with two creative writing workshops for children:

  • The Brewhouse Theatre on Thursday 1st June from 2-4pm cost £4,
  •  Ilminster Football Club on Saturday 3rd June 10-12am Free Entry.
  • Booking essential for both. please email for details. 

At one time books from the DI Nick Dixon Crime Series held 4 of the top 5 spots in the Amazon bestseller list. Now selling worldwide, the first in the series has been translated into German, with French, Italian and Polish editions soon to be released.The 7th DI Nick Dixon crime novel is due out in October this year and international best selling author Damien Boyd has now retired from the legal profession to concentrate on writing full time.

The Jemima Layzell Trust are very lucky to have his support.

Awareness and action

The Jemima Layzell Trust, Awareness and Action campaign targets Organ Donation Awareness through literary education and creative writing.
We hope writing becomes a joy and a valuable tool to help sustain all 6-18 year olds through challenging situations. 


Many thanks to our sponsors past and present: The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton Quartz Festival, South Somerset District Council, Yeovil Community Arts Association, W. Coombes and Sons Ltd and The Lamp Magazine.


Winners 2015 'When I Grow Up': Ava Leach and Willow Oatley both from Taunton School

Shortlisters: Eloise Bennigsen, Billy Hemmings, Willow Oatley, Hannah Eke, Ava Leach and Kate Jackson. 

Winners 2016 'The Gift' : Lottie Robertson  Ashlands Primary Crewkerne and Pearl Andrews-Horrigan from Queens College.

'When I grow up' 2015

Last years winners met Michael Morpurgo, Jemima's literary hero and the Trust's Patron in September 2015. They each received a special edition copy of The War Horse, which was signed by Michael Morpurgo at his talk 'Fact into Fiction' at Langport Library.
They were given tickets to Michael and Clare Morpurgo's show 'Where My Wellies Take Me Concert' at the Yeovil Literary Festival and also had their work printed in The Lamp magazine thanks to Lionel Ward of Brendon Books.

They are pictured above Ava Leach (6) and Willow Oatley (14). 

The Jemima Layzell Trust

Helping young people with brain  injury make their lives better.

Registered Charity Number: 1163173 









To support our Awareness and Action Campaign

please visit our JUST GIVING page. Thank you. 

Special mention to Jacob from All Saints Primary, Devon who the judges felt had excellent potential. 

Congratulations also to Tilly Coffin aged 10 who won a signed copy of War Horse in  a separate competition held at the Brewhouse.

Sharing is the best
U are better than the rest
Reach for the stars
Picture yourself flying
Rising in the air
If you want to, you can see the world
Sing it out loud
Even be proud.

The Gift 

by Lottie Robertson aged 8

Once upon a time a gift was found
A magic spade had dug it up from the ground.
It was very special, a gift of life, 
And that gift made an asteroid strike.
From that asteroid grass started to grow,
Oceans formed and rivers would flow.
Mountains grew bigger and the trees grew fruit
Something managed to turn into soot!
The sun and the stars and the wind and the rain, 
The moon and planets and back they all came!
Love and joy, grief and strife,
All came from this marvellous gift of life.

The Gift, a slam poem

by Pearl Andrews-Horrigan aged 17

Within cold grey walls, behind closed doors
Are Aamir and his family, victims of war.
Addressing unfriendly faces,
Including the man in the white wig,
Who see them as just one of too many cases.

“Your honour, we stand before you today as yet more asylum seekers
And you decide today if we’re asylum keepers.
Today you could give us the greatest gift:
You could give us a home
In a land we’ll learn to call our own.
A land we already love.
A land without the risk of being blown up.

The dictionary defines us as aliens,
Well I promise we come in peace
From our war-torn lands which we forced to flee
Because our homes and our schools
Are bombed almost daily.
You’ll find no school rules there.
Only people and places shattered to pieces.
But you won’t believe us if we say we’ll go back when that ceases.

Please, Mr Judge, you have to understand
We’re not in control of our fate; we were dealt this hand.
It could easily have been you, your sister or brother,
Your father or mother,
Your wife or your lover.

But we won’t make any demands.
Our only legal right
Was to stand here and deliver the monologue of our plight.
So thank you for your time.”

In the centre of Whitehall (appropriately named)
Home office staff receive gifts of which they should be ashamed.
Attached to their gift cards and their holidays abroad,
Sincere congratulations on getting another family deported.
Because a few blocks over from Aamir in that court of law,
UKIP is declaring, “We can’t take any more”
And the pressure of 70% targets force the Home Office to agree
Since when did the government adopt the language of the BNP?
Watch as the “one nation” makes scapegoats of those seeking sanctuary.
Disregarding the thousands of lives at stake
In order to fulfill its’ mandatory success rate.

Aamir and his family never got their perfect present,
Only a letter telling them to leave in wording unnecessarily unpleasant
Without a home, without a hope, they joined the souls on sinking ships,
But at least Theresa May’s old team enjoyed their gifts.