lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

It’s Penguin Awareness Day! #penguinawarenessday

Yes, it is Penguin Awareness Day! We all need to be aware of penguins, suffering at the hands of climate change. So here’s a little taster of Apes to Zebras, An A-Z of Shape Poems, Bloomsbury, by me, Sue Hardy-Dawson and Roger Stevens, out on the 22 March.


The Same Inside – Published Today!


Writing this with Roger Stevens and Matt Goodfellow was interesting and great fun – also quite hard work!

The Same Inside is a book of poems about empathy, tolerance, diversity, friendship, respect and kindness, touching on bullying, disability, and many other current situations and problems children may be facing. It provides plenty of springboards for teachers to talk about difficult subjects.

Already in receipt of two excellent reviews, this book plugs a big hole in the market, and also supports the SMSC and British values requirements of the curriculum.

If you’d like a reading and workshop, please contact me: lizpoet @

We are very excited about this book, and love the cover!



Reaching the Stars Video Review by Hatman

Hatman (aka Andy Seed) does a monthly review of books for children and this month Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls is included. How fabulous is that! Thank you Andy.



Reaching the Stars – Winner!


On Saturday I attended the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards – where Reaching the Stars was the 2017 Poetry Winner. YIPPEE! And other exuberant exclamations!

Jan, Michaela and myself are absolutely delighted, to say the least – Jan and Michaela were unable to attend, Jan being in New Zealand and Michaela in Edinburgh so I had the pleasure of accepting on their behalf as well as my own.

If you are ever nominated in the future – do go! What a fabulous event, lots of interesting authors, piles of books, best ever raffle, great fun, and a LOT of cake.

Also nominated in other categories were three other Bath Spa Writing for Young People MA alumni – what an advert for the course!

Here they are – Fleur Hitchcock, Sarah Driver, and Maria Farrer!

And here are the winners of the other categories – Martin Impey and (third from left) Hilary Robinson, in the Quality Fiction Category for A Song For Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan (Strauss House Productions).

Matt Carr, in the Picture Book Category for Superbat, (Scholastic), Ally Sherrick, in the Moving On Category for Black Powder, illustrated by Alexis Snell, (Chicken House).

Martin Brown, in the Information Category for Lessor Spotted Animals (David Fickling Books).

Andrew Beasley, in the Read Aloud Category, for S.C.R.E.A.M: The Mummy’s Revenge,  (Usborne Books). And me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan for Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls (Macmillan).

Here are Hilary and Martin and Matt signing some books (there was a lot of that!)

All in all, a wonderful day. Thank you, North Somerset teachers! And thank you to the incredible organisers of the day. It was fabulous. Hope to be back next year!

10th Anniversary Concert

Well, I don’t normally post things not poetry-related, but many songs are indeed poetry, so I’m going to post this!

This is my happy and fantastic, award-winning choir, led by fabulous Caroline Lowe, with the amazingly talented Julie Payne as pianist.

This year is our 10th anniversary, and we are singing in Bath to celebrate it, on the 18th of November, at 7pm at St Swithun’s Church. Tickets will be available on the door. Tickets are only £6 and this includes wine (nice wine!) and home-made and mouth-watering CAKE.

Examples of the cake…

This year we are supporting the charity Voices, a Bath-based charity founded by and for survivors of domestic abuse.

Our concerts are usually packed but St Swithun’s is large so there is room for all, so do come, we’d love to sing our hearts out for you!


Happy Halloween!

It’s my birthday, today. So here is a Halloween Poem to celebrate. First published in Spooky Schools, Ed. Brian Moses, Macmillan 2004.

© Liz Brownlee

It’s World Animal Day #WorldAnimalDay!

Why not get a copy of Animal Magic?

It has 44 endangered animal poems in it, plus illustrations and facts about them on the facing pages.


Available here.



Nat. Literary Trust Premier League Writing Stars Competition, Children aged 5-11

Premier League Primary Stars Writing Stars Launch with Yannick Bolasie at Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School, Banks Road, Liverpool, L19 8JY

I’m very excited to announce that The National Literacy Trust have launched a new poetry competition for children ages 5-11,  as part of their Premier League Reading Stars campaign – Premier League Writing Stars. The school children are being asked to write around the theme of resilience; what does it mean to them to try and try again?
The first 1,000 schools that enter the competition will receive a fabulous bespoke ‘Book Bag’ full of books, including OUR BOOK; Reaching the Stars (Macmillan) by Jan Dean, Michaela Morgan and me!
Entries can be any form of poetic writing including a rap or lyrics. Teachers and parents can register or nominate their child’s school to take part here, so get going and get your young people writing!

National Poetry Day 2017 – Free the Poem Event, Exeter Library!


I had a finger operation a couple of weeks ago, so National Poetry Day/Week was a little quieter this year for me.

However I spent all day, on the day, retweeting National Poetry Day tweets from all and sundry – both as myself, @lizpoet, and on behalf of The Children’s Poetry Summit – @kidspoetsummit. Do follow if you are interested in children’s poetry, lots of information on there!

I also posted many poems on my alter-ego blog, PoetryRoundabout. Lots of children’s poetry info, poems, interviews with other poets, competitions etc. on there, too.

However, I did go to Exeter Literary Festival with Jan Dean (one of my fellow authors for Reaching the stars) to have a fun filled National Poetry Day event – Free a Poem, with the giant magnets.

Many poems were freed, both by children and adults.

Here are Jan and I (and Lola), working very hard while  poets poet behind us…

With it in the offing, many poems had a hint of Halloween – I particularly liked this one, from Megan:

Some were even darker, but without a Halloween element:

Some people just wrote lines…

While others just hugged a word:

The poetry puzzle was as usual consistently popular with all ages:

Jan made little booklets with ‘Fly Free’ stamped on the front, for people to write their poem down, or sometimes Jan wrote it down, for them to take home.

All in all, a wonderful poeting day!

I’m leaving you with my favourite poem of the day, by Oliver:


All poems copyright of the respective authors.


Shortlisted for the North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards!

Jan Dean, Michaela Morgan and I are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award!

Thank you, North Somerset Teachers, if anyone knows a good book for young people, a teacher does.

The other books shortlisted are A poem for Every Night of the Year, edited by Allie Esiri (I’m in this one!), illustrated by Zanna Goldhawk, published by Macmillan, A Rocketful of Space Poems, edited by John Foster (I’m also in this one!), illustrated by Korky Paul, published by Frances Lincoln and All Aboard the London Bus, by Patricia Toht, illustrated by Sam Usher, published by Frances Lincoln.

Good luck everyone!