Log In

Reset Password

Eva’s poetry career takes flight

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Eva Worsick with magazines containing her poetry (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Some adult poets struggle for years to see their work in print, but Eva Worsick is a published poet at 10.

Work by the St George’s Preparatory School student appeared in the latest editions of children’s literary magazines, Stone Soup and Magic Dragon, both competitive publications.

Stone Soup, published by the Children’s Art Foundation in Santa Cruz, California, is for children ages 8 to 14 and entirely child written. Eva’s poem was chosen from an estimated 3,600 submissions each year. The magazine has a digital circulation of more than a thousand customers, half of that libraries and schools.

Magic Dragon has similar numbers and is for students 12 years old and younger. It is published in Webster, New York by the Association for the Encouragement of Children’s Creativity.

Eva found out in the summer that her poem Cedar Tree would be published in Stone Soup, but did not know her work had been accepted to Magic Dragon until a copy arrived this month in the mail.

“I was very happy,” Eva said.

Eva had to make a recording of her poem for Stone Soup’s website. At the time, St George’s Preparatory was still in remote learning.

“The principal played the recording on her Zoom assembly when we found out it would be published,” her mother Lucinda Spurling said. “It was nice, because she is shy so she did not have to actually read it out in front of people.”

Ms Spurling said Eva, a modest soul, was actually slightly embarrassed when the poem was played over Zoom.

“But it will be great for her to look back on her early publishing success when she is older,” Ms Spurling said.

Eva fell in love with poetry last year in Primary 5 when teacher Heidi Brown taught a unit on poetry. Writing was already one of Eva’s favourite things to do in school, and she took to poetry with zeal. She was soon scribbling verses at home and in the classroom.

“My cousin had written a poem about a palmetto and her brother was going to write one about an olive wood,” Eva said. “Since they were doing trees, I wrote one about a cedar tree. At my house, we have a cedar tree with a swing. But the swing is broken now. Cedars are one of my top three favourite trees.”

She dedicated the poem to her grandfather, Rick Spurling, who is a volunteer at Carter House Museum in St David’s.

“Carter House is committed to conserving Bermuda’s early biodiversity which includes all endemics and natives and excludes all invasive species,” Ms Spurling explained. “Carter House has planted 45 different native and endemic species of plants on the grounds of the museum including cedars. The cedar is of course, one of the three most important endemic trees along with the olive wood and the palmetto. Eva’s Cedar Tree poem is on display inside the museum.”

In Cedar Tree, Eva described how the tree in her garden made her feel.

When swinging from your branches,

I feel like I have wings.

When I tell you my secrets,

You never say a thing.

Her mother was impressed.

“She had written all these poems,” said Ms Spurling, a filmmaker. “She came back from school with them. I thought those are pretty good for her age.”

And Eva’s enthusiasm for poetry, made her mother particularly happy because Eva struggled with reading for the first three years of school, due to an eye condition.

“Once they got the right diagnosis for her eye condition it became a matter of her catching up,” Ms Spurling said. “She is also the youngest child in her class. She was ten on December 21. Creativity is her strength and she likes writing. I wanted someone other than mom to tell her that she has done a great job with her poetry and to encourage her.”

She thought getting Eva’s poems published would give Eva a confidence boost.

“I want to encourage her because not all kids will be top maths whizzes,” Ms Spurling said. “There are other forms of talent. I wanted to find a way to recognise her talent. I found a blog online that listed all of the publications that accepted children’s work. Out of those there were three different ones we could enter.”

She submitted four of Eva’s poems to Stone Soup and Magic Dragon.

“They each accepted different poems,” Ms Spurling said. “I was really pleased because these were competitive magazines.”

Eva’s poem accepted by Magic Dragon was called Night Bird and was about the cahow.

As the cahow rustles out of its nest, while the others rest, the small birds take flight into the night.

The fact that Eva’s poem about a cahow had been accepted was particularly pleasing to Ms Spurling. One of her early films was a documentary called Rare Bird, about the rediscovery of the cahow.

“It’s a bird dear to my heart,” Ms Spurling said.

Ms Spurling said Eva reminds her of herself at that age.

“She is more creative than academic and I can see that in myself,” Ms Spurling said. “I just want to encourage her. Being from a small island, it is nice for kids to see how their writing measures up with other kids in the United States. These were both US publications. I was very proud of her.”

Ms Spurling bought a couple of copies of the magazines to give to friends and family at Christmas.

So far, Ms Spurling’s plan to build her daughter’s confidence is working.

“It absolutely encouraged her to go back and write more, 100 per cent,” Ms Spurling said. “The other night I put her to bed, but she came out later and said she had to borrow my laptop because she was inspired. She wrote a poem.”

“I am working on some more poems,” Eva said. “But I’m not sure what I will write about next.”

For more information see stonesoup.com or www.magicdragonmagazine.com.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 28, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated December 29, 2021 at 8:04 am)

Eva’s poetry career takes flight

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon