The 2023 MY HERO Mattie J.T. Stepanek Poetry Award Student Winner

by Abigail Richardson from MY HERO Staff Writer

For Immediate Release

Abigail Richardson
Editor and Staff Writer
[email protected]

Oliver Wilcox from Somerby, Leicestershire, UK has won the student category of the MY HERO Mattie J.T. Stepanek Poetry Contest 2023.

The educational charity based in California USA, The MY HERO Project, hosts the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Poetry Contest annually in honour of ‘heartsong’ poet and peace activist Mattie Stepanek. Before Mattie passed away, just before his 14th birthday, he had become a New York Times Bestselling author and a celebrated guest on Oprah, Good Morning America, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) Telethon. His mother, Jeni Stepanek, continues his legacy with the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation and is the judge for the MY HERO poetry contest.

The Poetry Contest seeks ‘heartsongs’ about heroes working for peace, human rights and the environment. “A heartsong,” Mattie explained, “doesn’t have to be a song. It can be your message, your feeling—some people might even call it a conscience. Even though that’s not really what it is. It’s what you feel you need to do.”

The 2023 MY HERO contest took place this summer in Laguna Beach, Los Angeles via the online platform. There were many participants from around the globe and Oliver Wilcox from Sombery, Leicestershire, UK was honored with first place in the student category, winning a MY HERO Certificate and a £20 Book Voucher. You can read the poem here: /my-trans-friends

Said Oliver: “I will probably put the voucher towards a hardback Sherlock Holmes collection I have been looking at recently. Thank you for the opportunity to write for MY HERO.”

152836Poetry Contest WinnerMY HERO

The MY HERO Mattie J.T. Stepanek Poetry Award Contest is unique in that it is open to poets, artists, filmmakers, and spoken word artists. To find out more go to:

Call for Entries for MY HERO Student Reporter Essay Contest

The MY HERO Project is excited to announce an essay contest for student reporters that aims to honor and celebrate unsung heroes in your community. Essays should focus on an individual who has made a positive contribution. Participants should highlight the actions and impact of the chosen hero(es) in their essays and should emphasize how these contributions have inspired and influenced the student and/or others. MY HERO believes that by highlighting the stories of these heroes, we can inspire others to take action and make a difference in their communities and beyond.

Eligibility: The contest is open to students of all ages and comes with prizes.

Submission Deadline: May 1st 2024

Find out more:


For more information on MY HERO visit the website:

For more information about the Poetry Contest go to:

For more information about the Essay Contest go to:

Page created on 10/4/2023 1:47:08 PM

Last edited 3/19/2024 1:15:14 PM