The Lion Challenge: a guide for schools

The Challenge winners’ party at the St Pierre Park Hotel, Guernsey

[This document, explaining the competition and the background to it, was provided to schools and remains available for free download and educational use anywhere. The 2020 competition in Guernsey has now closed.]



Challenge Theme : Victor Hugo’s poem, ‘The Epic Story of the Lion’ written for his grandchildren, Georges and Jeanne




A lion has snatched a young Prince from the palace and carried him off to a cave in the forest. Who can rescue the Prince from the Lion ?



All you need to do to enter the challenge is read ‘The Epic Story of the Lion’ and create a piece of artwork (painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, poetry or prose reflecting anything from the poem e.g. a character(s), the forest, the palace, or a feeling e.g. scary, happy, sad.





Secondary and Primary Age Groups and Suggested Themes


  • Ages 14 – 18 Y. 10, 11, 12/13 Victor Hugo’s poem and the moral of the story
    Ages 11 – 14 Y. 7, 8, 9 The changing moods of character(s) e.g. happy/sad/afraid/angry
    Ages 7 – 14 Y. 3, 4, 5, 6 The character you liked most or least
    Ages 4 – 7 Reception, Y. 1 & 2 ‘The Lion’
Criteria for Presentation of Creative Artwork


Entrants can use a range of materials and techniques from any of the following :
Drawing (e.g. pencil, pen, crayon, pastel etc.), painting, print-making, collage and montage (photography can be integrated into the piece but we will not accept a stand-alone photographic entry). Pictures submitted must be 2D i.e. relatively flat). Artwork can be any size but should not exceed A3. Entries can be produced on paper, hardboard or fabric but they must adhere to the size-guidelines above. Entries should be unmounted and unframed. 3D entries -sculpture/modelling entries should be small and easily portable e.g. masks on paper plates no larger than 25cm maximum dimension). Creative writing entries must be in the spirit of the Challenge and relevant to Victor Hugo’s poem, ‘The Epic Story of the Lion’. They may be up to 500 words in length.

For younger children, there is a simplified story version of the poem on the Victor Hugo in Guernsey Society website. Go to and see ‘The Big Story of the Prince and the Lion’ (simplified for Primary Schools, downloadable in pdf format)
For older pupils, see ‘The Big Story of the Lion’ (Victor Hugo’s poem translated by Timothy Adès)

For French language students, please see Victor Hugo’s original poem ‘L’Epopée du Lion’.
Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1877 (pp. 205-25)

Either email details required on entry form and attach your creative work to the email.
Or if you prefer, print the entry form, add details, take a photo of completed form and email it on an attachment together with an attached photo(s) or scan of your creative work and send to You can send up to two pictures of your creative work (jpg or pdf). If your entry is in a computer file, please send full details.

Judging and Awards


Entries will be judged on both originality and artistic merit and judges will be looking for an imaginative and inspiring response to the theme. The judges’ decision will be final and no individual correspondence will be entered into. All entrants will receive a commemorative certificate which will be sent to each school. A panel of judges will select leading Primary and Secondary entries and commemorative awards will be presented at a future date and venue to be decided.

Conditions for Submission of Entries


  • Only one entry per person and entries must be entirely the work of the entrant.
    Entrants must agree to their work featuring on either or both The Victor Hugo in Guernsey website or Facebook page.
    All entries MUST include the details required on the entry form. This information MUST be legible to be considered.
    Entries must be emailed to by 4pm Wednesday 10 June 2020.

Good luck !


[This document, explaining the competition and the background to it, was made available to schools and remains available for free download and educational use. The 2020 competition in Guernsey has now closed.]