Well before she’s even graduated from Central Elementary School, student Portia Wainwright is a published poet.

Portia earned third prize in the Grade 2 category for her poem If I Were A Princess in a national competition, and that earned her a spot in the poetry collection Treasured Beats.

The book is produced by Maple Ridge-based publisher Polar Expressions and features poems by students from kindergarten to Grade 5 from across Canada.

Portia said she was inspired to write the poem after her princess-themed birthday party.

In her poem, Princess Portia would wear silk and be the picture of grace.

She would live her princess life in London, England.

“I was going to do a poem about a mango at first, but I thought that wouldn’t be very exciting,” Portia said.

She said she came up with the title and worked from there.

“I would buy a bunch of shoes, a bunch of dresses, and crowns,” she said.

She would also use her fortune to help others, Portia said.

In fact, she is donating her $20 prize from the competition to her school library.

“So they can bring more books so I can read them,” the Nancy Drew fan explained.

She’ll also give a copy of the anthology to the public library, she said.

Portia’s mother, Wasanthi, said her daughter was surprised to learn she’d won a prize and would have her poem published in the book. However, it’s not a first for the family.

Portia’s sister Nishani has also had her name in one of Polar Expressions’ books after the poem she wrote while in Grade 2 was selected for publication.

Now having finished Grade 5, Nishani said she is proud of Portia’s achievement.

“I was just really happy for my sister,” Nishani said.

Portia’s teacher, Patty Wong, said she introduces her students to the competition during their poetry unit at the end of the year. She said she saw evidence of the social studies curriculum, which discussed countries and the queen when England came up, in Portia’s poem.

As the mother of two published poets, Wasanthi said she hopes her daughters’ success in the contest will help inspire others to try it.

Polar Expressions runs four poetry and short story contests each year.