Amelia Curtis from Grange Junior School fought off tough competition from children all over the country with her story, ‘Magic Balloon’, a charming tale of a magic balloon which flies a girl to see the wonders of the world.
The competition, now in its fifth year, was judged by Cressida Cowell, author of the best-selling How to train your Dragon series, which inspired the hit DreamWorks movie. The competition attracted over 15,000 entrants.
Cressida says: “I was thrilled by the imaginative quality of the writing in the entries for the National Young Writers’ Award and it was immensely difficult to choose a winner. There were stories where the protagonist was an eagle, or a lion. There were exquisite pieces of description where a character had ‘travelling seething under his rags’. Through the children’s eyes I visited ‘eternity-filling pyramids’, and Amazonian rainforests where the trees had ‘broad, chocolate-y trunks’. I met a king who lived high in a castle, ‘on the bitter coast of Scotland.’
“It is tremendously exciting that we have so many creative young people in this country.”
Cressida herself won a similar writing competition when she was nine years old and says that it inspired her to go on to become one of the UK’s best loved children’s authors.
This year’s task was to write a 500-word story with the theme ‘Around the World’. The aim of the competition was to encourage children to get creative and give writing a try. Explore Learning ran a number of fun, free writing workshops all over the country.
Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning was blown away by the quality of entries. She says: “The standard of stories we received this year was incredible. We had more children enter than ever before showing what a creative bunch of children we have in the UK. We’re proud to run the prestigious competition and want to congratulate everyone who took part.”
Explore Learning provides English and maths tuition to children of all abilities aged 5 to 14. They have 80 centres across the UK, offering a fun and vibrant environment to learn in. Over 21,000 children attend Explore Learning with that figure increasing by 25% each year.
Visit Explore Learning at Sainsbury’s Bridgemead, Swindon, SN5 7YG or call 0179 3614641 to book a free trial session.