Earlier this year super smooth TV personality Anton Du Beke of Strictly Come Dancing became the face of a writing competition launched by pen company uni-ball to get children to evoke their imagination and develop their original digital skills using pen and paper.
“I want kids to ditch their computer consoles and television sets,” commented Anton. “The art of handwriting is so important. It brings many benefits to youngsters and when linked to reading can reinforce achievement.”
Now, thanks to support from uni-ball, The Link is running a competition for Swindon children in three categories:
and under 18.
Swindon Link publisher Roger Ogle said: “To write clearly and present what you want to say in an attractive way with a pen or pencil requires thought, discipline and practice. We hope this old fashioned competition will capture the imagination of children and they will receive encouragement from parents and teachers to take part.”
Christine Pratt from Abbey Meads, who suggested the competition after she saw the Anton Du Beke story at www.swindonlink.com, said: “Far too many children, who may be quick-fingered when texting on their phone or using a computer keyboard, have limited natural handwriting and spelling skills.
“Computers with spell-check and other editing features tend to make the very best of us lazy. When the time comes to complete job application forms or give careful consideration to a personalised handwritten letter, we struggle.
“Our world of cyber-space and ‘text-speak’ is not helping prepare our children for tomorrow’s world of business. So this competition is a super chance to concentrate on handwriting skills.”
The competition will run over the holiday period so that children can turn off their computer or games console and spend some time working on entries.
How to enter Pen2Paper
What to write: Entries should be on a single A4 page. It can be:
a. a short piece of copied out writing;
b. a short original story, or
c. the alphabet written out in capitals and lower case lettering.
How entries will be judged: The judges are Link publisher Roger Ogle, keen pen woman Christine Pratt from Abbey Meads and calligrapher Jill Ryan-Brown from Old Town. They are not looking for quantity of writing. They will be searching for neatness, clear formation of letters and consistency of layout on the page.
Prizes sponsored by uni-ball:
Under 8: Signo Scents gift set, POSCA selection, uni-ball Signo sparkly wallet, uni-ball Signo metallic wallet, uni-ball Signo Gelstick 8 piece
Under 12: Fanthom 8 piece pack, uni-ball Signo metallic wallet, POSCA selection, uni-ball Signo Gelstick 8 piece, uni-ball Signo 207 colour triple blister
Under 18: uni Jetstream Premier, Signo 207 Premier, Kuru Toga, Vision Elite triple pack, uni-ball Eye triple pack,
The 2nd and 3rd prizes in each category will be items from above categories. See the product illustrations at www.uniball.co.uk
Closing date: The competition will run until Monday 9 January so that children can work on their entries over the Christmas holidays.
Entries which should be sent to Swindon Link, 71 Basepoint, Rivermead Drive, Swindon SN5 7EX. Please include your name, address and age on the back of your submission.