Children’s Writing Competition 2021

The results are in!

Many congratulations to all our prize winners!  We have received just short of 500 entries from 94 schools and from young people being home-schooled, and the standard has been tremendous this year.  Thank you to everyone for their amazing contributions, especially in such challenging circumstances!

The theme for this year’s  competition – judged once again by Cressida Cowell, current Children’s Laureate and internationally best-selling author – was FRIENDSHIP.

Group 1 (school years Reception, 1 and 2) were asked to choose a book character they would like to have as a friend, explain why and draw a picture of the two of them together.

Winner – Isabella Mirza (St Hilda’s Prep School for Girls, Bushey)

Cressida’s comment: “I love the excited expression on Winnie’s face in the drawing, and that you’ve really thought in a detailed way about how to be a good friend, and magical assistant!”

Take a look at Isabella’s winning entry ISABELLA MIRZA

Runner Up – Millie Vaghela (Alpha Preparatory School, Harrow)

Cressida said that Millie’s entry “… is a very kind piece of writing, showing that you’re interested not only in cheering Crayon up, but how to do it – I love the idea of a raft ride. Your drawing of you and Crayon together is lovely.”   

Here’s Millie’s entry MILLIE VAGHELA

Highly Commended – Kaya Then (Burford School, Marlow Bottom)

We hadn’t planned on a Highly Commended prize but Kaya’s entry so thrilled Cressida that we simply had to award this to Kaya! “Congratulations for realising that loyalty is one of Toothless’s best qualities. I also enjoyed your drawing with the love heart.”  KAYA THEN

 

Group 2 (school years 3-6) had to choose 2 characters from different books and write a conversation between them as they meet for the first time, get to know each other and become friends.

Winner – Xavier Ward (St Martin’s School, Northwood)

Here’s Xavier’s entry XAVIER WARD and this is what Cressida had to say about it: “This is a lovely piece of writing, because the characteristics of both are exactly right: Paddington with his gentle absentmindedness and Poirot with his focus on details and problem-solving. It’s hard to write a mystery with only a short brief, but you have achieved it in a convincing way.”

Runner Up – Max Bowler (Berry Hill Primary, Mansfield)

These are Cressida’s comments about Max’s entry:  “I think you’ve done a brilliant job here of taking the structure and rhythm of The Gruffalo and translating it into your new story. I can tell that you know each character very well – the marmalade sandwiches are a nice touch. What I especially like here is that you’ve created a full, complete story, and that the message at the end is lovely and moving.”  

You can read Max’s piece here MAX BOWLER

Highly Commended – Joshua Montague (St Mary’s CE Primary School, Amersham)

And again Cressida particularly asked that we add a Highly Commended award into this category so we could acknowledge Joshua’s brilliant piece of work! JOSHUA MONTAGUE

Cressida commented: “Setting the story on the Isle of Friendship is a great idea and the writing is lovely and flowing. The first paragraph is especially lyrical.”

Group 3 (11-16 year-olds) were asked to write a short story (approximately 500 words) with the title ‘When I Needed a Friend’.

Winner – Sasha Aspinall (home schooled)

Cressida was full of praise for Sasha’s writing SASHA ASPINALL; “There are some especially wonderful aspects of this entry. I love that the surprise half way through that the character is a ghost is a funny moment, as it’s Halloween – this really lifts the whole piece of writing. I also think it’s clever that it’s the main character looking back, because there’s an element of past, present and also the future to come. I also love some of the detail – the offensively bright stripy tights are a nice touch, for example.”  

Runner Up – Uraira Zahid (Beaconsfield High School for Girls)

Cressida’s comments about Umaira’s entry UMAIRA ZAHID are: “What I enjoyed about this piece is that you’ve taken a pivotal moment in a character’s life, and delved into it in a detailed, empathetic way, exploring their feelings. You’ve also kept the writing style simple in a way that’s made it meaningful and effective. I love the focus on how a very small moment can make a real difference.”

MANY THANKS TO CRESSIDA COWELL FOR ACTING AS OUR JUDGE AGAIN THIS YEAR, HUGE  CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR PRIZE WINNERS, AND MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO ENTERED.  KEEP A LOOK OUT FOR NEXT YEAR’S COMPETITION WHICH WILL BE LAUNCHED IN JANUARY 2022!