Jan 8, 2020

Young writers to image Freedom

Freedom is the title of this year’s WriteStuff competition for young writers, a theme particularly apt as the island moves towards the 75th anniversary celebration of the Liberation on 9 May.

The popular writing competition, which is open to local pupils in the Bailiwick of Guernsey of all ages, is launched by the Guernsey Literary Festival this week (7 Jan). The closing date for entries is Friday 6 March.

The challenge for young writers is to write an imaginary 300-word story inspired by the theme of freedom. There are three classes, Primary (years 3-6), Intermediate (years 7-9) and Senior (years 10+). The competition is sponsored by Julius Baer and promoted by Guernsey Literary Festival partners the Guille-Allès Library, the Schools Library Service, Island Mums and The Guernsey Arts Commission.

For some, Freedom may mean the beginning of the summer holidays, being outside with friends or spending time in nature. Perhaps it might even mean being able to use an electronic device for as long as they want! For others it might mean imagining release from captivity or restriction, or being given the chance to live the lives they want. 

Whatever the scenario, the young writers will need to realize their interesting idea with imagination, style and emotion. 

Head judge will be an explorer and best-selling author who is no stranger to the Festival, Huw Lewis-Jones, and the other judges will be Neal Layton (Intermediate class), Onjali Q. Raúf (Senior) and Andy Riley (Primary), all of whom will be taking part in the Festival.

Neal Layton is the award –winning author illustrator of The Tree and the non-fiction picture book A Planet Full of Plastic.

Onjali Q. Rauf is a joint Blue Peter Book Award and Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize winner, whose books include The Boy at the Back of the Class and her latest novel The Star Outside My Window. 
Andy Riley is an author, cartoonist and screenwriter best known for his King Flashy Pants book series, comedy adventure stories full of cartoons, for children between 5-10. 

The winners will be announced in April and the prizes will be given out at the Competition Awards Ceremony on Saturday 2 May 2020– during the Literary Festival. 

The judges will look for an interesting character(s) in memorable settings, clever plot choices, well-chosen dialogue, and the ability to create emotion. Entrants do not need to write a whole story but should focus on crafting an episode which really showcases the power of the story they are telling. 

Jean-Luc Le Tocq, from the competition sponsors, says, 'The theme of this year’s competition is especially close to every islander’s heart and we at Julius Baer are keen to support a competition which encourages children to be imaginative and creative in their education.’

There will be a cash prize of £50 and a trophy for the winner in each category, with £25 cash prizes for second and third places. In addition, the three winners in each category will be awarded a certificate and have their entries published on the website. 

All nine winning stories will also have an illustration produced of their story by artist Ginny Morgan, which will serve as a cover on their digital story and the original artwork will be given to the winners as part of their prize.
Each school which is represented by entries will receive a copy of a book signed by one of the judges.

All entries should be submitted directly through the website: https://2020.writestuff.gg

More information and entry details are available on the WriteStuff website or from the Guille-Alles Library or school libraries.


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