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May 15, 2019

Young authors are found to have the Write Stuff

Chloe Sebire, Sam Brown and Lizzie Kennedy were the class winners in this year’s Guernsey Literary Festival’s Write Stuff writing competition for local school pupils, a competition which attracted a record 700 entries from 21 schools.

Young writers were asked to create a special place from their imagination for this year’s competition, which was open to pupils of all ages in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The title for this year’s 300-word competition was ‘Imaginary Worlds’.

Head judge for the competition was historian, explorer and best-selling author Huw Lewis-Jones, and the three other judges were award-winning authors Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Ross Collins and Piers Torday. Filter judges were Tony Booth and Rachel Wyatt. The competition was sponsored by Julius Baer.

Chloe, from Hautes Capelles (Year 4) won the Primary Category with her story If Only it was Imaginary, which greatly impressed Ross Collins. Ross said that ‘Chloe's story is a worthy winner. Using very little description or explanation she manages to skilfully throw the reader into the worlds of two endangered animals. By seeing through their eyes we feel their visceral fear. It's a smart and gripping piece which makes the reader pause to think about the world we all share.’

Piers Torday judged Year 7 Elizabeth College pupil Sam Brown as the winner in the Intermediate (Years 7, 8 and 9) class with his story The Red Terror. ‘This is the beginning of a story rather than a complete one, but no less satisfying for it,’ said Piers. ‘Written with an effortless sense of place, mystery and menace worthy of Ursula le Guin herself, this author has storytelling in their bones - I want to read on!’

Ladies College student Lizzie Kennedy won the Senior Class for Year 10 and above with her story A Perfect World, which was judged a winner by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. ‘This entry was my winner because I was (and am!) desperate to read on,’ said Kiran. ‘The author created a brilliant set up with a few deft lines, and the piece is pleasingly free of cliche, written in confident prose that really gives insight into our protagonist's mind and situation. I would see this as a better-written Uglies, or The Belles, if it were ever finished - which I hope it will be.’

The three winners in each class were:
 Primary: 1, Chloe Sebire; 2, Joel Smith (Year 6, Amherst); 3, Lewis Hodge (Year 5, Amherst)
Intermediate: 1, Sam Brown; 2, Zaheer Anees (Year 7, Elizabeth College); 3, James Le Vasseur (Year 9, Elizabeth College)
Senior: 1, Lizzie Kennedy; 2, Casper Bailey (Elizabeth College); 3, Amandine Harris (Ladies College)

High Commended, by Tony Booth:
Primary: Ella Gurney (Year 6, Notre Dame); Senior: Stevie Austen (Les Voies)
Filter Judges: Tony Booth & Rachel Wyatt
Head Judge: Huw Lewis Jones

Primary Category:
Years 3/4/5/6:
Final Judge: Ross Collins
1st Prize:
99: If only it was Imaginary:
Year 4 : Hautes Capelles
Chloe Sebire

Chloe's story is a worthy winner. Using very little description or explanation she manages to
skilfully throw the reader into the worlds of two endangered animals. By seeing through
their eyes we feel their visceral fear. It's a smart and gripping piece which makes the reader
pause to think about the world we all share.

Intermediate Category:
Years 7/8/9
Final Judge: Piers Torday
First Prize:
266 The Red Terror
Year 7: Elizabeth College
Sam Brown
This is the beginning of a story rather than a complete one, but no less satisfying for it.
Written with an effortless sense of place, mystery and menace worthy of Ursula le Guin
herself, this author has storytelling in their bones - I want to read on!

Senior Category:
Years 10 plus
Final Judge: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Lizzie Kennedy
First Prize:
594: A Perfect World
The Ladies College
This entry was my winner because I was (and am!) desperate to read on. The author created
a brilliant set up with a few deft lines, and the piece is pleasingly free of cliche, written in
confident prose that really gives insight into our protagonist's mind and situation. I would
see this as a better-written Uglies, or The Belles, if it were ever finished - which I hope it will
be.

To find out more, visit www.writestuff.gg where you can view all the stories including the winning stories which have been beautifully illustred by artist Charlie Buchanan.

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