Winners announced at St Mary’s Shaftesbury Born to Write Competition Ceremony

Last week, winners from 17 schools across Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire attended St Mary’s Born to Write 2020 prize giving ceremony, supported by the Blackmore Vale Magazine.  More than 210 entries were submitted on the theme of Earth from pupils in Years 4-9.  Author and UK Patron of Reading Joffre White, who judged the competition, praised the young writers shortlisted for the quality and standard of their writing.

Joffre, who judged the entries without any knowledge of the writers’ names or schools, began with an inspiring speech about the power of the written word and the ability of books to change lives. He encouraged all the prize winners to continue with their writing – and their reading – as there was so much talent on display.

After awarding the highly Commended prizes, Joffre announced a special Author’s Prize for Thomas C from Wardour Primary School for his story ‘Bird’s Eye View’. Joffre was so impressed with the story, saying it was ‘Written with the voice of a Peregrine Falcon. Lovely pace and phrasing, which was written with lots of empathy. I soared with the Falcon as I read it.’ He felt it deserved to be recognised and so presented Thomas with signed copies of his own four books.

We then moved on to the main three prizes. The Year 4-6 category winner was Lily C from Perrott Hill for her story ‘Red Sky at Night’, a powerful story about the Australian bush fires.  Joffre said it was ‘Such a lovely story, not just because it was well written, but because the writer was obviously well aware of the subject, and transferred their emotions and feelings into their writing.’

The Year 7-9 category winner went to Caitlin W from Leweston who wrote a moving story entitled ‘Climate Change’, which anticipated the effects of climate change on a local and international level. Joffre said of the piece that it was ‘Up to date and topical, such a powerful message. I loved the relationship between the two characters. Written with a perfect ending.’

Finally, the overall winner was Martha C from Wardour Primary School for her story The Wild Snakeshead – a brilliantly constructed story told from the point of view of a fritillary flower.  Joffre said” What a stunning and original piece of writing from such a young writer. It connects beautifully with the reader. I absolutely loved it.’ He then read Martha’s story aloud to a mesmerised audience to conclude the wonderful event.

Congratulations to all those who took part, in particular to those who received Highly Commended awards: Cheryl S from Hanford, Lella P from St Mary’s, Molly H from Wardour, Katya H from Perrott Hill, Tabitha P from St Andrew’s, Finty V-S from Farleigh, Alice A-D from Sandroyd, Anstice R from St Mary’s, Annabel L from St George’s, Charlotte G from Leweston, Harry B from Perrott Hill, Lalage B from Hanford, Bella W from Sandroyd, Matilda R from St Mary’s, Polly R-P from Hanford, Peggy D from Sandroyd, Tristan E from Farleigh, Dylan D-D from Bryanston, Fleur W from Farleigh, Alice H from St Mary’s, Harry F from Farleigh, Cecily J B from Bruton School for Girls, Xander B from Bryanson, Pranav B from  Bishop Wordsworth’s, OIiver C from Perrott Hill, Jasmine J B from Bruton School for Girls and James F from Sandroyd.

St Mary's Shaftesbury-Winners announced at St Mary’s Shaftesbury Born to Write Competition Ceremony 2