Huddersfield public relations agency Scriba PR has presented 250 new books to schools across Yorkshire, as a prize for the five winning entrants to its short story competition for under elevens.
Budding storytellers were encouraged to take part in the writing contest, which welcomed tales of up to 250 words from youngsters with a Yorkshire postcode. The entries could be about anything at all, inviting a vast array of subject matter – from mining in the local surrounds, to diving among tropical coral reefs.
With a high calibre of submissions from youngsters across the region, imaginative plots, great spelling and detailed descriptions paid off for the five well-deserving winners. Each child has been awarded a prize of 50 books for their school, including a combination of popular fiction and non-fiction titles for readers of all ages – from Roald Dahl’s classic tales, to Kate Pankhurst’s inspirational guide, ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Made History’.
Thomas Ford from Grewelthorpe C of E Primary School in Harrogate was selected for his inventive story about a hungry lion, while Hartshead Junior & Infant School’s Beatrice Haigh was chosen for her vivid depiction of scuba diving in Australia.
Upperthong Junior & Infant School had two victorious entrants – Aimee Awty regaled the judges with a spooky story about a mysterious wolf, while Harry Frankland’s imagining of a mining disaster was gripping and full of suspense. Caelan Auty from Meltham C of E Primary School was the youngest winner, picked for his hilarious superhero tale of Captain Bumblebee.
The stories were judged by the Scriba PR team, who spend the vast majority of their time writing themselves, and were thoroughly impressed by the entries.
Managing director Katie Mallinson said: “It was a joy to receive each and every one of these stories, and we hope the entrants enjoyed writing them as much as we did reading them. The standard was very high and we’d like to say congratulations not only to our winners, but to everyone who took part and put pen to paper – or fingers to keys!
“There’s so much out there at the moment about the importance of STEM subjects – and there’s no denying that they are hugely important. But the value that creativity and the arts have within schools and beyond shouldn’t be overlooked.”
Launched on National Read a Book Day (6 September), the competition is the agency’s latest initiative to help support literacy and learning in schools. The company has previously run workshops and internships for over 16s, but is committed to championing the benefits of reading and writing to pupils of all ages.
Katie added: “Storytelling is something we do every single day here at Scriba, and it’s a passion that unites our whole team. So, having youngsters rise to this challenge – and blow us away with their imaginative ideas – has been really inspiring. We hope these new books will further ignite an interest in reading and writing within the winners and their schoolmates.”