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Results of the Felixstowe Book Festival Young People's Writing Competition 2017

Written by · Published Jul 12, 2017

The results of Felixstowe Book Festival’s 2017 writing competition for young people have been announced and the winning entries are also being made available as a special Suffolk Libraries eBook compilation.

This year’s writing competition had a special theme to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the publication of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s book We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea. Children and young people were challenged to write a short story, in less than 500 words, with the fist line ‘We didn’t mean to…’.

Nearly 500 entries were received, and a panel of judges selected the top three entries in four age groups. The judges were David Leney (a retired head teacher), Ruth Fitzgerald (local author of the popular Emily Sparkes children’s books) and Matthew Shenton (literacy ambassador for Suffolk Libraries). They all agreed the judging process was very challenging due to the high quality of entries.

Prizes for the competition were awarded at a special ceremony in His Lordship’s Library at The Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe. The winning young authors all received feedback from the judges and heard an excerpt of their stories read out. The prize-winning entries can now be read in full in a special eBook available to download and read for free from Suffolk Libraries’ eBook catalogue.

The winners of each category were as follows:

  • 5-6 age group: Ella Douglas – ‘I Don’t Like Spiders’. A tale about falling down the plughole and turning into a spider.
  • 7-8 age group: Grace Ellis - ‘We Didn’t Mean to … have Such an Adventurous Holiday’. A trip to Scotland takes an exciting turn with the discovery of stolen jewellery.
  • 9-11 age group: Betty Ransom – ‘The Ant War’. A social struggle between armies of ants.
  • 12-18 age group: Lucy French – ‘The Backbone of the Library’. A cautionary tale about a rather scary librarian.

The library eBook compilation includes the top three entries for all four age groups.