04 March 2016

School children across Northamptonshire are being invited to show their writing skills and imagination in a new short story writing competition.

The competition is being launched by Northamptonshire County Council as part of its Race To The Top school improvement strategy, which aims to raise educational standards and outcomes for young people across the county.

Pupils in Years 5 and 6 are being set the challenge to write a story of between 500 and 1,000 words about any topic they choose.

Prizes on offer

A judging panel will choose a first, second and third prize-winner, as well as two runners-up. The winning child will receive a £50 book token and their school will receive £300, the second place finalist will win a £50 book token and the school will win £200 and the third place finalist will get a £50 book token and their school will get £150. The two runners-up will receive a £50 book token and their schools will win £50.

The closing date for entries is Friday 20 May and the finalists will be announced on Monday 20 June. There will be a special prize-giving ceremony for the winning children on Sunday 3 July at the prestigious Althorp Literary Festival.

The short story competition follows the success of the Race To The Top coding competition last year, which invited pupils to use their technology skills to design a game or an app.

'Pen to paper'

County council leader Cllr Jim Harker said: “I hope pupils across Northamptonshire will be inspired by this competition to put pen to paper and let their imaginations run wild.

“This is a great opportunity for us to focus on writing skills at key stage 2 level and really challenge children to show us what they can do.

“I am very grateful to Lord Spencer for his support in this venture and would encourage all of our schools to get involved and set their pupils writing. I look forward very much to reading the entries!”

How to enter

To find out more about the writing competition, including how to enter, visit the Race to the Top web page.

Further details about the 13th Althorp Literary Festival can be found on the Spencer of Althorp website.