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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Pupils urged to get writing
boy writing
The aim is to raise literacy standards in schools
Primary school pupils in England are being encouraged to put pen to paper for this year's Write Here, Write Now competition.

To enter the competition, children have to complete a short story, poem, article or script started by a celebrity.

Open to children aged between eight and ten, the initiative - now in its second year - is part of the government's campaign to improve literacy standards.


This competition is playing an important role in encouraging writing

Estelle Morris
There are separate awards for pupils who have overcome physical disability, language or social problems to improve their writing.

Last year's competition attracted a total of 33,521 entries, with girls wiping the floor - of the ten winners, eight were girls.

This year's star authors are Grange Hill creator Phil Redmond (script), children's novelist Jacqueline Wilson (story), poet and comedian John Hegley (poetry) and Tony Robinson, in his fictional guise as Baldrick (article).

The deadline for entries is Friday 13 July and children can enter individually or in groups.

The scheme was launched at a London bookshop by the School Standards Minister Estelle Morris, in the company of Hollyoaks' stars Terry Dwyer, who plays Ruth Osborne, Danielle Brent (Gina Patrick) and David Brown (Adam Morgan).

"Improving standards of writing is a top priority for this government and this competition is playing an important role in encouraging writing," Ms Morris said.

More information can be found on the competition website, www.writehere.org.uk or by calling the helpline on 01634 729 825.

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