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Tuesday, 4 December, 2001, 18:03 GMT
Awards for young writers
boy writing
The aim is to raise literacy standards in schools
The young winners of a government-sponsored writing competition have been announced at a glittering awards ceremony in London.

The competition, Write Here Write Now 2001, attracted more than 15,000 entries from primary school pupils across England.

Some people might think the written word is dead, but all the children who entered have proved it's alive and storming into the 21st Century

Tony Robinson
There were four categories - script, poetry, story and non-fiction article - and entrants were required to complete a piece using opening lines written by well-known authors.

This year's authors were Grange Hill creator Phil Redmond (script), children's novelist Jacqueline Wilson (story), poet and comedian John Hegley (poetry) and actor Tony Robinson (article).

Clever twists

The authors were joined by children's TV presenter Richard McCourt and school's minister Cathy Ashton to present the awards at London's Natural History museum on Tuesday.

Open to eight and 10 year olds, the initiative - now in its second year - is part of the government's campaign to improve literacy standards.

One the same day, a report by schools inspectorate Ofsted on the national literacy strategy bemoaned the lack of progress in primary school pupils' writing abilities.

But Cathy Ashton said: "Our national literacy strategy has proved to be a real boost to the standards of children's reading and writing.

"The enthusiastic response to the competition and the excellent quality of the winners is a tribute to children and teachers across the country."

Tony Robinson said: "The competition entries had sackfuls of ideas, clever twists and silly similes.

"Some people might think the written word is dead, but all the children who entered have proved it's alive and storming into the 21st Century."

The winners were:

  • 10-year-old Matthew Manning from St Joseph's RC Primary School in Exmouth for his story entitled Hamster Boy.
  • Lucy Tittle, 10, from St Peter's CE Primary School, Heswall in the Wirral for her poem, Travelling.
  • James Assock, aged 10, from Highfield Junior School in Bromley for his non-fictional piece on Global Conservation.

    Joint winners for the script category were:

  • Kate Oxlade, 11, Andrew Miles, 11, and Jermaine Mclellen, 10, from Edinburgh Primary School in Walthamstow for She's Not There,


    David Fairley, nine, Abigail Leslie, 10, Rebecca Heneghan, 10, and Alex Holroyde, 10, from Old Earth CE Primary School in Elland, West Yorkshire, for Cheat.

The winners of the story, poem and non-fiction categories will each receive a trip to the Disney Studios in London from the Disney Channel and a computer from the Learning Company.

The national winners in the script category will win a trip to the Disney Studios and 750 book vouchers to be split equally between all members of the group.

Improvement awards

Separate awards were allocated to pupils who overcame physical disability, language or social problems to improve their writing.

The winners of these awards were:

  • Conor Down, 10, from Shawley Community Primary School in Epsom Downs, Surrey for his story The Changing House Kid.

  • Joshua Pitt, 10, from St Paul's Cathedral School in London for his story The Hamsters.

  • Dylan Eames, nine, from Heyes Primary School in Bromley for his poem Fuss on the Bus.

More information about the competition winners and full texts of the winning entries can be found on the Write Here Write Now website,

See also:

29 Nov 00 | Education
Girls show writing flair
02 Aug 00 | Education
Pupils rise to writing challenge
11 Apr 00 | Education
Schools wartime essay contest
23 Nov 00 | Education
Trip to DC for student essayists
28 Nov 00 | Education
Writing blots schools 'triumph'
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