“Homework has never been so much fun” was the reaction from pupils and teachers in response when The Glades’ announced their plans to hold a Young Author competition in April this year. The story writing adventure was used by some schools as a homework exercise with a chilly appeal. The Glades penguin, which will be appearing at the animated grotto at Christmas, was given as the theme and children were challenged to write their own best seller. The winning story will be published with images by children’s illustrator Nicola Slater.
The Glades Marketing Manager, Maria Cooper, was impressed by the number of applications and the enthusiasm that the children put into the task. “I couldn’t believe the standard of the stories” she says. “We were really impressed by the response. We received entries from all over the country and the imagination and creativity demonstrated was truly inspiring. It made the judge’s task very difficult and we realised that there is a lot of potential out there. It was a really rewarding project for us and working with local schools is something that we would like to do more of in the future.”
Winning entrant was nine-year-old Alexander Moore, known as Alex, a pupil at Highfield Infant School whose chilly tale of “Whapper Flapper’s Adventure” caught the judge’s eye.
His mother Amanda said: “I am so proud. Alex has always struggled with his literacy. He did not want to enter at first because he didn’t think he was good enough. We have been helping him a lot and encouraging him but winning this prize will give him a real boost”
Alex said he was “surprised” by his win. “It took me about three hours to write,” he said. The story of “Whapper Flapper, a two-year-old penguin who goes on a trip to England after finding a recipe for flying potion was inspired by a trip to the zoo where he saw the penguins.
The winning entry in the Key Stage 3 category was Natalie Powell-Davies, 12, a pupil at Sedgehill School, Lewisham.
In the Key Stage 4 section Hannah Bennet, aged 14 and a pupil at Hayes School, scooped the award.
The judge’s panel was comprised of News Shopper Editor, Andrew Parkes, children’s author Andrew Murray, professional storyteller Susanne Bass, independent judge Sue Webber, The Glades’ marketing manager Maria Cooper and illustrator Nicola Slater.
The top 20 entries in each category will have their stories displayed at The Glades (theglades.uk.com) during the October half-term holiday (23rd-27th October) along with free children’s workshops where you can create your own penguin mobiles and masks, to edible icing biscuits and design your own book bags. An awards ceremony will be held alongside the opening of The Glades Christmas Grotto on Sunday 29th October.
For more information on events please contact: Sarah Walsh/Maria Cooper, The Glades Marketing Department, 0208 313 9292.
Young Author was sponsored by The Glades and News Shopper.
The Glades Shopping Centre is part of the Capital Shopping Centres portfolio.
Images are available. Please contact Christine Holmes.
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