John Colet School Hosts Award Ceremony For Young Budding Authors

  |  Published: Feb 1st 2013
some of the judges

The John Colet School, in Wendover, and Rotary Wendover & District, held their annual short story competition prize giving on Wednesday 30 January.  Matthew Lightfoot, from Weston Turville C of E School, beat off strong competition to take victory, and was presented with his trophy by Sue Thornton, President of the Rotary Club of Wendover & District.

This joint initiative invited Year 6 pupils, from local primary schools, to submit a short Christmas story.  Members of Rotary, who whittled down over two hundred entries to just twenty.  The final shortlist of thirteen were sent to the John Colet.  It was then the job of a panel of John Colet Year 8 students to decide who would finish First, Second and Third.

Matthew’s story, Patch’s Dream, captured the imagination of all the judges.  The heart warming tale follows the adventures of a puppy called Patch, who is looking for a new home on Christmas Eve night.  Patch stumbles across Father Christmas who helps him to find a loving family.  The judges were impressed by Matthew’s creativity, and particularly enjoyed the story being told through the eyes of the dog.  Matthew says: “I am so pleased and surprised to win.  I have a dog so this helped with my story.”

Second prize went to Abigail Rowland from Aston Clinton School,  with her story Lost Christmas.  Third place was awarded to Lauren Hoft, from Bedgrove Junior School, and her story A Miracle On Christmas Morning.

Rachel Gray, Nico Pope and Ben Frost were some of the judges from the John Colet School, and they explain what a tough task it was to find a winner: “All the entries were very imaginative and creative.  It was so difficult to choose the top three, as there were such a big variety of stories.  It took a long time and much debate before we were agreed.”

The competition is now in its third year, and is growing in popularity.  Sandra Maizels, Rotary’s Chairman of New Generations  says: “The response this year has been great making it very difficult to decide on the final thirteen.  We were looking for something special, a surprise or something that made us smile.  The John Colet students’ enthusiasm for  the competition is incredible, with so many pupils always willing to volunteer their spare time.”

The schools that entered the competition this year were Aston Clinton Combined, Bedgrove Junior,  Francis House in Tring, Wendover Junior C of E and Weston Turville Combined C of E.  The twenty finalists won a dictionary, a certificate and an Amazon voucher plus all twenty stories have been printed in a professionally produced and illustrated book.

The short story challenge is part of the Primary Liaison initiative, whereby John Colet students give their time to help local primary school pupils by organising various activities, or visiting primary schools to help with literacy and reading.  Other events include a Maths Day for Year 6, a Drama workshop for pupils in Year 4, a Year 5 Movie Making Club and a very competitive inter primary school annual quiz, which is now in its fourth year.

Wendover’s branch of Harpenden Building Society, who supplied the vouchers for the winners, has supported the competition since its inauguration.

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