PASSIONATE voices advocating for nature echoed across the country as the 2023 Young Wild Writers competition culminated in the announcement of its winners. Organised by Hen Harrier Action and judged by a panel spearheaded by renowned children’s author Gill Lewis, the contest witnessed an overwhelming display of young talent.
Stories varied in theme and style, ranging from the captivating tale of a Christmas Robin to a heart-wrenching narrative of the last Kiwi caught in a devastating forest fire. Young writers, aged between 6 and 16, submitted a myriad of pieces, including non-fiction, story, prose, and poetry. As Lewis pointed out, the submissions, covering animals from ants to the colossal whales, were so diverse and of such high calibre that choosing winners proved a formidable task.
The victors in the three categories were:
- Young Category: Muireann Beck, 8, from Mallaig Primary School
- Junior Category: Adam Breffit, 10, from Cuffley School in Potters Bar
- Senior Category: George Metcalfe, 16, from Haberdashers’ Boys’ School in Elstree
These exceptional entries emerged as the best from over 300 submissions. Prizes for category winners and the two runners-up in each category will be dispatched in the coming days.
The criteria for judging revolved around themes of animal survival, creativity, and depth of research. Gill Lewis remarked on the profound impact of quality writing, stating that it has the power to shift perspectives and leave a lasting impression on readers.
After considerable deliberation, the piece that stood out and clinched the title of the overall winner was George Metcalfe’s ‘The Big Finale’, which highlighted the struggles of a Kiwi amidst a forest fire. Lewis praised the entry for its originality, vivid descriptions, and riveting narrative arc, leaving readers with a mixture of melancholy and apprehension.
Those eager to read George’s winning entry, and to explore the complete list of talented winners, can visit Hen Harrier Action’s website: here.