Seven outstanding young writers were presented with awards and prizes at Waterstones Dumfries on Friday 27th January by Tom Pow, the judge of a hotly contested competition run by the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust in collaboration with Waterstones Dumfries.
This is the first Young Writers Competition to be organised by the Trust planning a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling which is due to open in Dumfries in 2018. Over 100 entries were received from children aged 4 to 16 in three age categories who sent in stories from across Dumfries & Galloway and as far away as Cumbria, London and Southampton. The inspiration for their adventures came from a specially commissioned drawing by graphic novelist ‘Stref’ who created a scene from Neverland featuring Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tigerlily, Mermaids, Lost Boys and Fairies.
The winners of the Young Writer’s Competition are Miriam Dutton, age 6, Elliot Gashi, age 11, Cargenbridge Primary School, Dumfries and Fiona McLaren, age 14. Second Place went to Scarlett Willacy, age 10 from St Michael’s Primary, Dumfries. Third Place went to Leon Watson, Bookwell Primary School Cumbria and Highly Commended went to Grace Williams, age 6, Sarisbury Infant School, Southhampton and Donald Whitelaw, age 8, Troqueer Primary School, Dumfries.
The entries were sent in by parents and schools and judged by children’s author Tom Pow (who has himself written a book about adventures in the enchanted land at Moat Brae), Jane McBeth from Waterstones Dumfries and Anna Meldrum, Community Learning and Engagement Officer at The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust.
Anna Meldrum said “We were absolutely overwhelmed by the number of entries and the quality of the writing demonstrated by the children who brought their own exciting, vivid and fresh approaches to this classic story. We had great fun reading these new Adventures in Neverland – there was humour and heartbreak, terror and triumphs and some very confident skills and styles which we hope the young writers will continue to build on. We can’t wait to see what happens when we run the competition again later this year!”
Excerpts from the whole collection of stories by young writers will be shared across our website and social media pages in the next few weeks.