Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch has announced the winners of her World Book Day short story competition, which was open to children across Uttlesford and Chelmsford.

Children were asked to enter stories based in or about their town or village.

With the support of local author Alison Miles, Mrs Badenoch announced Jessica from Great Easton Primary School as the winner for the Year 5 and 6 category, and India from Saffron Walden County High School as the winner for Years 7 and 8.

Analysing the winning entries, Alison Miles, said: "I strongly believe all creative arts are hugely beneficial to developing young minds.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Kemi Badenoch delivering the award to India at Saffron Walden County HighKemi Badenoch delivering the award to India at Saffron Walden County High (Image: Courtesy of Kemi Badenoch)

"Writing has many benefits for children, such as problem solving, knowledge retention and improving communication skills, especially of complex ideas.

"Jessica’s tale contained all the components of an engaging short story. She used evocative, descriptive language to set the scene and intensify the atmosphere.

"The story had powerful emotional content manifested in the relationships between the characters. It also had a surprising twist in the middle and another at the end, which brought the story to a close in an eloquent, simple, and effective way.

"India’s story showed a consistent maturity of writing. She set the scene with an effective description, using metaphors and alliteration, which also lent the tale an engaging, poetic style.

"It was a super idea to hark back to the origins of Saffron Walden’s name. The story was well paced, and the ending certainly took me by surprise."


Two runners up were also chosen in each category, and the pupils will now receive a bundle of books donated by Pearson and WHSmith.

Mrs Badenoch added: "I was impressed not only by the number of children who sent in an entry, but by the quality of stories. We have some talented future authors here in Chelmsford and Uttlesford.

"I would like to thank all the pupils, their parents and school staff who took the time to take part in the competition. 

"Congratulations to Jessica and India for their well-written stories, both of which were rather mysterious and eerie. I hope they enjoy their prizes!"