Writing competition kicks off Saffron Walden Literary Festival

SAFFRON Walden Literary Festival has begun with the launch of a writing competition for schoolchildren.

The competition was launched by bestselling children’s author Marcus Sedgwick. The author visited Friends’ School and spoke to around 80 students about his work to mark the opening of the festival, Words in Walden, organised by Harts.

Children aged 11 to 13 year-olds from all the area’s secondary schools can take part – they have to create their own short story from the opening lines of one of Mr Sedgwick’s books. The entries will be judged by Mr Sedgwick himself, together with representatives from Harts and Mullucks Wells.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Sedgwick said: “I always encourage would-be writers to finish everything they start, and this competition will give Saffron Walden’s young people the chance to do exactly that.

“I’ve selected two of my opening lines and we’re asking the students to write the first paragraph, a summary of the story that would follow, and finally a closing paragraph.”

Supporting the event, William Wells of Mullucks Wells, said: “A competition such as this is a really exciting development for the Words in Walden festival.

“We are really looking forward to having the opportunity of reading the entries to see for ourselves the imagination and writing talent of our young people.”

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The competition is open to year seven and eight students from any school in the Saffron Walden area. Entries need to be less than two sides of A4 paper and the closing date is Friday April 8.

The winning entry will receive �150 and two runners up will each receive �50. For full details on how to enter, please download an entry form from mullucks.co.uk