Fylde WriteAway Challenge 1
UPDATE AND RESULTS:
Exciting news! Below are the results of the first writing challenge. We were delighted by the response to the challenge and the very high standard of the entries. Competition judges always say that it is so very difficult to choose the top entries, but this was especially true of this writing challenge. It was a true pleasure to read through all the entries. Inevitably, in these unprecedented times the majority of entries reflected the experience of ‘lockdown’ in some way or another. What was particularly impressive was the variety of approaches young writers from across the Fylde Coast took to their subject matter. What distinguished the very best entries was how they harnessed the power of the imagination and employed great writing skills to turn a view through a window into something vivid, powerful and moving. Whether using the medium of poetry or prose, all these best entries achieved what the great American poet Robert Frost once called, ‘a fresh look and a fresh listen.’
We would like to congratulate the winners and runners up but also everyone who took part. We would also like to thank teachers, parents/carers and others who have encouraged their students/children to take part.
We have some other exciting bits of project news. Firstly, with the help of newly appointed designer, Zara, who has been part of the wonderful Sixth Sense team (Blackpool Sixth student magazine/blog), the project will have a new home soon on a specially created blog. We will publish the winners and runners up from this challenge and quite a few more of the entries which we would particularly like to share with you. The new blog will also be the launching point for an e-book which will feature entries from all the WriteAway challenges.
Secondly, there will be another WriteAway challenge coming very soon. Watch this space and get ready to write!
Results of WriteAway creative writing challenge 1 (April 2020)
|Primary (Year 4 – 6)|
|Winner||Amelia Rudd||Lytham Church of England Primary School|
|Runner-up||Caitlin Rose Talbot||Layton Primary School|
|Lower Secondary (Year 7 – 9)|
|Winner||Sara-Jayne Parr||Lytham St Annes High School|
|Runner-up||Jack Leadley||Armfield Academy|
|Upper Secondary (Years 10 – 11)|
|Winner||Alicia Cooney||AKS Lytham|
|Runner-up||Scarlett Buckle||Baines School|
|Sixth Form (Years 12 – 13)|
|Winner||Leoni Latham||Blackpool Sixth|
|Runner-up||Elise Deery||Blackpool Sixth|
We are publishing the pieces written by the winners and runners-up one at a time during w/c 11th May
Runner-up Primary Age Category
What I see from my window by Caitlin Rose Talbot
The sparkling sun reflected upon the mainly abandoned streets. The cars were immobile, as if time had frozen. The concrete road lay untouched for weeks. The brick houses stood in neat rows, all containing people stuck in lockdown. All the doors were closed, as if they had never been opened in the first place. The once busy streets had turned into a place barely anyone stepped foot on. All that was seen was an old place that nobody had been on for long unless it was desperate, and probably would not be touched for a lot more weeks to come. Shadows of houses were untouched, and the shadows of cars stationary. No one was out. The short fences stood in different patterns, all untouched by humans for several weeks. As the days pass by, the white lines fade more. Nobody was seen walking about outside because they were stuck inside in the middle of quarantine. All that was heard was the squeaking of the annoying seagulls getting braver and braver as they searched hungrily for the food that was once so easy to find. The smell of fumes from cars passing by has been replaced by the sweet scent of pollen from flowers beginning to bloom. If you stood and listened for long enough, you could hear the waves of the water overlapping onto the sandy beach. Calm. Peaceful…
Winner Primary Age Category
Through My Enchanted Window by Amelia Rudd
Peering out from my toadstool window, I noticed fragments of light slowly fading as the blazing sun set over our garden. The night was reborn and the plants knew it was their time to come alive and play. I crept out of my house, took to the air and glided across the garden searching for humans. The coast was clear; they were all asleep. I winked to the trees and signalled with a swish of my wand to the sleepy flowers, to tell them it was safe to come alive. My wings tickled with happiness as I set foot on the pea-green grass, the last drop of warmth from the sun warming my toes. I could smell the beautiful aroma of the night-scented jasmine, the Queen of the Night, drifting through the darkness like a perfumed mist. The owls hooted a midnight melody and the trees waved in the wind. A dark cloud of bats dappled the moonlight as they flew freely in the air. A flock of sparrows danced extravagantly to the chorus of the owls as they too frolicked with merriment. Hedgehogs rustled about in the fallen leaves searching for slugs for their midnight feast, as the arms of the ancient oak tree reached up to the stars, swaying with the rhythm of the night.
Everything in the garden had awoken. The magic of the night had truly begun. Tulips stretched out their long necks and smiled at each other, whilst the Persian ivy embraced the old cherry tree with its heart-shaped leaves. Serenading the enchantment, the Nightingale sang her song relentlessly throughout the night, whilst the garden partied under the moonlight. I knew my work here was done for another night, as I retreated to my toadstool home where I looked out of my window to see a new day dawning.
Runner-up Lower Secondary age category
What I see from my window by Jack Leadley
It’s a regular Thursday morning – the best day of the week for lots of reasons, but mainly because every Thursday my next-door neighbour gets me a bone with her weekly shop. My mate Jack (he’s the smallest in the house, but he always looks out for me and sneaks me extra treats when the big people aren’t looking) runs across the road and picks my bone up. The second the flavour of the bone hits my tongue, all my worries feel like they have been lifted off my furry shoulders. From that minute onwards, I stare out of my window, looking at the beautiful blue sky with the birds chirping and I think, “How lucky am I?”
However, I am not always so lucky. Around lunchtime, a man with a big red van that says something like ‘Royal Bail’ (which I don’t really understand) comes to my house and gets me in trouble. He comes right into my garden and puts things through the hole in my door. I shout at him to go away but he always comes back. The weird thing is his face is always changing but he’s always in the same clothes.
We usually go for a walk after tea – our Thursday walks are my favourite, because when we get back to our street, all of the people are so happy we are back that they stand outside their houses and cheer for us. Last week, the lady across the road (small, white hair and my main rival for the leader of the street) even had a bell to ring. When we go inside, I like to sit on the window sill (even though I’m not really supposed to) and watch the people applauding and smiling. They look so happy, and it makes my day.
Winner – Lower Secondary age category
Windows by Sara-Jayne Parr
Windows. They’ve always fascinated me. You can watch the whole world pass by in seconds and no-one would even realise you were there. They’re all too caught up in their own lives to notice. At least that’s what I see through my window. I’m plenty aware of the rumours about me. The boy in the window, who hasn’t gone outside since the incident? I have what’s known as agoraphobia, the fear of going outside. My brother and I got jumped in the street one night. It didn’t end well. Since then I haven’t left the house. I did try, but I couldn’t even make it past the front gate before I started to panic and break down. Just in case you haven’t seen a twenty-one-year-old guy have a panic attack. I let you in to a little secret. It wasn’t very pretty. So, I now sit by my window staring up at the sky. Watching the pretty colours blend into a sunrise. I watch the birds awaken and the streets fill with people rushing along to work. So here I am like most days staring out my window. I check the time. Seven thirty-four in the morning the time when she walks past. Looking closely, I see her face among the crowd. I smile at her. The only thing is this time she smiles back. I watch her walk towards my door. Taking a piece of paper out her bag, she leans it against the door and scribbles something down before posting it and leaving. Getting up I walk towards my door to pick up the note.
To mystery boy,
Has anyone ever told you its rude to stare?
If you feel like answering give me a call.
Huh, maybe my life isn’t over after all.
Runner-up Upper Secondary age category
What I see from my window by Scarlett Buckle
Since the pandemic,
I’ve found myself trapped by my window,
Watching the clouds move,
And life shifting in front of me.
The boy speeding past on his skateboard,
The woman with two fluffy dogs,
Out on her daily demeanors.
My neighbours being overly chatty with passers by,
Not anxious like the rest of us keeping on distance,
Watching from our windows.
There seems to be more creativity,
Masks made from scarves,
Made of everything but an actual mask.
The idiocy of some people is baffling,
The woman with her mask down and smoking a cigarette.
She doesn’t know I am sat judging her,
From the safety of my window.
Sometimes the birds gather on my windowsill,
Clueless to what is going on in the world around them.
If only I could fly away and be high on life.
Or the cat led in the middle of the field,
Peaceful and perfectly oblivious.
What I would do to be as mellow as that cat.
Another dog walker goes by,
Scaring the cat away,
And it scampers across the street and hides.
Similar to myself,
Hiding behind my window.
I have became distracted observing these people,
But in times like these a good distraction is needed,
Or we will go to the darkest depths of our brains.
I wake up and wonder,
What will I see from my window?
And when I rest my head late at night,
I think about the people I saw,
And what they might be doing.
Maybe tomorrow they’ll do the same,
And watch the world from their windows too.
Winner Upper Secondary age category
What I see from my window by Alicia Cooney
I wake up to a sinister, discordant howling outside. Last time I looked out of my window, it was sunset, and everything seemed ‘normal’ – if I remember what normal is. The sky was the colour of fire, as if the clouds were bleeding. I found something beautiful in that. Being locked in this empty room for so long, this sky is like a television to me. But in the night, its aura seems to change, becoming something frightening. Maybe that’s why I’m never allowed outside.
Now, by the sky, I think it’s around 2am. Suddenly everything outside feels frantic. It becomes eerie every night, but tonight’s a full moon. These nights, the pandemonium heightens. Stars shoot across the sky with colours I never knew existed. The darkness is so intense, yet I can still see clearly. My apprehensiveness continues to grow. I feel like I can see evil hanging in the air, as if it were fog. Lightning crashes to the ground, and animals are running from it so quickly they’re a blur. I can’t see much more from the small frame of view my window allows, except the moon wickedly smiling down at me, as if he’s mocking me.
I’ve always been cursed with uncontrollable curiosity; although I’m terrified, something is urging me to explore. Every time it’s a full moon, I must restrain myself from leaving. My door is always locked and bolted, but I could shatter the glass and escape. I could just go outside for one night. What’s the worst that can happen? Death is inevitable, so I should die knowing what’s happening out there. I feel I’ll go insane if I don’t. Besides, I have nothing to live for being locked in this room with nothing but my window.
Runner-up Sixth Form age category
The view from my window by Elise Deery
The sun emerges from the clouds sending a trickle of sunlight down onto the tarmac road which rushes by under the car wheels. Slowly, raindrops trickle down the car window like horses in a race to reach the finish line and I watch willingly as the vast, green fields pass by me in a blur. The car wheels crash through a puddle which thrusts water into the air, a delicate waterfall, which hits the roof with a thud.
But I am protected as I immerse myself in the scene from the protection of the transparent glass, the window. Suddenly, a new colour comes into view as a delicate rainbow pierces through the dark, moody clouds which brings happiness to the sky! I look up, enjoying the whirlwind of colour as the rain slows and blue sky starts to form again. I push down the window ever so slightly and let the wind ripple through my hair which makes me feel free and happy.
The sun glints in the puddles left behind which causes a kaleidoscope of light to shine around the car like a disco. The view from my window is an endless painting of perfection for everyone to enjoy…
Winner Sixth Form age category
The New Normal by Leoni Latham
What I see from the window are
The seasons that are changing.
Transforming, moving, turning.
I can feel my pulsating heart burning
And my knotted stomach churning.
As the new life begins.
I look out and want to fly away, leave the nest,
I want to flee from what used to be considered the best.
We are temporarily forced to abandon those we love
As the powerful forces above
(Whoever or whatever they may be),
Effect the external and internal world of you and me.
As our new life begins.
Creative writing competition for primary, secondary and sixth form students
Blackpool Sixth is launching a series of creative writing challenges for children and young people who live on the Fylde Coast. These challenges will help with your all important English skills and will fire up your creativity.
Write a short story (maximum 300 words) or a poem (maximum 40 lines) based on the phrase ‘What I see from my window’. You can use the theme in whatever way you like. It could start with a description of a real view (but please don’t use any people’s names or street names!) or it could be entirely imaginary. Remember that when you are writing as ‘I’ it does not have to be you talking – it could be someone quite different in another place or another time.
Primary – school years 4 – 6
Lower Secondary – school years 7 – 9
Upper Secondary – school year 10 – 11
Sixth Form – school years 12 – 13
Closing date: All entries must be received by midnight on Thursday 30th April 2020.
There will be a winner prize of a £20 Amazon Voucher and one runner up prize of a £10 Amazon Voucher for each age category. In addition, we will publish up to 5 entries, including the winner and runner-up on our website and will create an e-book with the selected entries.
We will be looking for:
Creativity – original writing which engages the readers’ imaginations. Take them by surprise if you can!
Descriptive power – make sure your writing brings the scene you describe to life and appeals to the different senses.
Skilful expression – pay close attention to each word you use to have an impact on the reader
Please stick to the word length (short story) or line length (poetry) – longer entries will not be put forward for judging.
How to submit:
Please submit your entry in a Word document attached to an email and send it to email@example.com
Please use ‘Write Away Challenge 1’ in the subject line.
In the body of your email, please include your full name, your age and the school/college you have been attending in 2019-20. Please also write in the email these words: “This piece of writing is entirely my own work.” Entrants in the primary and lower secondary category – please ask a parent/guardian to submit your work via their email account.
Please note, we will not store any of this information but we will use the email account you used to send the entry to contact you if your work is amongst the winners or those selected for publication. Please remember to check your emails for any replies from us!
The entries will be judged by Jon McLeod, Head of Admissions, Liaison and Marketing at Blackpool Sixth. Jon is a former winner of the Northern Short Story Competition and his poetry has been published in magazines, journals and a recent anthology. He has taught creative writing in the UK and in Singapore.
- Entrants must be enrolled at a Fylde Coast school or college.
- Entries are limited to one per child/young person.
- The story or poem must be entirely the work of the child/young person.
- We can only accept entries by email.
- All entries for challenge 1 must be received by midnight on Thursday 30th April 2020
- If the child’s/young person’s work is selected for publication, we will need permission from a parent/guardian before the work can appear or any names can be published.
Look out for Challenge 2 coming in May!