Children across the county are being invited to take part in The Kent Big Writing Challenge, with a prize-giving ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral in August.
The theme of the challenge, which is being organised and promoted by KCC’s Reconnect programme in conjunction with the KM Charity Team, is “local heroes”.
The competition is open to children and young people who live or go to school in Kent.
There are three different age categories: key stage 1 (years one and two primary), key stage 2 (years three-six, primary) and key stages 3 and 4 (years seven to 11, secondary).
The competition is launched today and entries, which have a limit of 500 words, must be received by 31 May. Entries can be a short story, a poem, a short play, an essay or even a sound recording.
Award-winning children’s author Nick Butterworth, the man behind the Percy the Park Keeper books among others, will be attending the awards event when all winners will receive a framed certificate and a commemorative book.
The overall champions will receive a specially designed glass trophy and KCC will be funding a trip for the classes of the three overall winners.
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Shellina Prendergast, said: “I hope as many Kent children as possible take up this challenge and enter the competition.
“It is aimed at encouraging a positive relationship with literacy and is the chance to demonstrate children’s creativity. I am really looking forward to seeing the results of their imaginative ideas.
“I hope this will become an annual creative writing competition for children and young people.”
Mike Ward, from the KM Charity Team, said: “The KM Charity Team is so excited to be involved in Kent’s Big Writing Challenge and we hope that this is the first of many.
“Literacy is at the heart of the programmes delivered by the KM Charity with Buster’s Book Club and Buster’s VIP programmes. Giving children the knowledge and the motivation to be the best they can be is at the core of everything we do and if our involvement gives one child a love of literacy then it has been a huge success.”
The Reconnect programme is funding the competition while the KM Charity Team is managing the logistics including creating the webpage and submission portal, sorting the judging panel and process and organising the awards event.
For further information and for details of how to enter, go to www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/kbwc
KCC’s Reconnect programme was created in April 2021 to try to reconnect children and young people with things they have missed during the Covid-19 pandemic. It runs to the end of August 2022 and more information can be found on the website.