Elson Road, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9EU

The creative cogs have been turning…

Oyez! Winning writers from North West Academies Trust (NWAT) schools had an ear-splitting treat when their stories bellowed out by Chester’s Town Crier.

The talented children had taken part in a competition open to all pupils in NWAT primary schools – Ellesmere Primary School, Shropshire, Delamere Academy and Weaverham Primary Academy, near Northwich, Oak View Academy, Winsford and Grosvenor Park Academy and St Martin’s Academy, both in Chester.

Their 500-word tales had been judged by a panel of Trustees and Town Crier David Mitchell, without regard to grammar, punctuation or spelling.

The top wordsmith were Grosvenor’s Harry McCarroll, who won £50 in Waterstones vouchers and £250 for his school.

Second and third was Delamere’s Murray Turner, who won £40 in vouchers and £200 for his school, and William Webster, who won £30 in vouchers and £150 to school.

The other 13 finalists received £10 in vouchers each, with a £100 special prize going to Delamere Academy for getting the most children to take part.

Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, said: “We celebrate hard work and achievement and this competition showcased everything that is good about our schools and why we are so proud of our children.

“More than one of judges were moved to tears by the stories, and the depth of creativity and imagination across the board is just brilliant.”

Judges described the stories as quirky, humorous and moving, with explorations of everything from other realms to complex emotional and social issues.

Mr Mitchell, who was a primary school teacher for 16 years and read the stories out at Waterstones in Chester, said: “Story writing is very challenging for children, particularly finishing with a good ending, but they managed to keep me guessing.

“I was particularly impressed with the variety. Every story was completely unique and I genuinely enjoyed reading them.”

Every child who took part has also been entered into the BBC 500 Words competition, which will broadcast live from Windsor Castle on BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, on Friday 14th June.

The short story-writing competition for children between the ages of five and 13 was launched in 2011 by Chris Evans, who dreamt of getting children excited about reading and writing.