Young writers from Bexhill, Battle and Robertsbridge impressed judges in a competition jointly organised by Battle Rotary Club and Battle Writers’ Group.
More than 150 students from six schools responded with entries for the local round of the Rotary International in Britain and Ireland Young Writer competition which had the subject ‘Our world is beautiful.’
The competition judges – actor and writer Jonny Magnanti; writer, historian and Hastings Rotary Club member Brion Purdey and Battle Writers’ Group chairman Roy Chapman - soon found that they faced a Herculean task in selecting finalists.
Six from the Intermediate 11-13 years class and four from the Senior 14-17 group attended a packed presentation ceremony in Battle Memorial Hall last Friday evening.
Intermediate finalists were: Leila Lopez-Moran of Claverham Community College, Ellie Bostock-Smith of Battle Abbey School, Niamh Wheeler of Bexhill Academy, Andrea De Freitas Rodriguez of St Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill, Imogen Cleary of Vinehall School and Georgia Band of Roberstbridge Community College.
Senior finalists were: Sam Bennett of Bexhill Academy, Isabelle Stephen of Robertsbridge Community College, Amber Rampling of Battle Abbey School and Harold Quigley of Claverham Community College.
The finalists had the choice of reading their work themselves or inviting a nominee.
The audience included Battle Mayor Cllr Margaret Kiloch, Bexhill Mayor Cllr Maurice Watson and his wife and Mayoress Ann, county council chairman Cllr Colin Belsey, Rother chairman Cllr Jimmy Carroll, Rotary District Governor Ray Dixon and the Rotary district community and vocational chairman Brian Dunne.
From environmental concern to personal grief, from the beauty of nature in close-up to an overview from space, the young writers had coupled originality with a maturity of style which earned them warm applause.
Winners Ellie Bostock-Smith and Amber Rampling each received a trophy for their school, a personal trophy and a set of books by local author Jenny Hall. Both will now compete in the regional stage in April of the competition which will have a national final in May.
Every finalist took home a certificate at the end of an evening from which master of ceremonies, Rotarian and Writers’ Group member Harold Lawrence, said there were only winners.
Urging the youngsters to continue writing, Harold said: “I am telling you young people, you are very, very good.
“Please don’t give up!”
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