The rich imaginations and expressive zeal of the creative minds of young people came vividly to the fore when they were given a writing challenge organised by Battle Rotary Club and Battle Writers’ Group.
Over 150 students from six schools entered the local round of the Rotary International in Britain and Ireland Young Writer competition which had the subject ‘Our world is beautiful.’
Competition judges – actor and writer Jonny Magnanti; writer, historian and Hastings Rotary Club member Brion Purdey and Battle Writers’ Group chairman Roy Chapman had a tough job selecting finalists.
Students from the Intermediate 11-13 years class and the Senior 14-17 group attended a packed presentation ceremony in Battle Memorial Hall. The audience included Battle Mayor Cllr Margaret Kiloch, Bexhill Mayor Cllr Maurice Watson and wife Mayoress Ann, East Sussex 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.
The finalists, from five local schools, were: Harold Quigley, Isabelle Stephen, Sam Bennett, Georgia Band, Andrea De Freitas, Niamh Wheeler, Leila Lopez-Moran, Ellie Bostock-Smith, and Amber Rampling.
Rotarian Brion Purdy says the finalists had the choice of reading their work themselves or inviting a nominee. “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”, he said.
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. They will now compete in the regional stage of the competition in April. The national final is in May. Every finalist took home a certificate. Master of ceremonies, Rotarian Harold Lawrence, urged the youngsters to continue writing. “I am telling you young people, you are very, very good,” he said.
“Please don’t give up!”