In December 2019, the challenge was launched for local primary school pupils to write a 500 word short story around the theme of “Go Further”. There were no additional rules to limit their creativity, other than to have fun. The children were encouraged to be original, make us laugh, make us cry, excite us and let their imaginations run wild.
The children did not disappoint and Trent College’s Head of English had the difficult job of judging the competition and shortlisting to just 30 finalists. The winning top three were reviewed and ranked independently by a local Nottingham children’s author, Darren Simpson. The stakes were high as the pupil who placed first would receive their age in books plus a guided reading set for their own primary school.
Reflecting on the judging process, Darren commented, “The three stories were all great and very different to each other, so it was really hard to choose.”
Congratulations to the winners
Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to our 2020 winners:
1st place – Isabel, Year 6 pupil – Firfield Primary School
Darren Simpson was full of praise for this piece and described it as “beautiful, thoughtful and poetic prose, with a present tense and attention to detail that puts you right into the head of the protagonist.” He thought it was, “very inventive writing”, and the themes of love, determination, resilience and hope really chimed with him.
2nd place – William, Year 6 pupil – Draycott Community Primary School
The technical and creative writing ability of this pupil highly impressed Darren who referred to the entry as “an epic, ambitious story crammed into a compact word count! Brilliant, vivid imagery and imagination, exploring important themes of greed, society and community.”
3rd place – Katherine, Year 5 pupil – The Elms
Darren connected with the theme of this article and explained he, “loved this tale of friendship and environmentalism. Very heartfelt and in tune with nature and the forest.” He really liked “the idea of not only cleaning the wood, but also recycling the rubbish there into something useful and positive – a more important message than ever.”
Strengthening connections with local schools
The highly anticipated annual Short Story Competition is just one of many initiatives within the Trent College Primary School Liaison programme, which was established to facilitate new and exciting learning opportunities through collaboration with local schools.
The parent of Isabel (1st place winner) was thrilled with the opportunity the competition had given her daughter and commented, “Please pass on our thanks to you and the school for organising and coordinating such a fantastic competition, where local pupils can express their creativity and imagination through story writing.”