I was really honoured to be one of the judges for the first Get Write In! competition for children with care experience.
The judging panel was chaired by Raymond Soltysek. Our Makar, Jackie Kay, also a judge, presented the prizes and gave a humorous, warm and encouraging speech in praise of the winners.The winners were presented with their prizes by Jackie and Mark McDonald, Scotlandâ€™s Minister for Childcare and Early Years, at a special event at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. The fantastic prizes included a trip to the Harry Potter Experience in London with overnight stay and travel, a storytelling and creative writing workshop, and tickets for Scottish Book Trust Authors Live events.
The junior winner was Joseph Ness for his entry â€˜Dumbâ€™, and winner in the senior category was William Cathie with â€˜New Lifeâ€™. All the young writers submitted moving work, some of which was funny and much of which reflected their lives in care: strong and articulate young people.
Get Write In! was supported by The Scottish Book Trust, Who Cares? Scotland, the University of Strathclyde, and the world famous Edinburgh International Book Festival. The other judges were Fiona Buggy fromÂ Who Cares? Scotland, Niall Walker from The Scottish Book Trust and Dr. Graham Connolly from CELCIS.
Participants from throughout Scotland were encouraged to submit a 500 word creative story in either English or Scots, capturing the theme of â€˜Random Momentsâ€™ about an unexpected surprise, a moment that was a turning point, or a fork in the road, which could be transformed into an inspiring story. CELCIS (read their piece on the competition here) led the development of the competition and, as usual, were able to bring lots of energy from writers and people who support looked after children.
Check out my blog on the CELCIS website written on the day of the ceremony.