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The Fowey Festival Young Writers and Artists Competition 2024 – Presentation of Awards Day

Young Writers and Artists competition logo

Beaches logo

The 2024 Fowey Festival Young Writers and Artists Competition was launched in mid-January, and this year the theme was Beaches.  Children living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly aged between 4 and 16 could enter and produce a piece of fictional or factual writing, poetry or art.  They could enter individually or through their school.  Sometimes, a whole class would enter, and all the children’s pieces of work would be sent in.  The closing date was 6th March.  This year, the total number of entries reached almost 900.  This was by far the most entries ever and was truly wonderful, even though it did mean the judges had to work extra hard this year!

The range of ideas that came from the theme of Beaches was absolutely fantastic, and the growth in ability is really marked when you are looking at work across such a wide range of ages, all working with the same subject.

Judging was divided into key stages, with a first and second prize for KS1, KS2 and KS3 in each of the four areas that the children could choose for their entries.   It was noted that particularly in KS2, the range of ability from the youngest to the oldest is inevitably going to be vast, so consideration was taken regarding age, and one or two extra prizes were added when that seemed appropriate.  There was also plenty of opportunity for the judges to award highly commended and commended certificates to the children who had done really well but were not quite up to first or second place.

The judging took place in the first part of April and was divided into the four groups: factual writing, fiction, poetry, and pictures.  Each judge was given a group of work in a particular area and within one Key Stage.  Their remit was to study all the entries they had been given and to decide which pieces of work were to go through to the next stage, when the judges would meet to discuss the entries together.  After much coffee, tea, and many chocolate biscuits, the judges agreed on a first and second prize, plus some highly commended an commended awards for each area and key stage. 

Then the fun part began, as each child or young person who had come first and second was told of their success and invited to the Presentation morning.

Young Writers and Artists competition winner pic1

We include images showing some of the winning entrants receiving the certificates and awards.

Eventually, the great day arrived, and on Saturday 20th April, the winners, their parents, the judges and the organisers all joined together at Fowey Hall Hotel for a lovely morning.  The sun shone, which was a first in Fowey for a long time, and that made the day feel even more special.  There was tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits for everyone as they gathered for the two presentation events.  At 10am, the presentation for the art and the poetry took place and then at 11am, the presentations for the factual writing and fiction followed.  This meant that the room was not too crowded and that the younger children did not have to sit for too long.

Young Writers and Artists competition winner pic2

Richard Brice from the Arts Society Mid Cornwall and local children’s author Ellie Jackson joined the event to present the prizes. 

Each winning child was given a certificate, and the artists received their pictures back, beautifully framed by Atishoo Gallery in Charlestown.  Across the categories, winners also received book tokens.  There was also a special award for the overall Artist of the Year and the overall Writer of the Year.

Young Writers and Artists competition winner pic3

It was great fun seeing the framed artwork.  One of the prize winners was accompanied by her little dog because he was in her picture, which was lovely.  The poems, factual writing, and fiction entries were all read out to the audience, sometimes by the children who had written them and sometimes by Angela, who had coordinated the whole competition.  It was great to be able to hear what the children had written read out to us all.

Young Writers and Artists competition winner pic4

We thank Waterstones, the Arts Society Mid Cornwall, Fowey River Gallery and Atishoo Gallery, who generously provided prizes, display space and framing of the artwork, Fowey Hall Hotel for hosting the award ceremony, and all the judges and organisers for their hard work and fantastic support.  We especially thank the children and young people who entered the competition with such enthusiasm.  The morning of the presentation was a huge success, and everyone enjoyed it.

Young Writers and Artists competition winner pic5

Full results will be published on the Fowey Festival website shortly.

Ann Willmore April 2024.

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