Children’s writing competition for Sidmouth and Ottery


06:00 20 May 2022

Primary-aged children in Sidmouth and the surrounding area are invited to take part in a writing competition to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Thousands of trees are planted to mark the Jubilee, dozens of them by Sidmouth Arboretum. For the contest, kids are asked to imagine being one of these trees and think about how it would grow, what it might witness, and how trees make the planet a better place.

Stories should be no more than 500 words, can include drawings and can be submitted by participating primary schools, Sidmouth Library and Ottery St Mary’s Library, until Friday June 17.

The winners will receive their prizes on the last day of the Sidmouth Folk Festival, Friday August 5th.

Black and white copy of Mark Hannon drawing for kids to color
– Credit: Mark Hannon’

Two artists, children’s illustrator Mark Hannon and Private Eye cartoonist Tony Husband, have created drawings of trees to inspire children. There are black and white copies that can be colored in and a color version of which signed framed copies will be given to the winners of the stories.

Color version of Tony Husband's drawing

Color version of Tony Husband’s drawing
– Credit: Tony Mari

The Sidmouth Science Festival, through the Arboretum Project, is once again offering family activities at this year’s Sidmouth Folk Festival. Children’s author Jo Earlam helps organize the contest and will be one of the storytellers at the Arboretum’s Tree Folk booth at the Folk Festival.

She said: “Last year’s competition on the theme of thinking about the footprint we all leave on the planet generated such creativity in the children’s stories that we wanted to repeat this way of engaging their children. imagination.

“Trees and the Queen’s Jubilee seemed like a perfect subject for this year. It was Arboretum member Ed Dolphin who came up with the brilliant idea of ​​kids imagining they were a real tree, which provides so many possibilities for original writing.

The writing competition will be judged by Tracey and Simon West of international environmental charity The Word Forest Organization, based in East Devon. CEO Tracey said, “It’s easy to help our planet be well by planting trees and growing flowers that help birds, bees and wildlife thrive. Think about what you can do this year to help Mother Nature take care of our whole world – she needs you!”


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