South East Dorset Writing Competition Winners


Two young people from Verwood were awarded for their creativity.

Isla Budd was the winner of Key Stage 1 of The Paddling Pool and Benjamin Clarke the finalist of Key Stage 1 of the Home-Start South East Dorset Creative Writing Competition.

In September, the charity launched a writing contest to encourage local families to share their stories. There were excellent prizes up for grabs including autographed books, reading vouchers and baskets. Shortlisted entries were judged by local bestselling children’s author Sarah Lean, whose latest book “The Good Bear” was Waterstones Children’s Book in November.

Each age group had its own unique topic of writing, from favorite outdoor activities to the ups and downs of parenting and more.

Sarah Lean said: “It was a joy to read all of the Home-Start Writing Contest entries. The entries to Key Stage 1 were full of fun and really put a smile on my face as they talked about their favorite outdoor activities. In Key Stage 2 the theme was “If I were a Director” and some of the entries were extremely funny and inventive. The inputs from Key Stage 3 and from the parents were very moving and introspective, with the winner of Key Stage 3 demonstrating a very mature understanding of poetry with excellent rhythm and a clever use of mirror phrasing.

The other winners were: Key Stage 2, “If I were Headteacher” by Shanaya Telang, Canford Heath, finalist, Grace Stratton from Upton for “Hectic Headteacher”.

Key Step 3, ‘When will it end’, a poem by Aoife from Bournemouth, finalist, ‘I don’t understand’, a poem by Katie from Bournemouth. Parent Winner: ‘My Boy’, a poem about what parents think about their child growing up, by Becky Walters,

finalist, An inspiring story about being a parent with ME (chronic fatigue syndrome), by Wendy Parrott

Gayleen Hodson, Founder of Hodson Writing Services, which sponsored the competition, said, “Writing and creativity are so important to children and adults, and I am delighted that through this competition we have inspired them. local families to share their stories. I really enjoyed reading all of the entries and hope the winners can continue their love of stories using the book vouchers they’ve won.

Caroline Pope, Head of Community and Corporate Engagement at Home-Start South East Dorset, said: “The quality of the applications we received was fantastic. We have all been inspired by the creativity of children and adults in our region. I cannot thank Sarah Lean and Hodson Writing Services enough for their involvement in the competition and their support in our work with families.

All the winning stories and poems can be read on the Home-Start website:


Comments are closed.