If you are to believe everything you hear in the news these days, you will know that children aren’t reading or writing anymore. Well, I don’t believe that’s true. They are writing some highly imaginative and creative stories, which is exactly what I found out when I visited Hawkinge Primary School in May 2013. I was there to talk to the year 6 students about writing and as part of the presentation, I suggested we run a competition where the winners would get the chance to become a ‘published’ author.
Several weeks later, as I read the entries, I was genuinely impressed by the variety and quality of the work, showing individual style and character to their voices.
The overall winner of this competition was Bethany Curtis-Christie. If you happen to read any books on creative writing, one thing they always say is to start your story with a bang. This is exactly how Bethany’s begins, with the Bang! of a gun. Her story follows the subsequent murder investigation. Despite being confined to the length of a short story, Bethany makes small and suggestive remarks about her characters as well as minor details about their surroundings and past, making you want to know more. I, for one, want to read the sequel!
I decided to include a second story in this book by another student – Charlotte Barnes. Again, here is another story that grabs you at the beginning in a surprising way. Charlotte’s story, The Spirits of Elwood, is intriguing and shocking. Charlotte’s imagination is vivid and intense, resulting in a unique and chilling tale.
I hope you enjoy reading these two stories. I’m proud to have been involved with the school on this project and hope that it has inspired the children to write. Given the chance, they have a unique view of the world as well as an untamed imagination that translates beautifully to books.
I hope Bethany and Charlotte continue to write and look forward to seeing their books in the future best-seller lists!