Young Wild Writer Competition 2020
For this competition we invited children to write about any British wildlife – animals, plants and their habitats. The entry could be a story, a poem, a piece of prose, the choice was up to the writer. We were looking for originality, creativity, understanding of the subject and the ability to engage the reader.
We were delighted to be almost overwhelmed by over 500 entries, with a very high standard. Our judges, Gill Lewis, the children's author, assisted by Liz Cross, Publishing Director at David Fickling Books, and Jo Hodges, trustee of Hen Harrier Action had a huge challenge in choosing three winners in each age category. But, after a good debate, their decisions were unanimous, and there was no question about the overall winner.
The first prize winner in each age category was read out on Hen Harrier Day on 8 August, with the overall winner being read by well-known writer Michael Morpurgo. You can watch a video of each reading on this page. You can also download a PDF of each of the three winners in each age category.
Thank you so much to everyone who entered; we hope you enjoyed writing your pieces as much as we have enjoyed reading them.
First in the 'young' age category (5 - 8) was 'Rabbit-dog Hare' by Theo Whittington, a delightful tale grounded in sharp observation. Second was 'Take a Tench', by Oscar Sills, in praise of the fish. Third was 'The City Fox' by Leila Myah, inviting us to look more closely at nature. The video shows Gill Lewis reading the winner. The buttons link to the text of each.
Michael Morpurgo reads 'Guardian' by Edith Hobson, whose outstanding hen harrier poem won the junior (age 9-12) and overall prizes. Second in the junior category was 'The Bus Driver Who Turned to Crime' by Rufus Dawson, an amusing story of redemption. Third was 'Flooded Field' by Colette Henderson, a short but acutely observed piece about a heron.
Neha Narne's 'My Patch of Green in the Urban Jungle', urging the importance of urban spaces to enjoy nature, won in the senior category (age 13-16). Second in this category was 'Seal Gaze' by Megan Loftus, a short poem with hints of Scottish folklore. Third was 'Make a Hoggy Highway' by Dylan Allman, a good-humoured call to help garden hedgehogs.