An aspirational annual writing competition for Greater Manchester children has been launched by The Lowry in Salford.
Aimed at helping youngsters to become more creative and confident, The Lowry’s Creative Writing Challenge is open to children aged 8-11 (Key Stage 2) from across Salford and Greater Manchester. Entries close at noon on November 4.
Children can take their inspiration from all aspects of writing for performance, including poetry, spoken word, creative writing, and scriptwriting.
The judges include writer and actress Samantha Giles, performance writer and spoken word activist Emma Rogerson, playwright Simon Stephens, poet Tony Walsh and screenwriter and children’s author Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
The Lowry has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust, an independent charity dedicated to raising literacy levels across the UK. Programme manager at the trust, Mike Leyland, said: “We know from our research that writing helps children to express themselves. We hope this exciting competition will inspire children across Salford and Greater Manchester with their writing and reading, supporting them to develop the literacy skills they need to succeed in life.”
A celebration prizegiving event will be held at The Lowry on December 7, with winning entries being performed on stage either by the children who wrote them, or by someone else on their behalf.
Prizes include a chance to perform at the prizegiving; up to £50 of book tokens; a professional illustration for a winning work to keep, and tickets to a Lowry show for show for the winners and their friends or family.
The competition has been made possible by the generous support of Beryl Jones, who with husband Trevor, is a theatre patron. “I'm extremely excited for the launch of The Lowry’s first creative writing challenge for primary-age children, which will become part of the learning and engagement programme."
Carnegie Medal winning children's novelist Frank Cottrell-Boyce said: “The beginning of creativity is noticing things, and the more things you notice the happier and more creative you become. A creative writing competition is a great way to encourage real creativity, away from the demands of the curriculum."
Julia Fawcett, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “The post-pandemic need for support in education is greater than ever, with improving literacy being a high priority. Anything we can do to raise aspirations, encourage creativity and give confidence to children and young people is incredibly important."
A support scheme will be available to all primary schools across Salford, with five schools receiving a package of activities, including creative writing workshops delivered by a professional artist. The Lowry has also developed a suite of free downloadable lesson plans for Years 3-6.
More information and how to enter here