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The National Young Writers’ Awards Return with best-selling author, Lauren Child as Judge!


Calling children of Ashford!  It’s time to get creative and put pen to paper because the National Young Writers’ Awards have returned!  Organised by tuition provider, Explore Learning, which has a centre in Sainsbury’s in Simone Weil Avenue, the theme this year is ‘The Mash-Up’ where children are encouraged to write a 500 word story that is a ‘mash-up’ of two genres.  This could see a spaceman rocketed to Roman times, an alien landing in the lost city of Atlantis, a Victorian gentleman trekking the outback or your favourite fairy-tale character taking on killer zombies – just let your imagination go wild!

It is the eighth year the national competition will run with children battling it out to win the coveted prize of an amazing trip to Disneyland Paris for them and their family – and £500 worth of books for their school!

And this year’s judge will be none other than multi-award winning, bestselling writer and artist, Lauren Child!  The creator of much-loved characters including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola has been at the forefront of innovation for 15 years, advocating visual literacy and the importance of quality books for children.

Lauren says: “Being able to write well is a wonderful thing.  If you can write well, you can communicate your ideas, thoughts and feelings. If you can write beautifully, you have the power to move people with the stories you tell. The National Young Writers’ Awards celebrate the individual, encouraging children to find a voice of their own, to explore story-telling and see that the possibilities are endless.”

Lauren and the team at Explore Learning will present the winner with a trophy, their trip to Paris and fantastic collection of books during a surprise assembly at their school in June.  The top nine runners up will receive a personalised engraved Sheaffer pen while each centre will select their regional winner who courtesy of the folks at National Stationery Week.

The FREE competition is open to children all over the UK aged 14 and under and the closing date is Tuesday 7th June.  Children can enter by filling out an application form from their nearest Explore Learning centre, online at, or simply write your story and download the entrance slip and post it to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW.

Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning says: “We are absolutely thrilled that Lauren Child is our judge for 2016!  Children all over the world love her stories, characters and illustrations and we know that having her judging the top entries will inspire children to get their creative juices bubbling.

“This year’s theme is inspired by something that is huge in popular culture at the moment – a mash-up which we hope will really excite the children as there’s such vast scope for creativity!  The aim of the competition is to encourage children to let loose, have confidence in their writing and not be afraid to enter a competition where they could be named victorious!  You never know, we may have the next Lauren Child in our midst!”

Child recently released the thrilling fifth book in her bestselling series of Ruby Redfort named ‘Pick Your Poison’.  The story of super-cool, code-cracking, undercover agent 13 year old, Ruby Redfort, the new adventure involves some deliciously clever dead-letter drops, double-crossings galore and a series of Snow White-inspired poisonings.  Ruby of course takes it all in her stride, though she does have to brush up her Kung-Fu!   The sixth and final book in the Ruby Redfort series will be published in the Autumn.

Previous judges of the National Young Writers’ Awards have so far included some of the UK’s most prolific authors, like Cressida Cowell, Liz Pichon, Jonathan Meres, Andy Cope and Alan Durant. Last year’s winner was 12 year old Alexander Boxall from Eastbourne who wowed the World of Norm author, Jonathan Meres, with his story That’s a Wrap which you can read online at

Explore Learning provides English and maths tuition to children aged five to 14.  Over the next two months they will be running free workshops with local libraries, schools and community groups to inspire children’s love of writing.

For more information about the National Young Writers’ Awards visit

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