Merseyrail has announced its first ever Summertime Stories writing competition to encourage creativity among young budding JK Rowlings and Roald Dahls across the region.
Working in collaboration with local author Charlie Lea from Read Now Write Now, the train company is giving children the chance to win book vouchers and Merseyrail vouchers by creating stories based on locations across the network.
Charlie, who is the director of literacy company Read Now Write Now, has written three creative writing worksheets for budding authors to choose from, all based on locations in and close to the Liverpool City Region and served by Merseyrail trains.
The competition is split into two age groups – five to eight year-olds and nine to eleven year-olds - and is free to enter, running over the summer until 9th September.
The themes and locations are:
- West Kirby – stories about the environment
- Crosby beach – scary stories
- Chester – stories set in the past.
Worksheets can be found on the Merseyrail website at www.merseyrail.org/summertimestories and can be dropped off at West Kirby and Blundellsands & Crosby stations as well as any underground stations. Submissions can also be sent online via the website.
Prizes will be awarded by age range at a special prize giving awards ceremony at the end of the competition and are as follows:
- First prize - £50 book voucher plus £50 Merseyrail voucher
- Second prize - £25 book voucher plus £25 Merseyrail voucher
- Third prize - £10 book voucher plus £10 Merseyrail voucher.
Prize winners and commended stories will also be published online and at local stations.
Children are encouraged to visit the locations suggested in the worksheets for inspiration, and with an unlimited off-peak travel Family Ticket priced at just £11 for a family of up to five it’s a great day out for all.
Sally Ralston, CSR Manager at Merseyrail, said: “At Merseyrail we work closely with local community groups and schools to engage with young people across the Liverpool City Region.
“This project with Read Now Write Now has been particularly exciting as we are encouraging children to showcase their creative skills and visit places across our network that they may not have seen before.
“I can’t wait to see what the children come up with – I’m sure the calibre will be very high and judging will be incredibly difficult.”
Charlie Lea, Director of Read Now Write Now, said: “We are so excited to be helping Merseyrail inspire a new generation of writers to follow in the tracks of famous local authors from our region.
“Our worksheets should inspire young writers to think of and write some amazing stories over the summer holidays, in settings they know or are only a train journey away.”