£1,000 Schools Essay Competition Deadline Extended

7th November 2013

The deadline for an essay writing competition with a £1,000 prize up for grabs has been extended until Friday 29th November.  The annual challenge is aimed at sixth form students who attend any Cumbrian comprehensive school.  The winning entry will be awarded the generous prize through the Hunter Davies Fund via Cumbria Community Foundation.  Half of the reward will to go to the winning sixth former and the other half will be awarded to their school library.

Cumbria Life magazine will publish the winning essay and Steve Matthews of Bookends and Bookcase in Carlisle will design and publish a book containing 30-40 of the best essays.  It is hoped it will lead to an annual collection of the best essays.  The main purpose of the competition is to encourage young people to use writing skills.

The essay will be titled ‘What I did in my summer hols.’  “Yes, it’s a corny title,” says Hunter Davies who is inaugurating the prize, “but that’s the point. It’s slightly ironic, leaving it open to the student to make of it what he or she wants.  It can be any sort of holiday they have had, at any time, and they can have done nothing but stay in bed all the time, helped their granddad or gone off to Thailand.

“It has to be non-fiction, i.e. based on a real event or experience, as opposed to fantasy or science-fiction, but really all we are looking for is good writing – can they write fluently,  amusingly, interestingly,  structure properly, hold your attention, and most of all make you read to the end.”

Steve Matthews, author, publisher and owner of Bookends and Bookcase in Carlisle and Cumbria Life Editor Richard Eccles will be included in the judging panel headed by Hunter Davies.

Julia Morrison, Corporate Director for Children’s Services at Cumbria County Council said: “I think the competition is a great idea and an enjoyable way to promote writing to young people across the county.  I’m sure Cumbria’s talented young people will make the judges’ job very difficult by inundating them with fantastic essays.”

The competition is being organised by Cumbria Community Foundation. For further information contact Annalee Holliday on 01900 825760 or  take a look at the full details of the rules.