Write On Norfolk 2017

Last summer, we wrote about the inaugural Write On Norfolk competition and we’re pleased to say, it’s back for a second year- and entries are now open! The 2017 competition launched this week and we’re very excited to see what Norfolk’s young writers have to say about our county.

Children aged 5-13 are being encouraged to submit a piece of original creative writing; this can be a poem, a story, a letter or anything in between!

The piece must be no longer than 500 words and it must feature Norfolk in some way. All entries must be received by 5pm on August 31st and there are prizes up for grabs. The competition is split into three age categories: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13. The panel of judges will select gold, silver and bronze winners in each category.

This year, Norfolk County Council is joining forces with BBC Radio Norfolk and entries will be judged by a panel of experts including Norfolk County Council representatives, local authors Kevin Price and Cressida McLaughlin and Radio Norfolk’s Breakfast Show presenter, Nick Conrad. The winning results will be announced at a special awards ceremony in early October.

You can find some more information about the competition here, including story-writing tips and what you could win! You’ll also be able to see the winning entries from 2016 listed on that page too, so you can see just what the judges are after.

Below are this week’s Friday Reads and as always, you can find an archive of our previous reviews just here.

Apryl: Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

normsOver the half-term holidays, I finally picked up a copy of this book, the first in Holly Bourne’s ‘The Spinster Club’ series. I’d heard lots of brilliant things about the trilogy but as usual, I shamefully arrived late to the party- but it was worth the wait!

Book one focuses on Evie, a 16-year-old girl who’s just started college after a period away from education. As she navigates the adolescent nightmare of having to study and make new friends, we learn that she has OCD and a generalised anxiety disorder and the story masterfully weaves her health problems around elements you’d usually expect from a YA novel- boys! parents! hormones!

Bourne handles Evie’s issues in a tender way, showing how difficult it can often be for young people to deal with their mental health concerns, and I especially liked how contemporary the story felt; Evie and her friends are ardent feminists and talk at length about what it means to be a young feminist in our society. To this end, the characters of Evie and her fellow club members Amber and Lottie felt incredibly real and relatable.

Due to its content, this book (and this series as a whole) is definitely for the older YA crowd; KS4 and upwards- but would create great discussion around mental health concerns for young people.

(Usborne, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781409590309, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Zoë: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field Guide by Hannah Pang

PANGSeeing this book amazed me and made me wonder why it hadn’t been written sooner!

This is a wonderful guide to outdoor adventures, based on the brilliant picture book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury; an ideal companion for parents, teachers and children’s group leaders as well as children, naturally.

There are loads of practical suggestions for activities; plenty of advice on staying safe; diagrams explaining different scientific and geographical terms; recipes and more. It is written in a child-friendly manner with clear headings and simple explanations. There are lovely illustrations supporting the text that link to the picture book and it would be an ideal companion for young nature explorers, especially with June 2017 being the #30DaysWild @30DaysWild month-long nature challenge across the UK.

(Walker Books, £6.99 hardback, ISBN 9781406375954, find it at a Norfolk Library)

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