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Winning Entries Announced in the 2023 Young Wild Writers Competition

Young people from all over the country have made their voices heard for nature in the annual Young Wild Writers competition run by Hen Harrier Action and judged by a panel led by children’s author Gill Lewis.

From the endearing story of a brave Christmas Robin to a powerful and moving piece about the last Kiwi in a raging forest fire, young creative writers aged from 6 years to 16 years have enthralled our panel of judges with their talent.

As Gill Lewis commented, “It was a real privilege to have read the many diverse and brilliant pieces of writing that were sent in this year. We had non-fiction, story, prose, and poetry. We had pieces of writing about animals from ants to sloths, to snakes and whales. Each piece was very different from another. The standard this year was incredibly high, and of course the judging was very difficult to choose between so many worthy winners.”

The three category winners, Muireann Beck, aged 8, from Mallaig Primary School (Young Category), Adam Breffit, aged 10, from Cuffley School in Potters Bar (Junior Category), and George Metcalfe, aged 16, from Haberdashers’ Boys’ School in Elstree (Senior Category), all dazzled the judges with their entries, chosen from over 300 submissions.

The category winners and the two runners-up in each of the categories will be receiving their prizes over the next few days.

The judges were looking for adherence to the theme of animal survival, a compelling narrative arc, originality, use of language, pace, rhythm, descriptive writing, and clear use of facts and research where appropriate. As Lewis added, “An exceptional piece of writing allows the reader to stop and think, to perhaps view the world a different way and to emotionally engage with the subject matter. An exceptional piece of writing stays in our minds long after the reading.”

After much discussion, the overall winner was judged to be George Metcalfe’s powerful and very topical piece – The Big Finale – about the plight of a Kiwi in a forest fire. According to Lewis, “it is a highly original piece – it left me with a sense of bittersweet sadness and foreboding. There are wonderful descriptions, and it has pace and a dramatic narrative arc.”

Read George’s entry in full, and discover the full list of winners on Hen Harrier Action’s website here:

2023 Young Wild Writers Competition Results