Sidmouth’s Clean Growth writing competition winners praised by judge Jane Corry

Jane Corry, who judged the writing competition

Jane Corry, who judged the writing competition - Credit: Archant

A story in which Winnie the Pooh worries about Sidmouth’s carbon footprint, and a ‘climate change rap’ by an eight-year-old boy, are among the winners of the Clean Growth writing competition.

The competition was an offshoot of the Sidmouth Science Festival and took place in February this year.

There were categories for entries from the general public, the primary school age group and the secondary school age group, with the winners judged by Sidmouth author Jane Corry.

Following the coronavirus lockdown, she took another look at the winning entries in each group.

She said: “Books are a great distraction during times like this.

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“When I first received these entries to judge, we didn’t realise how much life was about to change.

“Now, on re-reading them, I find they give renewed hope.

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“I loved the clever angle which Nicki Parkins took with her entry In Which Pooh Learns to Think the Unthinkable.

“What a wonderful idea to show our old friend Winnie, observing the modern world. It had me reaching for my old battered AA Milne copy on my bookshelf.”

She also praised a poem by Elisabeth Robertson, saying it ‘had a wonderful lyrical voice which hooked me from the first line’.

Of the winning school entries, all but the ‘climate change rap’ were essays putting forward ideas for tackling global warming and plastic pollution.

Jane Corry said: “In the children’s section, I was seriously impressed by the passion behind Leyla Adsoy’s entry, as well as the well-thought-out logic behind George Bower’s.

“Oliver Stevens’ rap made me want to dance on the spot, while entries from Alex Boyd and Ebony Knapman both showed knowledge, feeling and some great ideas for improvement.

“I can’t help feeling that the world will be safe in the hands of such children when they grow up.”

The winners, all of whom received book tokens from Winstone Books, are as follows:

General public - joint winners Nicki Parkins and Elisabeth Robertson.

Primary school age group - joint winners Leyla Adsoy and George Bower. Runner up - Oliver Stevens

Secondary school age group - winner Alex Boyd, runner up - Ebony Knapman.

The Herald will publish all the winning entries online in the next few weeks.

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