Connecting Stories Hastings Creative Writing Competition

Entries close 12 Mar 2021
connecting stories hastings

Exciting news! National Literacy Trust and Hastings Hub are delighted to launch an exciting creative writing competition as part of the Connecting Stories project, with support from author Lesley Parr.

We are inviting children aged 7-11 from Hastings to create a piece of writing based on the theme ‘Discovery’.


In Lesley Parr’s brilliant book Valley of the Lost Secrets, the main character Jimmy makes a startling discovery inside a hollow tree. Lesley wants you to imagine that your character finds something shocking or unusual in an ordinary place – something they would not expect to be there!

What is it? Where is it? And, most importantly, what will your character do about it?

You can choose any format you like – a story, a poem, news article or diary entry. You can include some illustrations too. It’s up to you!

Everyone who enters the competition will receive a certificate and will have a chance to get their work published in an anthology and displayed in a local exhibition. There will also be book prizes for the winning entries.

Winning entries will be chosen based on originality, imagination, relation to the theme and overall enjoyment.

How to enter

Alternatively, you can email us at Don't forget to include your first name, the first letter of your surname, your age, and your school name.

Please make sure all email entries are sent via a parent or teachers email address.

Competition rules

  • The competition is open to children and young people aged 7-11, but entries from all primary school pupils will be considered for the exhibition.
  • The closing date for submission is Friday 12th March 2021. Winners will be announced at the beginning of April.
  • Entries should be one page of A4 or 500 words maximum and written in English. Entries may be typed or handwritten.
  • The piece of creative writing must be an original piece of work and be wholly written by the entrant. It must reflect the theme of the competition as stated in the competition challenge. The writing must be single-authored.
  • Entries must not contain obscene, defamatory, offensive or otherwise unsuitable material. The organisers reserve the right to disqualify such entries.
  • A team of community partners and National Literacy Trust staff will shortlist entries and winners will be chosen by our panel of experts.
  • On submission, parents/guardians will be asked to grant permission to enter. They will be asked for consent to publish the entrant’s writing online or in print form, or display physical entries in public spaces.
  • Teachers submitting on behalf of their pupils must obtain permission from parents/ guardians prior to submission. As a teacher, by entering your pupils’ work into this competition you are confirming that written parental consent has been sought and confirmed in advance of the submission. National Literacy Trust will not be held liable in the instance that consent has not been sought.

Please download a competition booklet and click here to upload your entry.

Want to enter this competition? Login or start your membership