Olivia Batchelor is one of three young creative writers who have just won a writing competition inspired by the GoGoDiscover Breakasaurus sculptures over the summer. Here all three explain what winning means to them
Three aspiring young authors from Norfolk have won a short story writing competition launched by family-owned opticians Dipple & Conway to celebrate the GoGoDiscover sculpture trail, delivered by local charity Break in partnership with Wild in Art. The Three Little Dinosaurs creative writing competition ran throughout the summer with the three winners picked by Dipple & Conway’s judging panel earlier this month.
The competition asked children, aged 16 or under, to write an original story of 500 words or less featuring three of the GoGoDiscover Breakasaurus sculptures as the main characters.
Matthew Conway, managing director of Dipple & Conway opticians, says: ‘We like to support art and creativity wherever we can, especially when it can be enjoyed by everyone in the local community. To celebrate our lead sponsorship of Break’s GoGoDiscover Learning and Community Programme we came up with the story writing competition idea to give young people a chance to unleash their imagination and showcase their creative writing skills.
‘Clearly inspired by the colourful sculptures, we were seriously impressed by the quality of the writing shown by all the children who entered. The judges were looking for stories packed full of interesting words, expressive writing, and lots of imagination, and we were amazed at all their efforts, but particularly by the winners.’
After reading and scoring all entries, the judges selected three winning authors, each winning a book subscription kindly donated by independent Norwich book shop Bookbugs and Dragon Tales. Each young winner will receive a new book for three months, carefully selected for each of them, based on their favourite authors, types of stories, and interests.
And earlier this month, the prizes were personally presented to Phoebe, Olivia and Kitty, the three winners, at Dipple & Conway’s Norwich branch on Castle Street.
The winner of the 11 to 16 years category was Olivia Batchelor. The 11-year-old author of ‘The Midnight Drama’ says: ‘I attend the Creative Writing club at the Bookbugs and Dragon Tales shop, and Poppy, who runs the club, encouraged me to enter the competition. I was speechless when I found out I’d won, and I was so happy and proud as it’s the first time I’ve won a prize for my writing.’
Kitty Reynell, winner in the 7 to 10 years category, was ‘elevated with joy’ when she found out she had won and was really excited about the prize as she has ‘run out of books and can’t wait to get stuck in’. The 10-year-old wrote ‘How the first pair of glasses came to be invented’.
Whist another winner also in the 7 to 10 years category, Phoebe Land, says: ‘I feel really excited to have won a prize. I love reading! I entered the story writing competition because I thought it would be a good challenge.’ Pheobe, nine, wrote ‘GoGo hide and seek’.
Over the summer, the GoGoDiscover trail showcased colourfully decorated T.rex, Steppe Mammoth and the three-foot Breakasaurus sculptures throughout Norwich and Norfolk. The larger sculptures were auctioned off, raising £427,000 for local charity Break which makes life better for children and young people who are on the edge of care, in care and leaving care, while the smaller Breakasaurus dinosaurs have now been returned to the schools and community groups who decorated them. The trail was delivered by local charity Break in partnership with Wild in Art.
Tracey Warnes from Break adds: ‘We’re so very grateful to Dipple & Conway Opticians for being the headline sponsors for The Learning & Community Programme, which gave 12,000 local school children and community groups the opportunity to participate in GoGoDiscover. This writing competition has been a wonderful way for young writers to take inspiration from the incredible detail that has gone into many of the sculptures and bring these characters to life.’
Olivia Batchelor, winner of the 11 to 16 age category (all pictures supplied by Dipple & Conway)