There were smiles all round when finalists in the Green Pencil Award collected their prizes with their families and teachers, at a ceremony hosted by Councillor Alison Dickie, Vice-Convener for Education, Children and Families on 22nd November at Central Reference Library.
The environmentally-themed creative writing competition, funded by Edinburgh Libraries, has been running for 11 years. This year’s competition was launched at the Queen’s Park Education Centre in August by children’s author Vivian French, who led a writing workshop for P6 pupils from Preston Street Primary.
To tie in with 2018 being the Year of Young People, the award was opened for the first time to S1-3 pupils, as well as P4-7 pupils from City of Edinburgh Council and independent schools across Edinburgh. Because of this, the theme was ’Young People and the Scottish Environment’. There was a record number of 1245 entries, from which 20 finalists and an overall winner were selected by a judging panel whose members came from the Scottish Book Trust, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh Libraries and Schools and Lifelong Learning.
Generous prizes were donated by sponsors, including RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, Jupiter Artland, RSPB, Scottish Book Trust, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Bedlam Paintballing, Dynamic Earth,Camera Obscura, NTS and Historic Environment Scotland.
The judges comments on Liam’s winning story ’Ferry Glen’, “What really struck the judges was the way that Liam’s story addressed the topic so well, giving a real sense of a young person enjoying the Scottish environment. Liam cleverly managed to create a wonderful picture of this beautiful place, with all its sights and sounds, in his own, very personal way. We were impressed with the humour and originality of the story which in no way took away from the depiction of the natural environment and Liam’s appreciation of it.’
All 20 finalists attended the event.
The 20 winning entries appear in a brochure which goes to all public libraries, sponsors and schools that submitted entries to the competition.