Pupils all aboard for writing competition

An annual creative writing competition with an environmental theme for primary school children has been launched in Edinburgh by local author John Fardell.

Green Pencil award

‘Scotland’s Seas’ is the theme of this year’s ‘Green Pencil Award’, which is run by The City of Edinburgh Council for P4 – P7 pupils.

They are being encouraged to write creatively about how the sea impacts on local communities, the creatures that live in them, seascapes, what the seas are used for and how we can look after them in Scotland.

Primary 7 pupils from St Margaret’s RC Primary School in South Queensferry helped launch the event at Queensferry Library where they took part in a special writing workshop to pick up tips from John Fardell, who writes and illustrates children’s books.

The competition is open to all P4-7 pupils in Edinburgh and entries can be submitted through schools or public libraries until October 10. The 20 finalists and overall winner will be chosen on October 30 with a prize giving ceremony at the Central Library on November 27.

To help support the Green Pencil Award, a series of Live Literature events involving schools will be held in libraries across the capital during September, with support from the Scottish Book Trust.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener for The City of Edinburgh Council said: ‘I’m sure this year’s theme of Scotland’s Seas will inspire our young people to show their creative writing skills and how much they care about the environment.

"The importance of writing to children's education cannot be underestimated, and the Green Pencil Award complements the work going on in our schools and libraries to encourage this. It’s a very popular competition and I’m really looking forward to seeing another excellent range of entries from children throughout the city.”

John Fardell said: “I'm delighted to be involved with the South Queensferry Library launch event of this year's Green Pencil Award. I'll be encouraging the pupils to have fun tapping into what they personally find exciting as they develop their own pieces of writing, and I’m sure this year's Green Pencil theme of Scotland's Seas will be a great catalyst for everyone's imaginations.

“I've spent quite a bit of time throughout my life on, in and occasionally under Scotland's seas, and that's certainly been a source of inspiration for much of my own writing and illustration work.”

The competition, run by Edinburgh City Libraries and Eco-Schools in Edinburgh seeks to: promote literacy and creative writing; demonstrate care and understanding of environmental issues; encourage learning; link to Curriculum for Excellence aspirations and strengthen partnership working between libraries, schools and other partners.

Prizes have been donated by a range of sponsors, including the Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Seabird Centre and the Royal Scottish Zoological Society.

The creative writing can be either poetry or prose but must only take up one side of A4. For further information visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/greenpencilaward

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