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Finalists announced in Word Festival online writing competition

The creative literary talents of youngsters from throughout Scotland and Ireland will be rewarded tonight during an awards ceremony at the University of Aberdeen, as the winners of the WORD Festival online writing competition received their prizes.

The online writing competition for secondary school pupils across the whole of Scotland and Ireland received a tremendous response with more than 300 entrants. Of those, 60 were shortlisted to be judged by the University’s writer-in-residence Alan Spence.

The winners will receive their prizes tonight at a special awards ceremony at King’s College Conference Centre. Nine of the twelve award winners will be attending the ceremony tonight with their families.

The prizes will be presented by Bert Noble, Country Manager of BT Scotland, Alan Spence, Writer in Residence at the University of Aberdeen, and Rebecca Hardy, Editor of The Scotsman newspaper.The awards presentation will be followed by a reading by Alison Prince, who is the Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book Award winner.

The online competition was open to all secondary school age children in Scotland and Ireland, who were expected to write either a poem or a short story. All entries were made online to the WORD 2001 website address (www.abdn.ac.uk/word).

WORD 2001 is being held in Aberdeen this week from 16-20 May featuring writers from Scotland and Ireland with readings, lectures,films, talks, and events for children. It follows the success of the original Word festival, which was held in 1999

The students below will receive prizes tonight.  The prizes will be provided by BT Scotland, which sponsored the online writing competition, and Ottakar’s bookshop.

POETRY  S1-2

FIRST PRIZE

The sun's journey.
Eystein Thanisch, age 12
George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh

SECOND PRIZE

March days.
Hazel Ruth Streeter, age 13
Keith Grammar School, Keith Banffshire

POETRY S3-4

FIRST PRIZE

Trampolining in Australia
Giulia Caterina Galastro, age 15
The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh

SECOND PRIZE

A virus of the heart
Josh Vaughan, age 15
Merchiston Castle School, Colinton Edinburgh

POETRY S5-6

FIRST PRIZE

E. Nesbit's children
Jenny Bryden, age 17
Dunblane High School, Dunblane Perthshire

POETRY S5-6

SECOND PRIZE

Ootside
Jonathan Stevens, age 17
Banff Academy , Banff

SHORT STORIES  S1-2

FIRST PRIZE

Regular guy
Kieran Peppiatt, age 13
Banchory Academy, Banchory Aberdeenshire

SECOND PRIZE

Sam
Sarah Louise Cassidy, age 14
Banchory Academy, Banchory Aberdeenshire

SHORT STORIES  S3-4

FIRST PRIZE

Not blue baby Jacob
Emma Louise Rawlinson, age 15
St Columba’s High School, Dunfermline Fife

SECOND PRIZE

No thinking allowed
David Tait, age 15
St Andrews Academy, Paisley

SHORT STORIES  S5-6

FIRST PRIZE

Mrs Steel's corners.
Morven Elspeth Philp, age 16 – HERE WITH HER MOTHER
Oldmachar Academy, Bridge of Don Aberdeen

SECOND PRIZE

A fatal stabbing
Lisa Marie Bath, age 16
Kilduthie Farmhouse, Banchory

ENDS

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: The award winners will be available for photographs with Bert Noble, Country Manager for BT Scotland, Gavin Wallace of the Scottish Arts Council, Alison Prince, Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book Award winner, and Rebecca Hardy, Editor of The Scotsman.

NOTES TO EDITORS:  The following students will be attending the awards ceremony:

Eystein Thanish will be attending with his father
Hazel Ruth Streeter will attend with three members of her family
Jenny Bryden will be attending with her English teacher
Jonathan Stevens will be attending with his family
Kieran Peppiatt will be attending with five members of his family
Sarah Louise Cassidy will be attending with three members of her family
Emma Louise Rawlinson will be attending with three members of her family
David Tait will be attending with two members of his family
Morven Philp will be attending with her mother

ENDS

Issued by Public Relations Office, External Relations, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen, telephone: 01224 272014, fax: 01224 272086.

University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email a.ramsay@admin.abdn.ac.uk.