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Book festival opens creative writing competition for region’s children

Young people are asked to exercise their imaginations by entering Dumfries and Galloway’s own children’s writing competition.

Organised by the Wigtown Festival Company in partnership with DG Unlimited and the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust National Centre for Children’s Literature, it’s an enjoyable way to celebrate what’s best about one of Scotland’s most beautiful rural regions.

There are three categories, with children aged 5-7 being asked to write a poem about that much-loved mascot of Dumfries and Galloway, the Beltie cow. To make it more fun the poem has to be acrostic – starting each line of the poem with the letters B E L T I E.

Next up is the category for 8-11s, with children being invited to write a journal entry of up to 300 words from a farmer’s daily diary. It’s a chance to think about all the things that go on during a day on one of the area’s multitude of farms with all their animals, crops and machinery.

And finally, we have a 500 word short story competition for those aged 12-18. For this we are asking entrants to come up with their farmyard adventure – it can be based on a real experience or completely fictional.

Anne Barclay, Wigtown Festival Company Operational Director, said: “We want to celebrate the farms and agricultural community of Dumfries and Galloway, they contribute so much to our lives and landscapes.

“And even though young people can’t get out and about much at the moment, this creative writing competition is a way to let their imaginations roam free and enjoy all sorts of adventures, among lots of different people and animals.

“We are very lucky to have the children’s author Vivian French as the judge for the competition – and she’s really looking forward to reading all those poems, diary entries and short stories.”

Vivian lives in Edinburgh and is the author of more than 300 books for children and young people. Her titles include: The Tiara Club; Tales from the Five Kingdoms; The Adventures of Alfie Onion; Billy Hippo; and Lottie Luna.

She loves Dumfries and Galloway making regular school visits and attending the Wigtown Book Festival.

Entries for the Children’s Creative Writing Competition 2020 are open to children and young people living in Dumfries and Galloway (that’s anyone with a DG postcode) and must be submitted by 5pm on Sunday 26 April.

The winning entries from each category, including two runners up, will be displayed at Wigtown Book Festival (25 September to 4 October).

The winning child from each category will receive: family entry to Moat Brae (for up to five people), a family day pass to Big Wig at Wigtown Book Festival, and an age-appropriate signed book from Vivian.

The competition is funded by The Holywood Trust.

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