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03 May 2017


WIN the chance to meet Steve Backshall, a Trip to Disneyland Paris AND £500 worth of books for your school!

Children from all over the UK have just days left to enter the National Young Writers’ Awards! The prestigious competition, organised by tuition provider Explore Learning, is being judged by author, TV presenter and adventurer, Steve Backshall. Young writers will be competing for a family trip to Disneyland Paris, £500 worth of books for their school and the chance to meet the man himself! Running for nine years, it has inspired hundreds of thousands of children across the UK to put pen to paper and give writing a try. However, the final day for entry is Friday 5th May at midnight.

This year’s theme is ‘The Future’ where children are encouraged to write a 500 word story set in 3017! Whether that means there are families living in space, robots ruling the world or new species of animal roaming the wild – Explore Learning want to hear from you!

As well as being a TV presenter and adventurer, Steve Backshall is the author of The Falcon Chronicles, the best-selling adventure fiction series for children which follows eco-warriors Saker and Sinter around the globe as they fight to save endangered animals. The series is made up of Tiger Wars, Ghosts of the Forest, Wilds of the Wolf and Shark Seas, released in October 2016.

Steve says: “I’m really excited to be the judge for this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards. Writing was my first love and I think it’s so important for children to let their imaginations run wild and have a go at entering writing competitions like this! You’re often told to write about what you know… so broaden your experience, learn as much as you can about the wild world in order to better protect it.

“I can’t wait to read the stories that the children come up with. The theme of ‘the future’ gives us so much scope for the weird and wonderful.”

The competition closes this Friday, May 5, and children from all over the UK are encouraged to enter – from eager young authors to those a little more reluctant. The winner will be surprised in a school assembly by Steve who will announce the National Young Writer of the Year and present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 worth of books for their school! Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from Explore Learning to help children develop their writing skills. The top ten runners up will also win an engraved pen from National Stationery Week sponsors, Sheaffer! Whilst all regional winners will receive prize bundles with goodies from National Stationary Week partners, Nu notebooks, Mustard, edding, Maped Helix, Write Size, Manuscript and Stabilo.

Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum Strategy at Explore Learning says: “Over the past nine years the National Young Writers’ Awards has been encouraging children to unleash their imaginations and create some utterly brilliant, bonkers and captivating short stories and this year will be no different! We are absolutely thrilled that Steve Backshall is our judge for 2017 and we know that he will inspire even more children to enter to win the chance to meet their idol – as well as that fantastic trip to Disneyland Paris and the wonderful accolade of being named National Young Writer of the Year!”

It’s very easy to enter. Children are invited to write a story set in 3017 in under 500 words and post it to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW or online at
Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!

Previous judges of the National Young Writers’ Awards have included some of the UK’s most prolific authors like Cressida Cowell, Lauren Child, Liz Pichon, Jonathan Meres, Andy Cope and Alan Durant. Last year’s winner was 11 year old Gracie Harding from Winchester who wowed Charlie & Lola author, Lauren Child, with her story Happy never after.

For more information about the National Young Writers’ Awards visit

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