Your bed­time tales could be a win­ner

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SCHOOLS NEWS -

SCHOOL chil­dren in Bucks are be­ing in­vited to put pen to pa­per for a na­tional story writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion to be judged by renowned chil­dren’s author Anne Fine OBE.

The Sleepy Sto­ries by Silent­night cam­paign aims to en­cour­age fam­i­lies to keep bed­time read­ing at the heart of their night time rou­tine. Nearly a third of UK par­ents only read their chil­dren a bed­time story once a week or less, de­spite 83 per cent of chil­dren say­ing they en­joy be­ing read aloud to and 68 per cent de­scrib­ing it as a spe­cial time with their par­ents.

The com­pe­ti­tion asks chil­dren aged six to 12 to sub­mit a short story of be­tween 250 and 500 words that fea­tures the brand’s love­able mas­cots, Hippo and Duck.

Anne Fine OBE will choose the win­ning story, which will then be il­lus­trated and pub­lished with her fore­word.

The fin­ished book will be pre­sented to the win­ner at a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion cer­e­mony at their school hosted by Anne.

The win­ner will also re­ceive £1,000 worth of books for their school, a brand new bed and a gi­ant Hippo and Duck soft toy.

Mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Silent­night Nick Booth said: “We be­lieve pas­sion­ately in the power of a bed­time story, not only is it proven to bet­ter lit­er­acy skills but it strength­ens the bond be­tween par­ent and child. Most of us have fond mem­o­ries of be­ing read a bed­time story and we want to en­cour­age fam­i­lies to keep the read­ing and sto­ry­telling tra­di­tion alive.

“We hope schools and fam­i­lies in the area get be­hind our com­pe­ti­tion to en­cour­age kids to love books and have a go at writ­ing their own.”

Anne Fine OBE, lead­ing chil­dren’s author and writer be­hind Jamie and Angus For­ever and The Re­turn of the Killer Cat said: “Some of my hap­pi­est and most re­laxed times as a par­ent and grand­par­ent have been read­ing bed­time sto­ries to my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, so I’m de­lighted to be part of this ini­tia­tive. My daugh­ters, and all four of my grand­sons, are pas­sion­ate read­ers, and I strongly be­lieve that this was as a re­sult of hav­ing reg­u­lar bed­time sto­ries.

“Many chil­dren adore writ­ing sto­ries, so ev­ery chance they get to write what­ever takes their fancy, in their own way, is lib­er­at­ing for them. I’m al­ways fas­ci­nated by young peo­ple’s imag­i­na­tions so am very much look­ing for­ward to read­ing the en­tries.”

En­tries close on Fri­day, May 20.

En­tries can be made on­line at www.silent­night.co.uk/ sleepy-sto­ries.

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