50-up for pupils

FIFTY was the magic number when students excelled in a creative writing competition.

Students at Dene Community School, in Manor Way, Peterlee, stuck rigidly to a tight brief to come out top in the national event – and are celebrating after having their work published in a book.

They took part in a writing competition held by the Peterborough-based Young Writers organisation.

The competition was called Mini Sagas, New Adventures’ and students had to write a new adventure story.

Like all competitions, there were a set of rules to be adhered to.

In this case, one aspect was originality, another, the essential format of every good story, was it should have a beginning, middle, perhaps with an element of conflict, and finally an intriguing ending.

But the most important rule was that the students’ stories had to be told in exactly 50 words – not one word less or one word more.

Valerie Wilkinson, the school’s literary assistant, said: “This is not an easy task but one that several students at Dene Community School achieved.”

They now have their work published in a new book, called Mini Sagas, New Adventures and they each received a book mark for entering.

The published writers also received a Certificate of Merit as well as having their work published.

Mrs Wilkinson, who entered the students in the competition, said: “Every student enjoys the challenge of having to produce something creative within the discipline of so few words.

“They are always surprised when they achieve it and extremely proud when their work appears in print.

“I like to enter as many students as I can, for as many competitions as I can, because there is nothing that can equal the pride that they exhibit when holding a book that contains their own work.”