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Budding authors in Malpas recognised at Sandstone Ridge Festival

Writing talent rewarded in The Peter Wheeler Storytelling Competition

Gisele Atherton visiting the winning students from Bishop Heber School Francesca Ball and Tabitha Evans and organiser Linda Houlton

Aspiring authors from Malpas and Cheshire have been selected as winners of a local writing competition.

Four winners aged from nine years and upwards were awarded the top prizes at The Peter Wheeler Storytelling Competition, sponsored by housebuilder Stewart Milne Homes.

The competition was launched as part of the inaugural Sandstone Ridge Festival and writers were encouraged to enter a short story of between 500 and 1,500 words to celebrate local talent.

More than 70 stories were submitted this year and the final winners were selected by a panel of local judges.

The winning entries were:

Adult category – Jill Hayns from Malpas for ‘The Old Fossil’

12 – 18 category – Francesca Ball from Malpas for ‘Necromancy’

Under 11 category – Tom Kelly from Bickerton Holy Trinity CE Primary School for ‘The Fox with The Magical Scarf’

Stewart Milne Homes provided prizes for each of the winners, which included a £75 ash prize for the adult winner and £20 book token for the remaining category winners.

Four runners-up were also selected and each received a £10 book token or £20 cash prize.

Linda Houlton, from Bishop Heber School and organiser of The Peter Wheeler short story competition, said: “We had an astonishingly high standard of writing this year on a variety of styles and subjects, so our judges had a hard time picking the overall winners.

“It was a privilege to receive and read such accomplished and interesting entries and the winners and runners up should be congratulated.

“Thank you to Stewart Milne Homes for sponsoring the competition. Its support has enabled us to give our writers the prizes they deserve.”

Sales consultant at Stewart Milne Homes Gisele Atherton said: “Well done to all the writers who took part and the overall winners should be really proud of their stories.

“We want to support local community projects wherever we can and this competition is a great example of community collaboration to promote and support local talent and culture.”

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