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Clare Balding Announced as Judge for Big 900 Story Writing Challenge

Leeds Castle News -

Leeds Castle will soon be inviting children all over Britain to celebrate its 900th anniversary by entering an exciting story writing competition; ‘Leeds Castle’s ‘Big 900’ Story Writing Challenge’. 

The Castle is also delighted to announce that renowned broadcaster and author Clare Balding will be the official judge for the challenge, along with Chief Executive Sir David Steel and Helen Ellis, Head of Education. 

One of Britain’s leading and BAFTA-winning broadcasters, Clare Balding is also a best-selling and award-winning author of five books. Clare has released two children’s books titled ‘The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop’ and ‘The Racehorse Who Disappeared’. 

For the competition, children from two age groups (5-9 years and 10-13 years) will be encouraged to write a fictional story of up to 900 words based loosely around the theme of ‘castles’ and/or ‘time travel’. Entries will be accepted online from September 5th 2018. 

The two winning stories will be placed within a time capsule and buried in front of the Castle, only to be opened 100-years from now at the Castle’s millennium. The ten finalists from each category, along with their families, will also be invited to a very special Awards Day at Leeds Castle on 30th May 2019, when the winners will be announced by Clare Balding. The two lucky winners will also receive a hamper of prizes, including a stay at Knight’s Glamping, and be invited to take part in the ‘time capsule’ ceremony on 25th June 2019, with HRH Princess Alexandra. Runners up will receive smaller prizes. 

Helen Ellis, Head of Education at Leeds Castle, said: “We are delighted that Clare Balding will be joining us as an official judge for the Big 900 Story Challenge. We have so much planned for the Castle’s 900th Anniversary, and the story challenge is a fantastic way to kick-start the celebrations. The story writing competition is also a great way to encourage the younger generation to get involved in both literacy and history, and the Castle judges are looking forward to reading the creative stories that children from all round the country will be sending in.” 

Budding young writers have until 12pm on 5th March 2019 to submit their stories. 

Further information and terms and conditions can be found here:

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