Young Leeds writers start a new chapter with YEP contest

YEP spring story competition finalists Fathema Tasnim, Alannah Marsden, Scarlett Rowe and Kate Wareing, with author Kate Pankhurst, centre.   Picture: Maisie Coulbert.
YEP spring story competition finalists Fathema Tasnim, Alannah Marsden, Scarlett Rowe and Kate Wareing, with author Kate Pankhurst, centre. Picture: Maisie Coulbert.
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FANTASTIC FICTION penned by young YEP prize-winners definitely has the write stuff as their work was read aloud by a top children’s author.

Writer and illustrator Kate Pankhurst, who is behind the Mariella Mystery Investigates series, visited Leeds Central Library to read the winning entries in the YEP’s spring story competition.

Kate Pankhurst at Leeds Central Library.

Kate Pankhurst at Leeds Central Library.

Creative writers Alannah Marsden, 11, and Kate Wareing, 15, were previously selected by a panel of judges.

The runners up, including 10-year-old Fathema from Beeston St Francis of Assisi School and Scarlet Rowe, 13, from Cardinal Heenan School, also had their stories read aloud at the special event yesterday.

Youth librarian Deborah Moody said: “The children were really excited to meet Kate.

“It was lovely to hear her read their stories out loud as she puts so much expression into it.”

Speaking about the competition, she said: “It’s a brilliant way of being able to showcase the creativity of children and young people.

“It’s important for children to have ways to show how imaginative they are.

“Kate said that the more you read, the better writer you become, and we believe that too.”

Deborah and colleague Pauline Thresh helped choose the winners of the YEP competition.

Deborah added: “It was a very high standard.

“We were really impressed with the breadth of subject matter and different styles of writing that the young people showed.

“It is really difficult to write a story in 200 words.

“You really have to concentrate and get the essence of the story, and everyone did a great job.”

The YEP teamed up with the Leeds Library and Information Service for the spring story competition as part of our Get Leeds Reading campaign, which aims to help children to enjoy reading.

The newspaper previously revealed that almost 1,000 pupils left primary schools in Leeds in 2014 without learning to read properly.

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