BUDDING young authors from four schools took part in the local round of the Nationwide Rotary Young Writers’ Competition organised by the Alton branch.

The four schools who took part were St Lawrence (Alton), Andrews Endowed (Holybourne), Wootey Junior (Alton), and Selborne Primary.

From all the contributions received, the top three from each school were submitted to a panel of judges led by author Valerie Wilding (My Story: Road to War) supported by former English teacher Sandra Crocker, and Martin Korda, writer of the best-selling video game FIFA 17 “The Journey”.

Submissions were judged in early March and a special awards tea party for pupils, parents and teachers was arranged by the Rotary Club at the Alton House Hotel on March 9.

After tea, Valerie Wilding presented the prizes to the winners and from each school a first, second and third prize of a certificate and a book token was awarded.

The overall winner was Olivia Ponsonby, of Andrews Endowed School, and she will now go forward to the district competition of Rotary to decide who represents Hampshire and the Isle of Wight at the national final.

At the presentation, Mrs Wilding made complimentary comments on the quality of the writing and imagination shown in the submissions before inviting pupils to read their texts. However, they declined admitting feeling a “little shy” in front of the 50 guests, so Mrs Wilding did it for them.

The prize winners were:

St Lawrence: 1 Kayden Veck, 2 Mae Woolman, 3 Emma Whitty.

Andrews Endowed, Holybourne: 1 Olivia Ponsonby, 2 Archie Dale, 3 Isla Stevens.

Wootey Junior: 1 Katie Anna McLoughlin, 2 Samuel Cain, 3 Karla Beavis.

Selborne Primary: 1 Isabel Sumner, 2 Anya Fuller, 3 Eric Rye Lees.

Alton Rotary president Keith Arrowsmith-Oliver thanked all the participants in the competition, the judges, and Rotarian Peter Johnson as the principal organiser of the event.