City author wins big

Sheffield schoolgirl Freya Fowlston, six, has won a national competition to find the UKs most promising young authors
Sheffield schoolgirl Freya Fowlston, six, has won a national competition to find the UKs most promising young authors

A Sheffield schoolgirl has been named one of the UK’s most promising young authors after winning a national writing competition.

Freya Fowlston, aged six, of Birley Community Primary School, beat hundreds of children to be crowned winner of the Mighty Write competition for primary school 
children.

The theme for the competition was ‘If I Ruled The World…’ and Freya wrote that she would use her special powers to make sure that people were always happy and never became poorly.

Kirsty Nash, Freya’s teacher, said: “I was extremely proud of the writing that Freya completed independently and it was fantastic to see her face when she found out she had won.

“Her piece of writing certainly brought a tear to some people’s eyes when read out in the assembly.

Pobble.com created the competition to uncover and showcase the very best writing for children of primary school age, with the support of Penguin Schools.

The competition was judged by leading children’s authors Robin Stevens and Sophy Henn.

Freya has won for her whole class a writing masterclass from the teachers at Pobble.com, while every children’s story entered by a teacher will be published on the Pobble website.

Kirsty said: ““It is wonderful to celebrate writing from such a young age and to be able to share this safely on the internet for others to see.”

Penguin Schools will send signed copies of all Sophy Henn’s books to the school, with the author also providing a special video for the school.

Sophy Henn said: “What really came across was the commitment of these young writers to tell their story, whether it was one sentence or two pages. A joy to read.”

Pobble.com is on a global mission to drive up literacy standards. It is an online classroom wall where children’s stories are uploaded and shared with a global audience – becoming a published author fires children’s imaginations, motivating them to write, and improving literacy skills and attainment. Today there are more than 60,000 pieces of written work on Pobble with users in more than 100 countries.

Penguin Schools is Penguin Random House Children’s exciting new channel – inspiring teachers and librarians to share stories with children and young people. It offers free resources to accompany some of the most loved and classic stories by our best-known authors.

Kirsty Nash, Year 1 teacher at Birley Community Primary School, said:

“The children in our class have loved having their work published on Pobble and seeing it up on the interactive whiteboard in our classroom. They are always desperate to see the comments on their learning from their families, children from our school and people from other schools! I was extremely proud of the writing that Freya completed independently and it was fantastic to see her face when she found out she had won. Her piece of writing certainly brought a tear to some people’s eyes when read out in the assembly! It is wonderful to celebrate writing from such a young age and to be able to share this safely on the internet for others to see.”

Sophy Henn said:

“It has been an absolute delight to judge the KS1 entries for Pobble’s The Mighty Write competition. I have really enjoyed reading the wide variety of entries and seeing how differently the theme has been interpreted. Serious ones, silly ones, robot ones and chocolatey ones. But what really came across was the commitment of these young writers to tell their story, whether it was one sentence or two pages. A joy to read!”

Henry Smith, co-founder of Pobble.com, and a competition shortlister said:

“With entries flooding in from all over the world, including schools in Qatar, The Seychelles, Spain and the UAE, I was left with the daunting task of short-listing some of the very best. This task proved to be exceptionally difficult, but also exceptionally moving. I was simply not prepared for what I was about read. If I tried to explain the wonderful pieces of writing I read, it would be impossible to do each one justice.

“What I will say is this: Planet Earth is in good hands. If the selflessness, the empathy, the creativity, the love and the community spirit is anything to go by, society’s future is bright. Giving writing like this an audience is an honour, yet so important.”

Camilla Ray of Penguin Schools said:

“Penguin Schools is proud to be working with Pobble. At Ladybird and Puffin, we spend every day creating wonderful stories for children and taking them on incredible literary adventures. Supported by Sophy Henn and Robin Stevens, the children taking part in The Mighty Write were able to create their own adventures, fuelled by inspiration, creativity and imagination.”