Storytelling school

Essex Council launches storytelling competition

Aspiring writers have been encouraged to express themselves in a new council-run storytelling competition.

The competition, organized by Essex Council, is part of the Essex Year of Reading campaign.

The campaign created by the Essex Education Taskforce aims to tackle the impact of the pandemic on pupils’ education and help every child develop their reading skills.

Tony Ball, Essex Councilor responsible for education excellence, lifelong learning and employability, said: ‘Essex’s Year of Reading has been set place to inspire a lifelong love of reading.

“While much of our business is aimed at helping children develop their reading skills in county schools, we know that everyone will thrive if we all open a book and read.

“By championing writing and storytelling skills, we also encourage everyone to be creative.

“We are giving Essex residents the chance to become a published author, while providing a platform to share exciting and fresh new stories for residents.”

Contest entrants are invited to submit a short story of no more than 750 words based on the theme of Essex in the past, present or future.

Stories can be just words, although illustrations are encouraged, or participants can create a storyboard or graphic novel.

Each story will be judged by a panel, which will include the publisher, Essex Libraries and Essex Reading Year.

All shortlisted entries will receive certificates and will be published on the Essex Year of Reading app. The overall winner of the contest will receive a £100 book token.

Entries can be submitted by schools, community groups and individuals.

All work must be the entrant’s original idea and not infringe anyone else’s copyright.

The closing date for all entries is Friday, May 6 and entrants must provide their name, age, address, email and phone number.

Entries should be emailed to [email protected] or sent by post to: Essex Year of Reading Competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QH.

For more information on the contest, including terms and conditions, visit