A writing competition for children aged seven to fourteen is part of a new project to tackle a gap in literacy skills between some groups of children in Nottingham.
The theme of the Read on Nottingham‘s creative competition is ‘Friends, Family and Relationships.’ Every child who enters receives a certificate and the chance to see their work published in a printed anthology.
The aim is to help address literacy inequality during lockdown. Campaigners fear some children from lower income families are unable to access any books at all due to schools and libraries being closed.
Jason Vit, Head of Local Areas at the National Literacy Trust, which runs Read on Nottingham, said: “Young people who read a lot anyway are reading more [now] because they’ve got more free time, but for those who don’t have many books at home it hasn’t been the best of times.”
“Literacy is all about tackling inequality. When you’ve got the confidence to talk and the ability to read and write you can do whatever you want.”
Other plans to support children’s learning include publishers Hatchett UK and Usbourne donating books to kids across the city, and local authors L.D. Lapinski, William Hussey and Darren Simpson holding virtual events with schools.
Darren said: “For some children writing seems like an alien thing that isn’t for them, but when they meet a local writer they realise ‘I could do this’.
“Before you know it, they’re writing more, reading more and reaping the benefits of it.”
Darren has some tips for budding writers: “Don’t worry about the technical stuff, just write about something you care about and hopefully that will come through to the reader.
“Just go for it. Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun. It’s an adventure.”
The competition is open for entries now and will close on Friday 12th March.