Creative West Sussex children produce thrilling short stories for competition

More than 200 children in West Sussex used their writing skills to create thrilling short stories for a Schoolsworks competition during lockdown.

Pupils at the trust’s seven schools in Selsey, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Rustington, East Preston, Angmering and Worthing were challenged to write a creative short story of their choice and winners were chosen in three age categories.

Chris Seaton, chief executive, said: “This competition was a great way to get all of our children, whether working at home or in school, involved in a rewarding activity.

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“It was wonderful to see so many entries coming in and over the past few weeks, a team of judges, myself included, has been busy reading and shortlisting stories in each age category.

Zachary Balchin from River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton won the prize for reception and year one

“The standard of writing and the level of creativity was very impressive, so a huge thanks to every child who entered the competition.”

The winning and highly-commended stories will be published in a special collection and made available in the school libraries at Medmerry Primary School in Selsey, Rose Green Junior, Edward Bryant School in Bognor Regis, River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton, Rustington Community Primary School, East Preston Junior School in Angmering and Downsbrook Primary School in Worthing.

Zachary Balchin from River Beach won the prize for reception and year one with his story Night Ninja, about a policeman called Dan who turns into a ninja at night and has to deal with an angry robot.

The other two top prizes went to pupils from Rustington Community Primary School, with Elodie Barclay winning for years two and three, and Jack Candler winning for years four to six.

Jack Candler from Rustington Community Primary School won the prize for years four to six

Elodie, who is in year three, wrote about a troll and his animal friends in her story Freedom. The creatures emerge into a woodland following a period hiding away from the outside world and their experience is described in detail.

Jack, from year six, wrote a powerful first-person story called Caged about a magical incident during a visit to the zoo that seems him sucked into the body of a lion.

All children, including those learning from home during lockdown and key worker children in school, were able to take part, with book vouchers and certificates for a winners and four runners-up in each of the three categories.

The winning stories are available to read online at

Elodie Barclay from Rustington Community Primary School won the prize for years two and three

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