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Fifteen students from across the UK see their everyday heroes brought to life after winning a national writing competition

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A new book, which celebrates the fifteen winners of @Pearson’s My Twist on a Tale: Everyday Heroes national writing competition, has been launched today (4th March 2021).

The book, features stories including: ‘When the world lost its beat’, by 17-year-old Jessica Bryn from Rugby and ‘The cape around my neck’ by 17-year-old Logan Lee from CATS College Cambridge.

World’s learning company, Pearson, encouraged children between the ages of 4-19 to let their imagination run wild as they put pen to paper and wrote a story based on an everyday hero. Over 1200 children and young people entered the competition with winning stories being picked across 15 categories including KS1 through to KS5 and all regions in the UK. From medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic to supermarket delivery staff, parents, grandparents, pets, community members, guide dogs and even a violin, the everyday heroes came in all shapes and sizes!

My Twist on a Tale: Everyday Heroes Winning Stories is available to download with all budding authors receiving their very own hard copy as part of their prize.

Katy Lewis, Head of English, Drama and Languages at Pearson said:

“Following the huge success of Pearson’s inaugural writing competition: My Twist on a Tale, which saw children and young people put a modern-day take on their favourite fairy tale or fable in 2019, this year’s competition, which focused on the everyday heroes in the eyes of students across the UK did not disappoint. We were once again, blown away by their level of imagination and writing skills and are incredibly proud of all the winners who have built a collection of short stories that celebrate a diverse and modern-day Britain.”

“In what has been an extraordinary year of disruption, we wanted to give children the opportunity to write their own tales of people who made a difference to them. It is so important that children and young people feel represented in the literature they read and the stories they write and so in writing their entries, whether that be a story about a hero in their local community, a key worker making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic, a campaigner, a family member or friend that inspires them or even a hero from their imagination, we wanted children and young people to get creative and reflect their own personality, location and experiences as they brought their local crusader to life. The results were fascinating. Everyone who entered should be extremely proud of their hard work and creative flair.”

Jessica, who wrote a story about the heroic power of her violin during lockdown, said:

“I was really shocked when I found out I was one of the winners. I wanted to highlight that everyone and everything has the power to make a change to someone’s life big and small. Hopefully my true experience told through the story gives hope to people and shows them that there is light in times of darkness.”

The competition was supported by a range of competition partners including the English Association, National Literacy Trust, Teach First, nasen, NATE, Love Reading, ASCEL, The Reading Agency, Best Practice Network, Authors Aloud, Literacy for Pleasure, Read for Good, I CAN, Governor Cymru Services, School Library Association, Swindon Stories, Gingerbread, Parentkind, Heady Mix and Alanna Max.

The winning stories include:

CategoryWinnerTitle
Key Stage 1

Vedantika Chakraborty

Not all heroes wear capes

Key Stage 2

Stamford Bottomley

Mr Eight O’Clock

Key Stage 3 / North West

Ethan Scot

Little Babcia – my hero

Key Stage 4

Artur Maszczyk

Meow

Key Stage 5 / West Midlands

Jessica Bryn

When the world lost its beat

South West

Isabelle Portch

Generous Georgia

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South East

Lucy Jefford

On the frontline

North East

Payton Twentyman

Crystal virus

East Midlands

Logan Lee

The cape around my neck

East Midlands

Eleanor Walker

Jennifer, Jenny, Jen, Mummy, Mama

Yorkshire

Hollie Birch

One day everything went dark

London

Isabella Mahdavi

My Human

Scotland

Lilli McCullagh

Gone with the windy pops

Wales

Lois Bradburn

What goes around comes around

Northern Ireland

Aidan Sands

A Twist on a Tale

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