Northern Roots Creative Writing Competition
In 2020-21 Northern Roots teamed up with Oldham Libraries, and local sponsors Remedian IT, Oldham Community Leisure and Ultimate Products, to launch the Northern Roots Creative Writing Competition.
Our panel of judges was led by Oldham-based writer Jacqueline Ward, who grew up a stone’s throw from the Northern Roots site, Nawhal Sarwar, a writer and student at Oldham College, and TV and radio presenter Lindsey Chapman.
We asked local people to get creative and celebrate the wild beauty and magic of the Northern Roots site in 500 words or less – and Oldham, you didn’t disappoint! From powerful poems to stunning short stories, the judging panel were thrilled at the breadth of writing talent in the Competition. Our winners in each category were:
Congratulations to our winner Aleena Hussain (6) for her wonderful story The Magic in the Woods.
Judge Nawhal Sarwar said: “It was so difficult to choose only one winner when you all wrote such amazing stories. We picked Aleena because we love her story about Lily’s adventure in the magical woods, meeting fairies and elves, and how she related it back to Lily’s emotions about starting school. Congratulations Aleena – now go and celebrate!”
Aleena wins a Kindle Fire HD8 Plus generously sponsored by local business Remedian IT and will see an excerpt from her winning piece incorporated into the Northern Roots site.
The judges also want to Highly Commend Elizabeth Shaw (6) for her funny and imaginative story The Evil Unicorn and the Fire Sausage. Quite a tale!
Young People (13-17)
Congratulations to our winner Gabriella Petrillo (14) for her powerful short story Dear Diary.
Judge Lindsey Chapman said: “It was really hard to choose a winner, but we chose Gabriella because she has such a great imagination, she really took us into her dystopian world, ending with that seed of hope. Wonderful writing.”
Gabriella wins an All-new Echo Dot (4th generation) and £125 of vouchers, generously sponsored by local business Ultimate Products. She will also receive a half hour mentoring session with author Jacqueline Ward and see an excerpt from her winning piece incorporated into the Northern Roots site.
The judges also want to Highly Commend Izaak Beck (13) for his fantastic story, told through the eyes of an owl – The Secret Diary of an Owl.
Adults (18 and over)
Congratulations to our winner Donna Smith for her joyous poem, On Oldham’s Front Door.
Judge Jacqueline Ward said: “We had some fantastic entries, a wide range of poems and short stories inspired by the Northern Roots site and by nature. It was really hard to choose a winner, but Donna’s piece took the creative brief to heart, evoking all there is to see and do at Northern Roots in a celebratory rhyming poem.”
Donna wins a 6-month Premium membership from our generous sponsors at Oldham Community Leisure, a half hour mentoring session with author Jacqueline Ward, and will see an excerpt from her winning piece incorporated into the Northern Roots site.
Our judges want to Highly Commend Asma Khatun for her beautiful short poem Autumnal Hues, and Charlotte Coleman for her moving short story Solace.
Thank you to…..
Northern Roots wishes to thank Remedian IT, Oldham Community Leisure and Ultimate Products, our Competition sponsors, for their support and generosity.
A huge thank you goes to our fantastic judges, who took such time and care in reading, discussing and selecting winners. Thanks also to Oldham Libraries for collaborating. If you’re a writer or interested in exploring writing, contact Oldham Libraries to find out more about writing groups and events.