Winners of ‘Wisbech Reads’ writing competition meet popular author Dan Freedman at Thomas Clarkson Academy

Winners of the Wisbech Reads Writing Competition met with author Dan Freedman.

Winners of the Wisbech Reads Writing Competition met with author Dan Freedman. - Credit: Archant

Winners of the Wisbech Reads Writing Competition have met with popular author Dan Freedman as part of their reward.

Thomas Clarkson Academy (TCA) librarian, Debbie Trafford, invited local primary schools and TCA students to take part in a short story competition on behalf of Wisbech Reads.

Titled ‘They Think It’s All Over’, the competition saw the winners come to the academy to collect their prizes, which were donated by Wisbech Rotary Club.

Dan Freedman, a former sports journalist, is the author of the Jamie Johnson series of books.

Dan said: “The idea behind the books was a very simple one: I wanted to write the kind of books that I would have loved to have read when I was younger.

“That meant lots of drama, fast-paced action and, of course lots of football.”

Competition entries, judged by Margaret Barwell and Mike Theobald from Rotary and Louise Aldridge from Wisbech Library, were considered for their creativity, originality, reader engagement and use of literary devices.

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The winning entries from primary school pupils were:

• 1st prize: Finn Joseph Warren (Leverington Primary Academy)

• 2nd prize: Vladimir Smirnovs (Peckover Primary School)

• Runners up: Katya Haggett and Isabel Little (both Peckover pupils).

There were also three highly commended awards handed out to Peckover pupils Maya Smith, Maisy Webb and Jack Williams.

The TCA winners were:

• 1st prize: Edward Phoon

• 2nd prize: Anna Ivaskevica

• Runner up: Lillie-May Groves.

The winners were invited to meet Dan when he visited the academy on Thursday March 15 where he also gave a presentation about his career to Year 8 students.

Mrs Trafford said: “Dan is a very popular author, and his links with Premier League footballers made this a particularly exciting visit.

“Dan told us how his first book kept being rejected and it took three

years before it was finally published.

“He suggested that no-one should be deterred by ‘failure’, that

you should use it as a learning experience and an opportunity to try another way of doing things because eventually, it will lead to success.”

Ms Barwell added: “This was a really valuable opportunity for young people to reflect on their own views about reading and enjoy books in such a positive and constructive light.

“I am sure they were excited and inspired by Dan.”