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Search for the next Olivia under way

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

By JAMES BRINDLE

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BUDDING young author’s across Uttoxeter are being sought to follow in the footsteps of a town schoolgirl who triumphed in a prestigious national short story competition.

Olivia Norton won BBC Radio Two’s 500 words short story competition back in 2011 at the age of 12 while a pupil at Oldfields Hall Middle School.

Her head teacher at the time, Nick Brown, described her win as ‘the greatest achievement ever by one of our pupils’.

She beat almost 30,000 other entrants from across the country and had her winning story, called Stable, read out live on the air at the Hay Literary Festival by Watchdog presenter Anne Robinson.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show is once again appealing to children aged 13 and under to compose an original fiction in no more than 500 words.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, is urging youngsters to represent the county again and hopefully repeat Olivia’s tremendous success.

He said: “Staffordshire has a well-deserved reputation as the creative county, and I’d like to see as many youngsters as possible have a go at this great competition.

“The county tasted success in the very first year of the 500 words competition when Uttoxeter schoolgirl Olivia Norton won first prize in 2011 with her moving and poignant story 'Stable'.

“There’s also an opportunity for county teachers and librarians to volunteer their time to help whittle this year’s submissions down to a shortlist.

“I’m delighted the BBC are running this competition again. It is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with a creative streak and a passion for writing to have their talent recognised and rewarded.

“It would be wonderful if another of the county’s talented youngsters emulated Olivia’s success.”

There are two age groups in the competition – 10 to 13's and under 9's.

The top prize in each age group is Chris Evans’s height in books - that’s 1.88m. The winners’ schools will also receive 500 books.

For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk/500words

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