After lots of entries from children across Dorset to our creative writing competition, two winners have been selected.

To give children across Dorset something to do while schools were closed, we asked youngsters to send in a story inspired by, but not necessarily about, lockdown.

Calypso Sibeth, a 13-year-old student at Dorset Studio School, was selected as the winner for the secondary school age group, for her descriptive and chilling tale about lockdown boredom.

In the primary school age group, eight-year-old Wyke Regis Federation pupil Lloyd Spracklen stood out for his imaginative tale called ‘The Transformed Troll’.

Calypso told the Dorset Echo: “I am happy because this was an unexpected thing and something eventful as lockdown has been so boring.”

Lloyd said: “When my Mummy and Daddy showed me the email to say I had won, I only read the first line and I started jumping up and down on my bed. My Mummy asked if I feel happy and I said “no I feel ecstatic!”

“I am shocked that I have actually won. I really enjoyed writing the story and it gives me inspiration to write another one.”

The competition was ran in association with Aspirations Academies Trust (AAT), whose CEOs Steve and Paula Kenning personally donated two £75 vouchers to give to the winners of the competition.

They said: “We are so delighted that Lloyd and Calypso have won the creative writing competition, many congratulations to them both.

“Lloyd showed immense talent, especially for someone so young, in imagining such a lovely story with such an optimistic ending, given the circumstances of late. Calypso’s use of language is just beautiful. She clearly has tremendous creative talents and we loved reading her beautifully crafted story. We feel that both Lloyd and Calypso have amazing levels of talent and skill and wish them well in their creative writing in the future.”

As well as the vouchers, the winners will get the chance to meet and interview Andersen Press author Anthea Simmons, who also helped judged the entries.

She said: “[On Calypso’s story] A nice sense of fear and doom builds from the casual complacency and boredom depicted at the start. A good message.

“[On Lloyd’s story] The Covid-19 crisis has been transformational for many of us…and not always in a good way, so it’s lovely to read this charming story of the power of lockdown to bring out the best – even in a troll! I loved the line ‘scared with no one to scare.'”

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The winning entries and some of the judging panel’s favourite runners-up will be published at www.dorsetecho.co.uk in the coming weeks.

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