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Our 2023 Nook Young Writer Awards is running for the third year in a row.  Open to all kids in the BVI, this fun competition inspires our young creative writers and gives them a chance to win big cash prizes!

The entry deadline was March 1st and then our volunteer judges went to work with the (somewhat impossible!) task of marking each story for creativity, entertainment and imagination!  Each story is presented to the judges anonymously (they just receive the age of the entrant) so they have no idea who the writer is.  This year our fabulous judges were Ben Bamford, Dr. Allison Flax-Archer, Andria Flax, Sybil Scheiner and Brittney Smith.  A big thank you to them all for volunteering their time and expertise to judging this years competition!

The marks were collated and the shortlist winners were announced on the 21st March!

On Saturday 25th of March, the prizes were announced and presented to our winners!  All of our shortlisters received a prize! We were honoured to be joined by The Reigning Miss Plus World BVI who inspired our young creative writers and helped to hand out the prizes.

11 Years Old and Under: The prompt for this age group was ‘If you could wake up tomorrow and be the best in the world at one thing what would it be?  How would your life be different? What would be better or worse?’ We love the fact that most of the kids in this age group completely ignored that prompt and it was great fun to see where their imaginations took them!

Shortlist: This entry was remarkable for one of our youngest ever entrants at just 6 years old!  She wrote a creative story about a character called Love Ice who lives in the Artic Land and meets a mad polar bear.  Well done…. Isla Adams!

Shortlist: Incredibly this is the second year in a row this young man has made it to the shortlist.  His story was about the End of the World (Part 1)!  Aliens are invading the planet but luckily our protagonist is protected by a human shaped robot called Jeffery, who ultimately helps our hero discover his own amazing powers.  Well done. Luca Graziola!

3rd Place:  This story was from another repeat shortlister! In this beautifully written tale of a girl who wakes up with special powers that allows her to talk and sing to animals.  She uses these special powers to help and protect animals around the world.  Well done to our 3rd Place winner…. Rylee Hustins!

2nd Place:  Our second-place winner is just 8 years old but has written a poignant, beautiful story about a 16-year-old called Ivy who is bullied at school for admitting in front of the class her family were poor.  However, because she is always calm and kind, she not only stops her bullies but becomes the most popular kid in the school!  Well done to our second-place winner... Ana Belatti!

 1st Place:  Our first-place winner is no stranger to this position.  Yes, this is her second year in a row winning this competition!  Her story starts with her waking up and being able to communicate with her pet parrot.  She discovers she is able to talk to all the animals in her family’s wildlife reserve and along the way has worldwide adventures with a baby Giant Panda, a Koala, a numbat, and a pant-wearing elephant!  This story was imaginative, descriptive and accompanied by some fantastic artwork.  Very well done… Maggie Nolan!

12-18 Years Old category: The prompt for this category was: ‘You can travel backwards OR forwards in time but only once! Would you discover the past or travel to the future? What would you want to find out and why?’

Shortlist: Another previous short lister returning to the competition this year!  Forward or backwards in time, what would you choose? The answer was neither!  Everything happens for a reason like a ‘precisely balanced beam perfectly equal on both sides’.  Including some insightful musings on the importance of time and references from Stephen Hawking, this story was entertaining and perceptive.  Very well done… Ava Ghiorse!

Shortlist:  This time traveler chose to return to the past and, armed with a digital camera and a mission, endeavors to find out all she could.  Her goal was to learn about the changing attitudes towards her race and how history has shaped them.  Very well referenced and researched.  This is the third year in a row that this storyteller has made the shortlist in her age group! Well done… Janae Olive!

3rd Place:  This story starts in a seemingly normal day in the life of Auriella who lives in Connecticut.  However, at night after she falls asleep, she is launched into a surreal world, where she can connect and communicate with her deceased mother.  This story is full of descriptive and emotive prose.  Well done… Janique Williams!

2nd Place:  At just twelve years old, this storyteller has written a tale well beyond his years.  Here our hero, and his super smart brother, Bill, wake up in a different future world, full of robots and crypto currency. The time travelers decide to use this future knowledge to try and save the planet from the effects of climate change, and armed with scientific proof, they use the time portal Bill has made to jump back to 2023.  But despite having all the facts, no adult leaders listen to a little kid.  Will he be able to find a way to pass on this evidence to save the world before it’s too late…. Well done… Zaed Chalwell!

1st Place: This story opens with our protagonist waking up on a boat, but all is not what is seems as time jumps around and she doesn’t recognise the world she has woken up to.  A sign says Venice, but this is not what she imagines the city she had always dreamed of visiting would look like.  Something is different and it take her a moment to piece together the fact she has travelled to a future Venice, and because of climate change, the city is not as it was.  A diving trip reveals the buildings and streets of Venice are now under water encrusted in coral and algae…. This story is so creative, imaginative and descriptive – you really feel you are in this future Venice!  Very very well done to our first prize winner… Mia Armstong! 

Well done to everyone that entered the competition, and the carers, teachers and parents that helped them along the way.  We are so proud of this competition and hope to keep it going for many years to come so we look forward to reading more fantastic stories next year!