Steve Backshall

Author and Adventurer Steve Backshall named Judge of this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards!

  • Free writing competition for children aged four to 14 with the theme of THE FUTURE

  • Winners awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 worth of books for their school

  • The Falcon Chronicles Author, TV presenter and adventurer, Steve Backshall this year’s incredible judge!

(6th March 2017) The National Young Writers’ Awards has returned bigger and better than ever before as author, TV presenter and adventurer, Steve Backshall has been named judge for 2017.   The competition, organised by tuition provider, Explore Learning, has been running for nine years and has inspired hundreds of thousands of children across the UK to put pen to paper and give writing a try.

This year’s theme is ‘The Future’ where children are encouraged to write a 500 word story set in 3017!  Whether that means we’re families living in space, robots ruling the world or new species of animal roaming the wild – Explore Learning want to hear from you!

Shark SeasGhosts of the ForestAs well as being a TV presenter and adventurer, Steve Backshall is the author of The Falcon Chronicles, the best-selling adventure fiction series for children which follows eco-warriors Saker and Sinter around the globe as they fight to save endangered animals.  The series is made up of Tiger Wars, Ghosts of the Forest, Wilds of the Wolf and Shark Seas, released in October 2016.

Steve says: “I’m really excited to be the judge on this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards.  Writing was my first love and I think it’s so important for children to let their imaginations run wild and have a go at entering writing competitions like this!  You’re often told to write about what you know… so broaden your experience, learn as much as you can about the wild world in order to better protect it.

“I can’t wait to read the stories that the children come up with.  The theme of ‘the future’ gives us so much scope for the weird and wonderful.”

The competition runs from Monday 6th March until Friday 5th May and children from all over the UK are encouraged to enter – from eager young authors to those a little more reluctant.  The winner will be surprised in a school assembly by Steve who will announce the National Young Writer of the Year and present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 worth of books for their school!  Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from Explore Learning.  Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalized feedback from Explore Learning. The top ten runners up will also win an engraved pen from National Stationery Week sponsors, Sheaffer! Whilst all regional winners will receive prize bundles with goodies from National Stationary Week partners, Nu notebooks, Mustard, edding, Maped Helix, Write Size, Manuscript and Stabilo.

Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum Strategy at Explore Learning says: “We are thrilled to organise the longest running writing competition for children and over the past nine years the National Young Writers’ Awards has been encouraging children to unleash their imaginations and create some utterly brilliant, bonkers and captivating short stories and this year will be no different!  We are absolutely thrilled that Steve Backshall is our judge for 2017 and we know that he will inspire even more children to enter to win the chance to meet their idol – as well as that fantastic trip to Disneyland Paris and the wonderful accolade of being named National Young Writer of the Year!”

It’s very easy to enter.  Children are invited to write a story set in 3017 in under 500 words and post it to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW or online at explorelearning.co.uk/youngwritersDon’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!

Previous judges of the National Young Writers’ Awards have included some of the UK’s most prolific authors like Cressida Cowell, Lauren Child, Liz Pichon, Jonathan Meres, Andy Cope and Alan Durant. Last year’s winner was 11 year old Gracie Harding from Winchester who wowed Charlie & Lola author, Lauren Child, with her story Happy never after which you can read online here.

Throughout the next two months Explore Learning will be providing some top writing tips from their creative writing team, previous winners, judges and best-selling authors via their website, social media and face to face. They will be running free workshops with local libraries, schools and community groups to inspire children’s love of writing.  For more information visit www.explorelearning.co.uk/schools.

Explore Learning are an award-winning English and maths tuition company with 126 centres located all over the country.  Over 35,000 children aged four to 14 attend their centres each week.  Explore Learning’s aim is to help every child reach their full potential and get the best results they can, but more importantly develop a generation of fearless learners.

For more information about the National Young Writers’ Awards visit www.explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters.

**Ends**

Carey Ann Dodah is available for interview.  For more information or imagery please contact kat.adams@staturepr.com, ellis.ballard@staturepr.com and claire.mcinerney@staturepr.com mailto:kat.adams@staturepr.com  / 0207 100 0850 / 07850 740174.

About Explore Learning

  • Explore Learning provides maths and English tuition for 5-14 year olds.
  • Over 35,000 children attend Explore Learning centres every week.  There is 126 centres across the UK.
  • All courses are aligned to the National Curriculum and Curriculum for Excellence and Explore Learning tutors select appropriate resources for each child to ensure they cover a combination of courses, enabling them to reach their potential in all areas.
  • All Explore centres are located in areas that are convenient for families to attend – these include centres within shopping centres such as Westfield London, Lakeside, Cabot Circus and Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
  • Explore Learning were named the best Private Tuition Centre Operator in the EducationInvestor Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016, the 57th best company to work for by The Sunday Times 2016, a One to Watch in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, a finalist in the European Business Awards and were recently named the 14th Best Place to Work For by GlassDoor.

About Steve Backshall

  • Steve Backshall is the author of The Falcon Chronicles, an adventure fiction series for nine to 12 year olds.  The Falcon Chronicles follow eco-warriors Saker and Sinter around the globe as they fight to save endangered animals.  The latest book in the series, Shark Seas, was published in October 2016.
  • Steve is also one of TV’s busiest presenters, wildlife experts and adventurers. Steve fronts the CBBC Deadly series, travelling the world to film Deadly Pole to Pole, Deadly 60, Live and Deadly, Deadly 360, Deadly on a Mission and his most recent Deadly 60 series, Backshall’s Deadly Adventures.  In 2011, Steve won the BAFTA award for best Children’s Television Presenter as well as Deadly 60 winning Best Factual series.