Scots makar encourages looked after children to be creative

Girl writing

​Scotland's national poet presented the winners of a writing competition for looked after children with their prizes in Edinburgh

15th August 2017 by Georgina Harris 0 Comments

Scotland’s national poet, Jackie Kay, has announced the winners of a national competition for school children in care.

The new competition aimed to give a voice to young people who are looked after and allow them to express their creativity through writing.

Get Write In! is an initiative by CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) which is supported by The Scottish Book Trust, Who Cares? Scotland, the University of Strathclyde, and Edinburgh International Book Festival. 

Participants submitted a 500 word creative story in either English or Scots to capture the competition’s theme of Random Moments, focusing on an event that was unexpected or challenging and could be turned into an inspiring story.

The junior winner from under 12s is Joseph Ness, and the senior winner from young people aged 12 to 18 is William Cathie.

Jackie Kay and Mark McDonald, Scottish minister for childcare and early years, presented the winners with their prizes at an event at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth. Prizes included a trip to the Harry Potter Experience in London, a storytelling and creative writing workshop, and tickets for Scottish Book Trust Authors Live events.

Jackie Kay commented: “We were blown away by the talent that emerged, and by the openness of so many young Scots to share their stories. We hope many more will continue to enter next year. For the young Scots this year who did, it has been a validating and uplifting experience to have their voices heard and appreciated.”

Mark McDonald, said: “It is inspiring to see young people take such an interest in creative writing, and this competition is a brilliant opportunity for care experienced young people to develop their literacy skills and to gain confidence in expressing themselves.”

Professor Jennifer Davidson, executive director of Inspiring Children’s Futures which CELCIS is part of, added: “We were thrilled with the response that we had to the competition. We are hopeful that by encouraging young people to draw on their inner creativity through writing, this will contribute to building a positive sense of their power to influence the world around them, as well as strengthening their literacy for their future.”