Western Isles pupil on short list in national writing competition

Uig Primary School Megan Wade has been short listed for a prize in a letter writing competition run by Royal Mail for schools in Scotland.

The theme for this year’s competition was children’s favourite books- a subject celebrated by Royal Mail through a set of stamps featuring A.A. Milne’s Winnie –the-Pooh in October 2010.

10 year old Megan wrote an imaginative letter to her friend which impressed judges. Her story was based on author David Walliams book, Mr Stink.

In her letter Megan described her character Mr Stink’s adventures and said: “I went to a small community called Uig (pronounced OOO-ig!) There are lots of lovely beaches all white and well, sandy! What I love best is that everyone is nice to me. They don’t care about my smell.”

Megan is one of six children short listed in this category and will receive a presentation pack of 1st Class stamps to encourage more letter-writing.

There are three categories in the competition for ages 7-9, 10-11, and a Special Achievement award, for children who overcome particular difficulties to enter.

Winners in each category will be announced on April 27th. Winners will each receive a set of Smilers® stamps and a £50 book token, plus a £100-box of letter writing goodies to share with their classmates. The three runners up in each category each win a £20 book token.

Ian McKay, Director of Scottish Affairs, Royal Mail Group, said: “We hoped that taking a favourite story as a starting point would unlock each child’s imagination to help the words really flow. We were looking for originality, freedom of expression and creativity. The standard of entries was once again very high. Nationwide, thousands of children took part so all the children who reach the short list should feel very proud.

“It is excellent to see that children are learning essential letter-writing skills, addressing letters correctly - and using the all-important postcode.”

The competition encouraged children to write a letter with a purpose, demonstrating imagination and creativity within a basic letter format. The competition was designed as a class activity to fit with the school curriculum and to motivate children of all ages and abilities.

Royal Mail is working with the UK-wide charity Afasic which seeks to help children with speech, language and communication needs.

Tony Curtis, Afasic’s Director in England. said: “We’d like to see more children with communication needs taking part in the Royal Mail Young Letter Writers Competition, which has a Special Achievement category. Despite their difficulties many of these children can participate along with any other child with the right help and support. Afasic has publications and resources for teachers that can help identify difficulties and offer strategies of support in the classroom.”