Enter our new storytelling competition

We’ve launched a new storytelling competition to encourage budding writers and illustrators across Essex.

The competition is part of our The Essex Year of Reading campaign. The aim is to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on pupils’ education and to help every child, young person and family in Essex discover the joy of reading. It was created by the Essex Education Taskforce.

Contestants are asked to submit a short story of up to 750 words about Essex, past, present or future.

Stories can be words only, although illustrations are encouraged, or participants can create a storyboard or graphic novel.

Each story is judged by a panel of judges composed of the publisher, Essex Libraries and Essex Year of Reading.

All shortlisted entries will receive certificates and will be published on the Essex Year of Reading app. The overall winner of the competition will receive a £100 book voucher.

Submissions should be sent by email to [email protected] or by post to: Essex Year of Reading Competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QH.

When registering, please provide your name, age, address, e-mail and telephone number.

The deadline for all entries is Friday 6th May.

Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability said: “The Essex Year of Reading was created to inspire a lifelong love of reading. Although much of our activity focuses on helping children in county schools develop their reading skills, we know that if we all open a book and read, everyone will thrive.

“By promoting writing and storytelling skills, we also encourage everyone to get creative. We are giving the people of Essex the chance to become a published author while also providing a platform to share exciting and fresh new stories for residents to enjoy.”

Essex Year of Reading Competition Terms and Conditions

These Standard Terms are subject to any other terms made available to you or referred to at the time you enter the Contest.

  1. This competition is organized by Essex County Council (ECC), County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH.
  2. ECC reserves the right to cancel, suspend, cancel or change the competition at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be published on essex.gov.uk
  3. In the event of any dispute regarding the Sweepstakes, the final decision of the ECC will be binding and no correspondence or discussion will take place. The Terms and Conditions are governed by English law and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  4. This competition is separate from all other Essex Year of Reading competitions and entrants can choose to enter all, some or none.

Qualified Participants

  1. Participants must meet the following conditions to enter the competition:
  2. Live, work or study in Essex or have another legitimate Essex connection.
  3. Submit a written and/or artistic work, that is; own works that are not subject to copyright or violate copyright and meet the specified criteria
  4. The entry can be from an individual, a couple or a group.
  5. ECC employees and their families are entitled to take part in this competition.
  6. Using a false name or address will result in disqualification.
  7. ECC reserves the right to disqualify any participant if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the participant has breached any of these Conditions of Participation.
  8. ECC reserves the right to disqualify any entrant or any work if their conduct or entry violates the spirit or intent of the Contest.
  9. ECC will not accept contest entries that are automatically generated by computer; contracted in bulk by third parties; illegible, altered, reconstructed, forged or tampered with; or incomplete.

competition entries

  1. Entries may be submitted by schools, community groups and individuals. Please ensure that full contact information (contributor name, age, address, phone number and email address) is submitted with the entry.
  2. Entries can be sent by email to [email protected] or by post to the Essex Year of Reading Writing Competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH
  3. If artworks are submitted with writing, they should be 2D and A4 in size. Participants can use a range of materials and techniques from the following list: drawing (e.g. pencil, pen, colored pencil, pastel, etc.), painting, printmaking, collage, photography and montage.
  4. Participation in the competition is free of charge, however all materials for the creation and submission of works must be provided by the participant.
  5. All works must be the original idea of ​​the participant and must not infringe the copyrights of others.
  6. The closing date for the competition is Friday, May 6, 2022.
  7. Entries received after the entry deadline will be automatically disqualified.
  8. ECC accepts one entry per person, which may include more than one participant per household.
  9. Submissions from schools will be pre-selected by the school and then submitted. Essex Year of Reading will appoint a panel of independent judges, including a publisher, an Essex Libraries staff member and an Essex Year of Reading staff member, who will shortlist all entries. The judges do not know who submitted which entries. All shortlisted entries will be published on the Essex Year of Reading App.
  10. Eight or more finalists in each category will be selected from the shortlisted entries by a different panel of judges. The judges do not know who submitted each entry. The age categories are: Key Stage 1; key level 2; key level 3; key stage 4; Key Stage 5 and continuing education; Special; Other (to allow schools to select a student’s work that they consider exceptional based on SEND, home circumstances, or personal challenges); community and adult sectors; Essex County Council employees; residents of nursing homes.
  11. The overall winner in each age category will be selected from among the finalists by a publisher or author (publisher or author to be confirmed).
  12. All finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony at County Hall, Chelmsford to receive a certificate and winners their prizes. If a finalist or winner is unable to attend the awards ceremony, Essex Year of Reading will arrange for their certificate and/or award to be displayed or mailed at a convenient local location.
  13. Artworks are non-returnable and will be displayed in libraries, space permitting. Some entries will also appear on the council and/or library website and social media.
  14. ECC assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation, communication line failure, theft, destruction, alteration of or unauthorized access to any entry, quadrant or lost or delayed entry, whether occurring during operation or not as a result server functions, viruses, bugs or other causes beyond its control.
  15. The ECC accepts no responsibility for entries not received for any reason, or for missing contact information provided with each entry.
  16. By entering this Contest, entrant, or parents on behalf of an entrant, agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.


  1. All shortlisted entries will receive a certificate and their work will be published in the Essex Year of Reading app.
  2. All finalists receive a certificate and a prize. Prizes include books and certificates awarded by schools.
  3. The overall winner in each category will also receive an additional prize in the form of a £100 book voucher.
  4. These prizes are non-transferable and no cash alternatives to the prizes will be offered.
  5. By entering the competition, winners agree to participate in public relations, e.g. B. in the media, on social media and on the ECC website: essex.gov.uk.
  6. Images of all finalist work will be published on social media with limited information about the entrant such as child’s first name and age.


  1. ECC cannot accept responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the Contest or as a result of accepting any prize. ECC is not responsible for problems or technical malfunctions of computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software errors of e-mails or entries to be received due to technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, including injury or damage to the computer of the participant or another Person in connection with or as a result of entering or downloading any materials in the Contest.

Privacy and Advertising

  1. ECC processes information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation and is the data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018. The information you enter in the competition will be used to administer the competition used and not disclosed to third parties unless the law allows us to do so. Essex County Council will store your name, age, email address and postal address to announce the winner of the competition and for promotional purposes. If you would like to see any personal information we hold about you, please contact the Transparency Team (TT): Essex County Council, PO Box 11, Chelmsford CM1 1LX, 01245 431851, [email protected].

How to contact us

  1. You can contact us in relation to the competition by writing to the Essex Year of Reading Writing Competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH.

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