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Could you be the next Julia Donaldson or Michael Morpurgo?

Cornwall Council is launching a new competition to identify the next generation of budding Cornish writers. Part of the Real Heroes Read Books campaign, we are asking children across Cornwall to put pen to paper and to create a bedtime story.

It doesn’t matter whether you're an experienced writer, or this is the first time you've thought about writing a story, we still want to see your story ideas.

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Each story needs to be around 500 words and written for children under five years old. The competition is split into secondary and primary aged children and the best stories will be turned into a bedtime story.  There are also a host of other prizes up for grabs.

Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Well Being, councillor Sally Hawken, said: “This is the first year of Cornwall Council running the Real Heroes Read Books campaign and already we have seen more children reading books.

"The library service saw an additional 4000 book borrows in the under-five category during the first two weeks and a massive 33% increase in the number of library sign ups, which is fantastic.

“This writing competition is the next phase of the campaign and we want to encourage older children to get creative. There is no barrier to imagination, the only rule is that this must be for an audience of under-fives.”

The winning stories will be read by the actor Rory Wilton, who has appeared in Poldark, Doc Martin and the Fisherman Friends movie.  The film will then be screened at our Premiere event, where the winner will be the guest of honour.

Sally added: “We all want the best for our children; supporting them to take every opportunity and we can do this by supporting the development of their language skills.  Sadly, too many children are starting school without these – and all too often, if there’s a gap at the very start of school, it tends to persist, and grow.

“The Real Heroes Read Books campaign is designed to inspire children into reading and using their imagination and will tackle the barriers some parents face in supporting their child’s learning, including time, confidence and ideas of things to do.”

Children can enter or gain more information by visiting our real heroes read books pages where you can also find the rules for the competition.

Head of Early Years at Cornwall Council, Carol Kimberley is part of the judging panel: “All good children’s stories are fun and heart-warming, and I am really looking forward to see what young people in Cornwall can come up with.”