Children, parents and teachers flocked to Staffordshire University today (March 17) to celebrate the winners of Staffordshire’s Future Journalists Competition.
The competition was open to school children aged 7-18 across Staffordshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands, who had to write an opinion piece, a review or conduct an interview to enter.
Over 100 entries were received by the judges, who had to whittle the winning pieces down to 15.
The competition has now been going for 6 years and its founder Jackie Gregory, a senior lecturer of Staffordshire University, was pleased with the turnout.
She said, “We started this competition about 6 years ago. I started running it and it was great and we had some entries, but I knew it could get bigger and better.
“From that small beginning we saw lots of talent in Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire from young writers.
“We really want to celebrate this in a big way so what better than to make the competition bigger.”
The judges of the contest were Staffordshire University’s lecturers Jo Goodall, Mitch Pryce and Ian Bayley.
Stoke-on-Trent’s Lord Mayor Anthony Munday was also in attendance and presented an award to one of the winners.
He said,” It is very good to see all these young people who know they want to be journalists now.
“Congratulations to the University and to Staffslive for supporting this great competition.”
The event was organised entirely by Staffordshire Journalism students and was hosted by Sports PR & Journalism students Sinead Ballester and Ryan Hallam.
Natalia Malinowska, aged 10, of John Wheeldon Primary Academy, was the year 6 winner after writing a piece about her favourite subject Geography.
She said, “We get to know everything about the world. It’s not just maps – it’s flags, languages and culture.
“I really want to travel when I’m older.”
Unfortunately, the celebrity guest, BBC’s foreign Correspondent Clive Myrie, was unable to attend, but did provide a short video piece congratulating the winners.
He said, “Journalism is about going to wherever the story takes you. Honest and good journalism is vital.
“It is great for me to be a little part of your celebration of young talent.”
Here is a quick rundown of today’s winners and runner’s up:
Charlie Shaw – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Ruby Fowler – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Alfie Womble – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Jack Harrison – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Ruby Morris – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
John – Paul Ambrose – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Molly Holt – St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School
Haris Abbast – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Becky Low – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Natalia Malinowska – John Wheeldon Primary Academy
Matilda King – John Wheeldon Primary Academy
Jack Royall – St Joseph’s Preparatory School
Year 7 and above:
Emily Kirk – Westwood College
Charlie Ball – Port Vale Academy
Max Chimenes – Port Vale Academy
Photo credit to Richard Holmes