Taking ‘It was a dark and stormy night…‘ as a starting point, children from school classes from Years 3-6 (aged 7 – 11) across Hertfordshire were asked to write a short story of up to 500 words. Knebworth is often described as a ‘treasure house of stories’, and is one of the country’s great literary houses. Knebworth has a long tradition of writing. Many members of the family have been authors or dramatists and many famous writers have visited the House. Charles Dickens was a regular visitor in Victorian times, performing plays in the Banqueting Hall with his friend Edward Bulwer Lytton. Today Bulwer Lytton is best remembered for phrases such as ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ and ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’.
Harry Dewberry, aged 11, from Ladbrooke Junior School, Potters Bar was delighted to hear that he had won the competition. Harry’s story was considered by all the judges to be totally unique; giving Edward Bulwer Lytton’s opening line such a clever and original twist. His story was immediately engaging – drawing the reader into the plot and making them wonder what was happening to the narrator. The writing was descriptive and poetic, making clever use of all the senses. It is not easy to write such a compelling and complete story in just five hundred words. Well done Harry! Click to read Harry’s story here.
Harry’s fantastic prize is a visit to the Knebworth Park Adventure Playground for his whole class, with coach transport to Knebworth was donated by ‘Chambers of Stevenage’.The runners up were Alexandra Sweeny from of Our Lady Catholic Primary School in Hitchin, Thomas O’Reilly of Bridgewater Primary School and James Pallister from Knebworth Primary School.
Martha Lytton Cobbold commented: “We were overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the work submitted to our recent Story Writing Competition; there is such a lot of creative talent in our county’s schools. It was a pleasure to welcome Harry Dewberry and his classmates.”