Inspiring young writers
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 ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ and ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’
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 are being asked to write a short story of up to 500 words.Teachers can submit up to 3 stories from their school. There is a fantastic prize to be won of an afternoon at the amazing Knebworth Park Adventure Playground for the winner’s whole class in June or July 2014, including transport to and from Knebworth by coach provided by Chambers of Stevenage.
There is also a family ticket for 4 people to Knebworth House, Adventure Playground & Park, Dinosaur Trail and Gardens for the author of the winning entry. The winning story will be printed in Hertfordshire Life for everyone to enjoy. There are three Runners up Prizes of a family ticket for 4 people to Knebworth House, park and Gardens. The winning stories will appear on the the Hertfordshire Life website and the Knebworth House website.
The Spring competition has been launched to co-incide with World Book Day, the Hertfordshire LitFest and Stevenage Festival of Writing. The competition is supported by Hertfordshire Life and Chambers of Stevenage. The closing date for entries is 4th April 2014. To enter, teachers should go to the education section to read further information about the competition and download an entry form.
“Knebworth House is a magical place that every day inspires new stories. The stories of today add to rooms full of stories written by my ancestors. One of those stories, written by my great-great-great-grandfather, begins with the words ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’ I think it is a better beginning to a story than “Once upon a time…” because, in just seven words, it creates mystery – and everyone wants to solve a mystery. If you’ve got a story that begins “It was a dark and stormy night…” I want to read it! I want know what happens! I want to add it to the rooms full of stories at Knebworth House. I want to add it to our treasure house of stories!”
Henry Lytton Cobbold.