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Stay Connected with Leeds Castle25 August 2021

Clare Balding Announces the Winners for the BIG Story Writing Challenge

After spending weeks reading through hundreds of fantastic stories submitted in the BIG Story Writing Challenge, lead judge and children’s author Clare Balding has announced the two talented winners.

Children aged 5 to 13 years were invited to take part in Leeds Castle’s BIG Story Writing Challenge by writing an original fictional story of no more than 900 words. This year’s theme was ‘One Golden Day’, and children were asked to put on their royal thinking crowns and use this golden theme to write an imaginative and creative story about anything at all!

The theme is inspired by an event that took place 500 years ago in 1520 when Henry VIII stayed at Leeds Castle with 5,000 of his courtiers. He was on his way to meet the King of France for a massive jamboree that has since become known as ‘The Field of Cloth of Gold’.

Children whose stories had been shortlisted by Clare and the panel of judges were invited with their parents to a prize giving ceremony held in the Castle Library on the 17th August. Clare announced the two winners and two highly commended runners up and described Leeds as “the friendliest Castle I’ve ever been to!”

Please join us in sharing a huge congratulations to Ralph Hayward who is the winner of the 10-13 years category, and Leyla-Maria Tezer the winner of the younger 5-9 age category, with their captivating stories on ‘One Golden Day’.

The winner’s received a prize inclusive of a family stay at Leeds Castle Knights Glamping, annual tickets to Leeds Castle and a hamper of fun prizes.