Writers celebrate Sunderland and Durham in writing competition + ENTRY DETAILS

Jack Boke the Sunderland winner in the Northumbrain Association 2011 Writers Competition who received their prize at Washington Old Hall, Washington on Wednesday night.

Jack Boke the Sunderland winner in the Northumbrain Association 2011 Writers Competition who received their prize at Washington Old Hall, Washington on Wednesday night.

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WANNABE writers have been putting pen to paper to celebrate what is great about Wearside.

There is still time for people to pen their entry for the Echo-backed annual Northumbrian Association writing competition.

Writers of poetry or prose are being invited to get creative and submit some work inspired by an iconic person, place or building from the area where they live.

The aim of the competition is to boost pride in the region and inspire others who are less familiar with it.

Echo editor Rob Lawson said: “Last year, we had more than 500 entries in the competition and the judges were blown away by the strength of writing talent out there.

“We’ve already seen work from talented writers this year and there’s plenty of time for writers to share their stories and thoughts on what Wearside has to offer.”

Dawn Bentley, from the Association, added: “The quality of work last year was outstanding. Pieces of writing from every genre were submitted which showed a depth of knowledge and skill.

“The writing from the children’s section was also a joy to read.”

Last year saw St Aidan’s Sixth Form student Jack Boke, 17, of Hendon, win the top prize with his poem Hendon: an elegy or Seaward at Night, about his community and its hopes for the future.

The competition is split into two categories: 11 to 16 years old and 17 years old upwards – and the following areas: Wearside and South Tyneside, Northumberland and North Tyneside and Durham and Teesside. Submissions must be between 300 and 500 words.

Winners will receive an electronic notebook, with runners-up receiving vouchers and, if schools enter, the chance to have a writer-in-residence.

The closing date for the competition is July 31, with prizewinners being notified in September.

An awards ceremony will be held in the autumn.

Emailed entries should be clearly marked with the writer’s name, category and contact address and sent to dbentley55@btinternet.com.

For details on where to send hard copies, or for more information on the competition, phone 268 1228.

Twitter: @sunechochief