The Seeing Ear Creative Writing Competition 2015

Our 2015 creative writing competition was for young people who are visually impaired, have dyslexia or a disability that makes it difficult to read printed books. It was judged by Neil Griffiths and sponsored by Dolphin Computer Access. Our overall winner, Andrew, also had his prize and certificate presented to him at school by award winning crime writer, Ian Rankin.


Overall Winner

Andrew Pettigrew (14) – ‘Who is my Hero?’

“A sensitive poem that gives a real insight into the inner personal struggles of someone with sight loss or partial sight loss. A piece of writing about hope and determination that greatly touched me.” Neil Griffiths

Ian Rankin/Royal Blind School prize

Andrew said “I’m fourteen years old and I’ve got a bionic ear and a visual impairment that means I read Braille – although I can read embossed print sometimes.  I love writing poetry and very long stories.  My poems can be about anything-from a man dancing in bright purple underpants to a beautiful sunset.  My stories are usually fantasy, however I like to challenge myself so presently I’m working on a crime-and-romance thriller.  I also play the drums-”makin’ a whoppin’ noise!”-and am learning the piano, playing songs that I’ve written amongst favourites of AC/DC and Little Richards.I entered the competition for, believe it or not, fun-as I say, I like challenges.  I was actually running out of time because I wanted to write something funny for the contest.  So, yes, it came as a shock when I got the email saying I’d won! I spent the next few hours making very strange noises like “Wooooohoooo!” and singing Queen’s We Are The Champions.  That’s me. Finally, what inspired my winning poem, Who Is My Hero?, was after I read the biography of Louis Braille.  I was very touched

by it, and decided to write a shorter poetical version.  I wrote it March 2015, and so far xxs fame has been crazy!-first I was asked to read in National Braille Week at the Scottish Parliament, then it got into three magazines and now this! So: I’m delighted to win the contest, and its also my first writing contest I’ve ever won! Now I’m off to have a cuppa tea, see ya!”

Read the winning poem.

Runners Up

 Kirsty Roy (12) – ‘The Gothic Mansion’

‘An engagingly dark tale. Excellent scene setting through detailed descriptions make this story very atmospheric.’ Neil Griffiths

 Alexia Sloane (15) – ‘Entering’

‘A writer who has a rich command of language. Wonderful imagery is coupled with often surprising vocabulary to create a highly evocative poem.’ Neil Griffiths

 Max Weaver (14) – ‘Family Feud’

‘A story you just can’t put down because of the clever plot and character development. What an explosive ending!’ Neil Griffiths

  Emily Davidson (17) (title)

‘A delightful piece that instantly made ,e look at my own world in another light. A poem of optimism and the joys being alive.’ Neil Griffiths

Comments on all of this years entries

I greatly enjoyed reading the finalists of this year’s competition and feel deeply privileged to have been asked to be a judge. The downside however has been the difficulty in choosing a winner and runners up!

Some dark stories of family feuds and isolated mansions, others poems full of hope and optimism. Then there were adventures in space, castles and under the sea and even in a stable! I enjoyed each and ever one of them, their language, imagery detailed descriptions and gripping storylines.

Congratulations to the winners, runners up, finalists and all those who sent in entries.

Please keep writing and perhaps become our published authors of the future!

Neil Griffiths, 2016

Poets selected for our anthology

The winning poems will be included in our anthology along with poems selected from the following poets:

Abigail Prescott
Alexia Sloane
Andrew Pettigrew
Brandon Hulcoop
Elina Laurie
Eliza Humphrey
Emily Davidson
Emma LLoyd
Emma Stokes
Esther Obigbesan
Grace Waddell
Harvey Jones
Hazel Ledgerwood
Ilya Vencjuns
Jago Airoud
Jamie McQuaid
Jessica Rowlinson
Jordan Le Luan
Kirsty Roy
Lucas Murray
Lydia Beech
Maddie Gibson
Max Weaver
Olivia Templeton
Rachel Wilson
Reuben Preec
Scarlett Humphrey
Sirine Jahangir
Tom Connell
Zoe Strachan

Judge: Neil Griffiths

Neil was a Primary School headteacher for 13 years before taking on the role of a director of a National Literacy Support Project for the Basic Skills Agency. Neil also finds time to write his own children’s picture books, published exclusively by Red Robin Books. They feature strong storylines, memorable characters, enchanting language, and arresting illustrations. They charm children and have sold in the thousands. Neil loves to tell a story and a story time with him is a rare and highly entertaining event as he magically draws his audience into his storyworlds.

(excerpt from Red Robin Books)

PICTURE © Sandy Young PICTURED L-R Ian Rankin presenting Andrew Pettigrew(14) with his certificate.

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