Budding young writers from East Renfrewshire scoop story prize

Competition winners Anna, Lyla, Joe and Ethan with Cinderella, played by Ava Anderson, and the Ugly Sisters, Ciara Flynn and Rebekah Johnstone.
Competition winners Anna, Lyla, Joe and Ethan with Cinderella, played by Ava Anderson, and the Ugly Sisters, Ciara Flynn and Rebekah Johnstone.

Four young writers are celebrating after their creative flair landed them a top festive prize, as part of East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s first short story competition.

Seven-year-old Lyla Elliot from Neilston Primary, nine-year-old Ethan Watson from Busby Primary, 12-year-old St Ninian’s pupil Joe McGhie and 13-year-old Anna Mitchell from Isobel Mair School all scooped prizes in their respective age categories for their efforts.

The Once Upon a Time short story competition attracted over 140 entries from pupils across the region and beyond. Each of the winners met some cast members from Eastwood Park Theatre’s forthcoming pantomime, Cinderella, and they were presented with a family pass to come along to the show.

Anthony McReavy from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure said: “It was a pleasure to read each and every entry for our children’s short story competition. We had some brilliant characters with fantastic plot development and creative conclusions.

“Our four truly worthy winners’ stories really stood out and we were thrilled to invite them along to meet some of our Cinderella cast and present them with a family panto pass, as part of the Big Blethering Book Bash activities at our libraries during Book Week Scotland. It will be a pleasure to see them enjoying the pantomime with their families during our festive period.”

The youngest winner, Lyla from Neilston, wrote a story about a unicorn superhero, while Ethan from Busby also penned a story about a flexible superhero called Noodle. Joe McGhie submitted a thought- provoking War Story piece after his teacher set him the competition as part of his English homework, while Anna Mitchell from Netherlee wrote a story about A Fish Called Rosie, based on her own pet fish.

Anna said: “I am excited to go to the panto and see Cinderella. I love writing stories with my family about our adventures in Barra.”

The cast from GAMTA’s Cinderella appeared at both Giffnock and Barrhead Libraries and performed a short excerpt from the show to audiences.

Ava Anderson, who plays Cinderella in the show, said: “We had such a lovely afternoon meeting with all the children, getting involved in some craft activities and presenting the short story winners with their panto passes. We can’t wait to get started and are all on the countdown to show time!”

Cinderella comes to Eastwood Park Theatre, brought by the GAMTA, from 11-30 December 2019 and tickets can be purchased at www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk or by calling 0141 577 4956.