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Nestlé Provides The Write Stuff

The Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Judith Tizard will officially launch the country's first national creative writing competition for year seven and eight children at Auckland City's Mt Albert library on Monday May 7.

Helping the Minister cut the ribbon on the programme will be children and teachers from Balmoral Intermediate School who are keen to test their creative writing skills for a share of the $60,000 worth of prizes on offer nationwide.

Nestlé Write Around New Zealand: Nestlé Tuhi Amio Whenua is a specially designed programme to stimulate originality and creativity in writing for year seven and eight school children and involves regional writing competitions, a series of author workshops, and an overall national competition.

Ms Tizard says the Nestlé Write Around New Zealand is a fantastic way of encouraging children to tell their own stories and to understand how important it is to read other people's stories.

"Stories connect us as people, as families, and as citizens of the world. Writing is one of the most important skills you can have, and reading is one of the greatest joys in life," says Ms Tizard

Nestlé Write Around New Zealand is a Nestlé funded community programme coordinated by Auckland City Libraries and supported by public libraries in the 10 competition zones around New Zealand.

National library coordinator Kaye Lally says the 'Nestlé Write Around New Zealand'encourages children to write creatively and libraries nationwide are delighted to be involved.

"All ten coordinating zone libraries nationwide are also really getting behind the programme and are holding launch events to encourage local participation," says Kaye Lally.

Nestlé New Zealand manager, corporate services, Maurice Gunnell, says the Nestlé Write Around New Zealand programme demonstrates Nestlé's commitment to nurturing the creative writing processes of the country's youth.

"The Nestlé initiative is now in its seventh year in Australia and has been praised by community leaders for its role in showcasing the talent of young writers," Mr Gunnell says.

Creative kids can win collections of great Kiwi books worth $500 for themselves and books to the same value for their school libraries, backpacks full of Nestlé products and computers for the two national winners - just by writing a 500 word story and sending it in before July 6 2001, when the competition closes.

The programme will select 150 finalists nationally, 30 zone winners and from those 30 two national winners will be chosen in October.

As part of 'NESTLÉ Write Around New Zealand' libraries will also be hosting published New Zealand children's authors during May and June. The authors will hold creative writing workshops for local school students.

Entries will be accepted in both English and Te Reo Maori. Competition entry forms are available from schools with year 7 and 8 children, public libraries and on the Internet at www.writearound.co.nz.


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