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"Follow The Line" And "Baby X" Win Competition

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"FOLLOW THE LINE" AND "BABY X"
WIN NATIONAL COMPETITION

Putting pen to paper in the most creative way has earned two young New Zealanders lap top computers as national winners in the annual Nestlé Write Around New Zealand: Nestlé Tuhi Amio Whenua competition.

Slade Anderson in Year 7 at Waltham School from Christchurch and Chelsea Richards in Year 8 at Farm Cove Intermediate from Pakuranga in Auckland were among more than 8500 schoolchildren who submitted original 500-word stories into the popular creative writing competition.

Nestlé Write Around New Zealand is a Nestlé funded community programme coordinated by Auckland City Libraries and supported by public libraries around the country. It is designed to stimulate originality and creativity in writing for Year 7 and Year 8 students, and involves a series of author workshops at local libraries leading up to regional competitions and culminating in the national competition.

Chelsea's story "Baby X" took a futuristic slant and examined a potential outcome of producing designer babies. Slade presented a story, "Follow The Line", of an orange line and the boy following it through the streets of London, finishing with an unexpected twist.

National coordinator, Kaye Lally from Auckland City Libraries, says the judges were highly impressed by the skill of each.

"The judges commented these were stories that stayed with you - stories you wanted to talk to others about. I very much look forward to reading more of Slade and Chelsea's work as they develop and mature as writers."

Gary Tickle, managing director for Nestlé New Zealand, commented at the national presentation held in Auckland this morning [eds: Wednesday, November 26] the company was very proud of the programme.

"We are playing our part in encouraging children to express their creativity through the written word. Nestlé Write Around New Zealand touches many children each year, through the regional author workshops and those who go on to enter.

"A figure that surprised and pleased me is in the three years the programme has been running, we have seen nearly 21,000 entries from New Zealand children. That's a phenomenal level of interest and while 2003 saw a record number [of entries], we hope to soon hit 10,000 each year."

Parents, teachers and the 30 national finalists gathered in Auckland today for the presentation of the two winning entries. Each national finalist was selected as a regional winner in August and picked up $500 worth of New Zealand books for themselves, another $500 worth of New Zealand books for their school library and Nestlé product. The two overall winners receive a computer package.

For further information about Nestlé Write Around New Zealand or to read the winning stories visit http://www.writearound.co.nz

ends

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