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Big Effort From Young Writers

Twenty excited young writers will assemble in Christchurch next Monday afternoon when the Canterbury and West Coast finalists for the Nestle Write Around New Zealand competition will be named.

They will be waiting to hear which four entries will go forward to the National Finals in October.

"The judges have been so impressed with the writing talent that is out there," says Bill Nagelkerke, from Christchurch City Libraries and Zone Co-ordinator for the competition.

"Trimming down the finalists to just 20 has been a difficult, if not an entertaining, task. With titles like 'The toothbrush saga,' 'You do the shopping,' and 'The flavoured paradise in the sky', you can see how much thought has gone into the stories," says Bill Nagelkerke.

Entries were invited from authors in Year 7 and 8 for the competition that closed in July. Each story was restricted to 500 words. Nearly 800 entries were received from the Canterbury/ West Coast zone - the 3rd highest number of entries nationwide.

"We produced nearly as many entries as the Auckland zone, even though we had only half the potential number of eligible students. It is interesting to note that four schools - Cobham Intermediate, Our Lady of Victories School, Breens Intermediate and St Michael's School, each produced two of the finalists. It was also good to see children living outside of Christchurch gain success - three of our finalists live outside the city," says Bill Nagelkerke.

Each finalist will receive a certificate and prize pack of Nestlé products. Two entries from each year's level will represent the zone in Auckland and be in to win a computer.

Dr Glyn Strange, the Director of the Christchurch School for Young Writers, will speak at a function to be held at the Fendalton Library and Service Centre. Students from the Christchurch Drama Centre will add life to the stories as they read the winning entries.

Photo opportunity: Boardroom, Fendalton Library and Service Centre, Cnr Jeffreys and Clyde Roads, Christchurch, Monday 27 August 2001, 3.30-5pm. Further information: Bill Nagelkerke, Children's and Young Adult Services Co-ordinator, Christchurch City Libraries, phone 372 7885.


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