Six talented young writers have been announced as winners of the 2016 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition. They are:

Josie Davies aged 13 years from Petersfield, Hampshire

Devon Davis aged 14 years also from Petersfield, Hampshire

Elsie Leiper aged 12 years from Hemel Hempstead

Isabelle Mills aged 12 from Fareham

Jessica Wood aged 16 years from Wakefield

David Wright aged 10 years from Winchester

The six winners were all invited to attend the Branford Boase Award celebration party in London on 7 July. There they met special guest Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell as well as the authors shortlisted for the award plus editors, publishers, agents, and other professionals in this field. Beverley Naidoo, author of the modern classic Journey to Jo’burg presented them with their awards.

The competition is open to anyone under the age of 19 and this year as last year there were hundreds of entries from all over the country, often thanks to the encouragement of teachers and school librarians. Entrants had to complete a story begun by last year’s winner, author of Leopold Blue, Rosie Rowell.

Prue Goodwin, lecturer in literacy and children’s books, judged the entries and said, ‘The entries for the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition this year were very difficult to judge. The stories were all so well written according to the current curriculum. The technical aspects of the writing were good despite a tendency to waste precious words on description. Congratulations to all the writers on that, but good spelling, grammar and punctuation does not automatically lead to riveting narratives. The stories that became the six winners stood out because of their originality of ideas and their tight plotting. Any reader (but especially one who has just read 60+ stories with identical openings) has to want to continue reading from line one to the final word. These six stories did just that. So, well done to David, Elsie, Isabelle, Jessica, Devon and Josie; you are all writers.’

The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition is an annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the prestigious Branford Boase Award.

The Branford Boase Award recognises a debut children’s author and their editor and was set up in memory of the outstanding children’s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They both died of cancer in 1999. The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition aims to find and encourage writers of the future, something Henrietta Branford was always keen to do.

Winners - Henrietta Branford Writing Competition 2016


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The Branford Boase Award for

lowresJosie Davies

Devon Davies

Elsie Leiper

Isabelle Mills

Jessica Wood

David Wright



Winners of the 2016 HBWC with
Beverley Naidoo

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