To mark the recent Coronation, local publishing company Saron Publishers got together with Usk Panto Players to invite children at Usk Church-in-Wales Primary School to enter a writing competition. Younger children were asked to write about ‘My Best Day Out’, real or imaginary, and older children were asked to write a story entitled ‘The King’s Lost Crown.’

The stories were judged by Saron Publishers’ director Penny Reeves who said, ‘We received some delightful stories, and choosing the winners proved quite difficult, especially in the younger age group, where we ended up awarding two 3rd prizes as the stories were too close to call.’

Penny awarded the prizes to the winners at a school assembly, along with local writer Julie McGowan representing Usk Panto Players, who sponsored the competition and funded the prizes.

‘As with all writing competitions the judging was completely anonymous,’ Julie explained, ‘with each story being given a number. So no-one knew the actual result until Penny announced the winning numbers, and envelopes containing those numbers were opened to reveal the winners.’

First prize for ‘The King’s Lost Crown’ went to Carys Lee, with runners-up Scarlett Nichols and Nell Back. First prize for ‘My Best Day out’ went to Ellis Wyatt, with runners-up Theo Gourdie, Ella James and Eddie Back. All of the prizewinners received book tokens along with books by Margaret Iggulden, Janine Amos and Daniel McGowan – which are available to buy at the Book Haven at Sprokwobbles café in Usk.

Deputy Head teacher Oliver Beckett co-ordinated everything on behalf of the school, and it has now been agreed that the competition will become an annual event in the school’s calendar.