A new inspirational new
creative writing competition aimed at foster care and fostering families
AN inspirational new creative writing
competition; developed by the award winning:- 'You Can Foster'
campaign; will encourage children and young people in foster care and fostering
families from all over the North of England to tell their stories and so
encourage a new generation of adults to sign up as foster carers. And the
entries, across 5 age categories, will be judged by an auspicious panel of
children's authors and poets including:- children's author and screenwriter
Frank Cottrell Boyce, poet Tony Walsh, children's authors Cathy Cassidy, Livi
Michael and Dan Worsley.
The Inspiring Stories competition, aims to explore the ambitions of the
thousands of children and young people who are in foster care across Yorkshire,
Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside.
It is hoped that the stories will reveal the real sense of value and motivation
that foster carers can in still in the young and the profound way in which they
can help shape young lives for the better.
Children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce says:- "Stories are how we make
sense of our lives. The only way we can hope to understand another person is by
listening to their story. The only way we can hope to understand ourselves is by
finding someone who will listen to our story. When we hear other people's
stories we discover we are not alone in our troubles. And we learn that there
are solutions to our problems. As G K Chesterton said... ''We don't read fairy
stories to learn that dragons are real. We read them to learn that dragons can
Poet Tony Walsh says:- "As a poet, a writer, an artist of any kind,
ultimately it's all about storytelling, isn't it; the creation of something that
connects with another human being and touches them or shapes them in some way.
As someone from a very ordinary, working class background myself and having
worked with a huge variety of people, organisations and communities; celebrating
and encouraging the extraordinary stories of ordinary people is a big part of
what I try and do. I'm a firm believer that becoming involved in the arts can be
not only life enhancing, not just life changing, it can actually be life saving
on occasions too. It strikes me therefore that as artists and as foster carers,
in some ways we're in the same business: that of reaching out and touching
people. Enhancing lives, changing lives, saving them, even. There are some
amazing stories from the many quietly inspirational children and young people in
foster care out there and we'd love to read them. Find a pen. Write down yours.
Share it with pride. Storytelling: it's what we do."
Author Cathy Cassidy says:- "We are all made of stories, but writing those
stories down gives us the chance to be seen, to be heard, to take ownership of
our own lives and shape the way they unfold. Writing, whether it's inspired by
fact or purely fiction, is our way at getting to the heart of things, the truth
of things... and that's kind of awesome!"
Author Livi Michael says:- "Inspiring Stories is a great opportunity for
young people to see their work in print. Everyone who enters has a chance to
launch themselves on a literary career! We aim to encourage talent, of course,
but even the ones who don't win can put on their writing CV that they have been
brave, inspired and determined enough to enter a creative writing competition."
Author Dan Worsley says:- "It's an honour and a privilege to be part of
the judging panel for this fantastic competition. I spend a lot of my time
encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure and write creatively
because I believe they are 2 crucial life skills. I'm super excited about
reading the entries and can't wait to get started!"
Stories submitted can be a personal account of A fostering experience or an
inspirational tale that needs to be told. Entries can be fiction, non-fiction,
written or even drawn so that all ages can engage with the competition.
Children and young people can visit the competition's
to find out more and submit their stories which should be no longer than 800
words. The deadline for entries is 5.00pm, Friday, November 17 2017.
Charlotte Ramsden, Strategic Director of Children and Adults Services Salford
Council, representing You Can Foster says:- "The 'Inspiring Stories'
competition is about celebrating the creative and ambitious people who are, or
have been, in foster care, by giving them the opportunity to tell their story.
Not only do we want to hear their voices, but we want to share their stories
across the region by publishing them online. We hope that this will inspire
other young people who are also in foster care. You Can Foster is focused on
recruiting foster carers across the North West and Yorkshire to provide local
children, teenagers and young adults with a supportive home where they can
achieve their dreams and ambitions. We have a real need for more foster carers
and we urge anyone who is interested to get in touch with their local
Frank Cottrell Boyce, born in Liverpool, is a children's fiction writer,
screenwriter, academic and novelist. Frank's books include award winning:-
'Millions and The Unforgotten Coat.' Frank has also written a number
of sequels to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming including:- Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang…Flies Again, The Race Against Time and Over the Moon.
Frank was the writer behind the 2012 Summer Olympics ceremony and has written
for a number of television shows and screenplays including:- butterfly Kiss,
Welcome to Sarajevo, The Claim, 24 Hour Party People and Code 46. Despite
Frank's huge success across TV, film and play's Frank's passion has always been
children's writing since realising he wanted to be an author at just 6 years
old. Tony Walsh aka Longfella from Salford, is "1 of the UK's most
renowned performance poets" and a respected writer, workshop leader and
community organiser. Longfella recently gained national acclaim for his poem 'This is the place' which brought the people of Manchester and indeed the
country together after the Manchester Arena attack in May.
Standing out from the crowd at nearly 2 metres tall, Longfella has performed
everywhere from The British Library to Glastonbury Festival. From Schools,
universities, prisons, conferences, festivals, museums and theatres to the
magnificent Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Poland as a guest of The
British Council. Tony's poetry has been published on both sides of the Atlantic
as well as displayed with an LS Lowry image at both Tate Modern and The British
Museum as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund "Best of British"
exhibition. A multiple winner and finalist in top-level poetry slam
competitions, Tony is the current Manchester Literature Festival Comedy Slam
Champion and was the runner up in "The Times" UK Allstars Slam
Final at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2008.
Award winning author Livi Michael, was born in Manchester and grew up in
Tameside where she found her love for writing at 7 years old. Livi 1st started
thinking up stories whilst growing up in a tower block, in Ashton Under Lyne.
Here Livi spent lots of time looking up at the moon and stars letting her
imagination run wild. Livi has written 7 novels for adults and 12 for children,
including:- Whispering Road, Under a Thin Moon, Frank the Black Hamster of
Narkiz and Angel Stone. Livi lives in Oldham and is a Senior Lecturer at
MMU, teaching Creative Writing for Adults and Children. Livi has also taught at
Sheffield Hallam University and has been Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary
Fund at Lancaster and Leeds Universities.
Dan Worsley is a children's author and performance storyteller from Blackpool.
He spent 15 years in his home Town working as a primary School teacher before
leaving his position in 2013 to focus on his passion for writing. Since then Dan
has published 4 children's books, performed his stories in a variety of
locations and delivered countless writing sessions and author talks; engaging
tens of thousands of children and promoting a love of reading and writing. Dan
also spends a lot of his time visit:- ing libraries and doing everything he can
to support these vital community hubs. Dan has written a sequel to his 2014
debut, Impossible Tales, as well as 2 stories about Eric Appleby's adventures,
Eric Appleby, Zero to Hero and Eric Appleby - Danger Zone. Cathy Cassidy,
crowned:- 'the Queen of teen', wrote her 1st picture book for her
brother at 8 years old. Growing up Cathy enjoyed making comics too, pages of
pictures, features and competitions. Later in life Cathy went to Art College in
Liverpool, worked as fiction editor at Jackie Magazine and spent 12 years as an
agony aunt for teen mag, Shout. Whilst Cathy has loved her roles in teaching and
editing, her most favourite job is as a writer, she says:- "It's the
perfect excuse to daydream!"
Cathy has written over 30 books for teens and young adults, including:- Broken
Heart Club, Daizy Star and the Pink Guitar and award winning Summer's Dream and
Fostering is when someone looks after a child or young person who can't live
with their own family and is in the care of the local authority. There are a
number of reasons they might not be able to live with their family and it can be
a very difficult time for the child so they'll needs lots of support and care.
There are around 8,255 households across the North of England who foster for
their local authority. Across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire
and Merseyside there are around 11,525 children living in foster care.
particularly need to recruit foster carers for certain groups of children
► Brothers and sisters.
► Older children and young people.
► Children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
► Children that will be in foster care long term.
► Children who need more specialist care.
Categories for entry are:-
► Fostered children*
up to 8 years old.
► Fostered children 9 to 12.
► Fostered teenagers 13 to 17.
► Fostered young adults**
18 to 25.
► Birth children in fostering households, up to 18.
* By 'Fostered children' we are referring to those who are currently in foster
care or have been in foster care before.
** This includes those in staying or put placements and care leavers.
Number of children
and young people in foster care placements in the North West of England, via
► Yorkshire 4135.
► Greater Manchester 2625
(Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Oldham, Rochdale, Bolton,
Bury and Wigan.)
► Merseyside 1315 (Knowsley,
St Helens, Sefton, Wirral and Liverpool.)
► Cheshire 715 (Warrington, Halton,
Cheshire West and Cheshire East.)
► Cumbria 320.
► Lancashire 1045 (Lancashire,
Total number of foster carers not including friends and family or short breaks
carers within the North West of England, via area:-
► Yorkshire 4625
► Greater Manchester 2455
(Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Oldham, Rochdale, Bolton,
Bury and Wigan)
► Merseyside 1040 (Knowsley, St
Helens, Sefton, Wirral and Liverpool)
► Cheshire 720 (Warrington, Halton,
Cheshire West and Cheshire East)
► Cumbria 200
► Lancashire 1070 (Lancashire,
(SOURCE: UK Fostering Dataset 2015/16)