19 March 2019

Explore Learning Writers’ Awards Now Open for Entries!

Free writing competition for children aged four to 14 announces the theme of a chance to change the world!
• Winners awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 of books for their school
• Singer, dancer, author and prime time TV show host, Alesha Dixon, is this year’s incredible judge who will surprise the winner at their school! 

The Explore Learning Writers’ Awards are now open for the eleventh year and will be judged by best-selling author, singer, dancer and TV presenter, Alesha Dixon!  The annual writing competition is aimed at children aged four to 14 and will inspire the next generation of authors.  Whether they’re a reluctant writer or a budding Roald Dahl, this competition will inspire children from across the UK to get creative and write their very own short story inspired by this year’s theme – a chance to change the world!  

Children are tasked with creating a 500-word story all about how they could transform the world, whether that’s by making waves to save the planet, becoming a superhero, exploring time travel or anything else their imaginations can conjure!  

Alesha Dixon has been an inspiration to children throughout her career encompassing singing, dancing and huge success as a judge and presenter on programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Britain’s Got Talent. Alongside these achievements, Alesha has written three very popular children’s books – Lightning Girl (launched in April 2018), Lightning Girl 2: Superhero Squad (September 2018) and Lightning Girl 3: Secret Supervillain (March 2019) about a 11-year-old girl who discovers her superhero powers!  Through her main character, Aurora Beam, she aims to spread a positive message of empowerment and self-reliance to young girls – and boys - across the country.    

The winner of the competition will be announced during a surprise assembly in which Alesha and the team from Explore Learning will present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 worth of books for their school.  Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from one of Explore Learning’s inspirational tutors.

Alesha Dixon says: “I am really looking forward to reading all of the imaginative ways the children of this country would change the world in this year’s competition. Having written stories myself, I know how rewarding it is and really hope they will take as much pleasure from it as I have. This is a great way to capture young imaginations and encourage thinking about bigger issues while developing their writing talents.’’ 

Children can enter by visiting their local Explore Learning centre for an entry form or entering online at Simply hand the story back in, file online or send to Explore Learning’s head office at ELWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW.  Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!  The competition runs until Sunday 5th May.

To help kick start children’s imagination, Explore Learning will be running a number of free creative writing workshops in their centres, libraries and schools - encouraging every young writer - from the passionate to the reluctant!

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning says: “We are thrilled to have Alesha Dixon as our judge for 2019.  Her Lightning Girl series is so popular with our members and we know that she will inspire lots of children across the UK to get writing.  We are so excited to now be open for entries and can’t wait to read the incredible stories the children of the UK come up with!” 

Previous judges of the awards have included some of the UK’s most prolific authors like David Walliams, Steve Backshall, Cressida Cowell, Lauren Child, Liz Pichon, Jonathan Meres, Andy Cope and Alan Durant.  Last year’s winner was eight years old Mia Falatoori from Churchfields Junior School who won the title with her story which you can read here, as well as seeing her joy at meeting David Walliams.

Throughout the competition Explore Learning will be providing some top writing tips from their creative writing team, previous winners, judges and best-selling authors via their website and social media.  They will also be hosting a collection of free downloadable information on their website that can be used at home or in the classroom.    

Explore Learning are an award-winning English and maths tuition company with 144 centres located all over the country.  Over 35,000 children aged four to 14 attend their centres each week and over the course of the last 18 years have helped over 200,000 children.  Explore Learning’s aim is to help every child reach their full potential and get the best results they can, developing a generation of fearless learners.   

For more information about the National Young Writers’ Awards visit   

About Explore Learning 

• Explore Learning provides maths and English tuition for 4-14 year olds  
• Over 35,000 children attend Explore Learning centres every week.  It has 144 centres across the UK  
• All courses are aligned to the National Curriculum and Curriculum for Excellence and Explore Learning tutors offer an individualised programme of study, specific to the needs of each child, enabling them to reach their potential academically and socially. 
• All Explore centres are located in areas that are convenient for families to attend – these include within shopping centres such as Westfield London, Lakeside, Cabot Circus and Sainsbury’s supermarkets.  
• Explore Learning were named the best Private Tuition Centre Operator in the EducationInvestor Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016, a One to Watch in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100, a finalist in the European Business Awards and were last year named the 20th Best Place to Work For by GlassDoor. For the last 6 years Explore Learning has been named as one of the Sunday Times Best Companies to work for in the UK, coming second place overall both last year and this year. 

About Alesha Dixon 

Alesha Dixon first found fame as part of Brit-nominated andMOBO Award-winning groupMis-teeq, which achieved two platinum albums and seven Top Ten hits, before going on to become a platinum selling solo artist in her own right. Alesha’s appearance onStrictly Come Dancingin 2007 led to her winning the series and becoming a judge for three seasons. Since then she has presented and hosted many TV shows including: CBBC dance showAleshas Street Dance Stars, Children In Need, Sport Relief, Your Face Sounds Familiar, and ITV’s Dance, Dance, Dance. She is a hugely popular judge onBritains Got Talentand has just been announced as the presenter of new BBC show,The Greatest Dancer. 

She has written two very popular children’s books – Lightning Girl (launched in April 2018) and Lightning Girl 2: Superhero Squad (September 2018) about an 11 year old girl who discovers her superhero powers!  Her third book is set to launch in March 2019.



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  3. This is no longer true. Unlike the artistic visionaries of inter- war Europe, who interpreted the last breath of a dying world-order through their brazen art, we see no such aesthetic effort today when the world is teetering on the brink of another geopolitical crisis of equal gravitas, when there is every indication of a tectonic shift in the post-Cold war balance of power.
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