Creative Rugby youngsters are rewarded

2013 writing competition winners.
2013 writing competition winners.

Talented Rugby youngsters have been rewarded for their creations in a writing and photography competition.

Earlier this year the Advertiser launched two competitions in conjunction with the Rotary clubs of Rugby to find the area’s best young photographer and the best young writer.

The Rotary Young Writer and the Rotary Young Photographer competitions centred around the theme of ‘peace’.

In the writing competition, authors were encouraged to write about any interpretation of peace that is relevant to themin the form of a letter to anyone living, dead or not yet born.

In the photography competition, judges were looking to see how they interpreted the peace theme from behind the lens.

Entries were sent in to the Advertiser office and a panel of judges, including the Advertiser editor Chris Lillington and chief photographer Mike Baker, had a tough job deciding who should be the winner.

Rosie Haynes was crowned the winner of the senior section of the writing competition.

Grace Stuchbury was chosen as the winner of the junior section.

Rugby High School pupil Rosie, 15, from Braunston, and Rugby girl Grace, ten, who goes to English Martyrs Catholic Primary School, were both presented with certificates and a £25 cash prize from Rotary.

They were also given a handmade pen each from local woodturner Paul Hancox who runs CPH Pens.

Bill Fielding, from the Rotary New Generations Committee, said: “This was the first year that we’ve run this competition and I’m very pleased. All the entries were excellent. Well done to Rosie and Grace.”

The winners of the photography competition were Siobhan Rees, who came first in the senior section after submitting a photo of a boy on a wall at Draycote Water.

Yakub Grzebinoga was crowned the winner of the intermediate section with a photo showing a lit candle.

Both winners, who go to Avon Valley School, were presented with certificates and a £25 cash prize.

Rotarian Terri Morgan, president elect of the Saturday Breakfast Club, said: “I am very grateful to the staff and students of Avon Valley for their enthusiasm and efforts to produce such outstanding technical entries.”

All the winners will now go on to the district final of the national Rotary competition.

By Rosie Haynes

Winner of the senior section

Dear Ali,

You were right. I should have known. Just typical. “Everything will be the same. This won’t change anything. Just wait, wait and see.” And you were right....

Everything’s just the same. No. No, that’s not true. It’s far worse. Far, far worse. At least I have you; something, someone to cling to. Now that really isn’t true, is it? The shantytowns haven’t disappeared, and father hasn’t come back. You haven’t either, you know. You promised me, Ali. “I’ll always be there. Just write to me. I’ll read it, no matter where. Trust me. When this is all over, we’ll see each other again, and it’ll be like every summer again.” The summers when we were younger. You remember. With the sweet smell of Jasmine hanging thickly in the air, and the squeals of happiness that always seemed to fill every inch of the village.

I wish you could see Sadia now. She longs to play hide and seek with her favourite Uncle. She misses you, you know. Last week was her birthday; she begged and whined to me for you to come. I don’t know how to tell her. She’s seven now , but she looks so much like you. I can see the playfulness in her eyes, her smile. The persistent whining! No, I don’t mean that, brother. But she does miss you. I miss you. As if someone with a star-spangled banner came and ripped my heart out, still warm, bleeding, feeling, from my chest. And now I feel it more than I have ever felt anything. In my life. But it should be our life.

What am I to do, brother? I try to be pragmatic. Focus on getting through the day. Sometimes I feel that that’s even harder, though, Ali. Sadia feels the hunger more that I do. It doesn’t bother me; I am always empty inside. Everyone feels it in our village now. It has spread like fire, fuelled by the destruction, but fire leaves something behind. Ashes. Ashes to rise from. We have nothing. And you said that it would be fine. That, perhaps, it would make our lives better, be something worth the conflict, the loss. How wrong I see you were. How wrong they all were. Fighting for peace. Now we fight for life. Fight for every breath. Everyday has become the battlefield I lost you to. Everyday. What was the fighting really for? Who has really won, and who has lost? Destruction, death and desperation hold fast to everything here. They, they have lost fewer than we have. With their stench of capitalism and the Christian values that they hold dear, yet seem to disregard with every breath. They have defeated us all, truly. Broken our spirits and our pride. And you, brother, they’ve broken you. Thrown you away, like a spoilt child tired of its toy soldier, carelessly hurling it from their golden cradle in disgust.

Ah, the sweet irony. From cradle to grave. All too soon.

Ali, what should I do? How can I protect Sadia from this? Without her father, her grandfather...her favourite Uncle. You’d have the answer. You’d be right; you were always right.

The war claimed you, dear brother. Now save me from the peace.

I hope you in my heart,


By Grace Stuchbury

Winner of the junior section

Space War Ends

Dear departed Grace

The year is 2525 and I’ve just got off The Battleship Explorer after fighting on Mars. I was battling to save our world along with lots of others soldiers from around the galaxy. We were all trying to save our planet from the Martians who were threatening to take over the whole world. Considering they own Mars, I think they are being greedy.

After years of fighting, the Martian Government discussed with The World Government and decided to end the war. This was a hard choice, which took months of discussions, however I think it is the best decision as Martians have their own planet and we have a separate one.

Anyway, life now is a lot better and easier. There is no weighfine - weighing everything that we buy to make sure it is not over the limit of 3 kilograms - and the best things of all is that I can spend time with my wife Claire, and my two children: Summer and Kai!

Everyone is not hiding in their old, torn housepods anymore because the neighbourhoods are not full of Martian Police. The children are starting school again; they’re even doing a school project about the Space War. I wish you were still with us as now the universe is at PEACE!!

Love from Barry