Calling all budding writers! – Essex County Council

We have launched a new competition as part of our Essex Year of Reading campaign. If you live, work or study in Essex, we want to hear from you. We invite aspiring writers of all ages to submit work inspired by the county. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a gripping story, a favorite recipe, a graphic novel, lyrics, a poem – or something else!

Entries can range from zero (picture books) up to 1000 words. An independent jury will judge each work in the relevant age category. Shortlisted entrants will receive a certificate and have their work published on the free Essex Year of Reading app. We will also publish a selection of entries in a new Essex Year of Reading book which will be available next year. The winner will receive a £100 book token.

The competition opens on October 17 and closes on January 31, 2023. To submit an entry, please email it to [email protected] You can also send it by post to: Essex Year of Reading Competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QH. Please provide your name, age, address, email address and telephone number.

Contest terms and conditions

These standard terms and conditions are subject to any other terms and conditions provided to you or referred to at the time of your entry into the competition.

  1. This competition is organized by Essex County Council (ECC), County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH.
  2. ECC reserves the right to cancel, suspend, cancel or modify the competition at any time without notice. Any changes will be posted on
  3. In the event of a dispute regarding the contest, ECC’s final decision will be binding and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into. The terms and conditions are governed by English law and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  4. This competition is separate from any other Essex Year of Reading competition and people can choose to participate in any, all or none.
  5. By submitting an entry to this competition, you agree to the terms and conditions set forth, and you warrant that you have the legal capacity to participate and agree to be bound by them.

Qualified participants

  1. Participants must meet the following conditions to participate in the competition:
  2. Live, work or study in Essex
  3. Submit a writing and/or artwork that is; their own work, not subject to copyright or infringes copyright
  4. The input can come from an individual, a pair or a group.
  5. ECC employees and their families can participate in this contest.
  6. Use of a false name or address will result in disqualification.
  7. ECC reserves the right to disqualify any entrant if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has violated any of these terms and conditions.
  8. ECC reserves the right to disqualify an entrant or entry if their conduct or entry does not meet the entry criteria or is contrary to the spirit or intent of the contest.
  9. ECC reserves the right not to publish entries that it deems likely to offend other readers
  10. ECC will not accept automatically generated computer-generated contest entries; completed by third parties en masse; illegible, altered, reconstructed, falsified or altered; or incomplete.

Contest entries

  1. The Essex Year of Reading team invites entrants to submit a text in any genre, as long as it is inspired by Essex. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a gripping story, a favorite recipe, a graphic novel, lyrics, a poem – or something else.
  2. Entries can range from zero (picture books) up to 1000 words.
  3. Entries can be submitted by schools, community groups and individuals. Please ensure that full contact details (contributor name, age, address, phone number and email address) are submitted with the entry.
  4. Entries can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by post to the Essex Year of Reading Writing Competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH
  5. If the illustration is submitted with writing, it must be in 2D and A4 format. Entrants may use a range of materials and techniques from the following list: drawing (e.g. pencil, pen, crayon, pastel, etc.), painting, printmaking, collage, photography and montage.
  6. Entry to the contest is free, however, all materials for the creation and submission of work must be provided by the entrant.
  7. All work must be the entrant’s original idea and not infringe anyone else’s copyright.
  8. The competition closing date is Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
  9. Entries received after the closing date are automatically disqualified.
  10. ECC accepts one entry per individual, which may include more than one entrant per household.
  11. School applications will be pre-screened by the school and then submitted. Essex Year of Reading will appoint a panel of independent individuals. The judges will not know who submitted each entry. All shortlisted entries will be published on the Essex Year of Reading app.
  12. The age categories for judging are: Key Stage 1; Milestone 2; Milestone 3; Milestone 4; Key Stage 5 and continuing education; Special; Other (to allow schools to select student work that is exceptional to them, due to SEND, family circumstances, or personal challenges); community and adult sector; Essex County Council employees
  13. The overall winner of each age category will be chosen from among the finalists by a member of the jury.
  14. Certificates for shortlisted individuals and prizes for winners will be sent to individuals by ECC.
  15. Artwork cannot be returned and, where space permits, will be displayed in libraries. Some entries will also be posted on the board and/or library website and on social media.
  16. ECC assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation, communication line failure, theft, destruction, alteration or access unauthorized entries, quadrants, or lost or delayed entries, whether or not they occur during operation as a result of server functions, viruses, bugs, or other causes beyond its control.
  17. ECC accepts no responsibility for entries not received for any reason or for missing contact details submitted with each entry.
  18. By entering this contest, the entrant or parent/guardian on behalf of an entrant indicates their agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.


  1. All shortlisted entries will receive a certificate and their work will be published on the Essex Year of Reading app.
  2. The overall winner will also receive an additional prize of a £100 book token.
  3. These prizes are – non-transferable and no cash alternative to the prizes will be offered.
  4. By entering the competition, the winner(s) agree(s) to participate in publicity, eg in the media, social media and to be featured on the ECC website:


  1. ECC cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the contest or resulting from the acceptance of a prize. ECC is not responsible for any problem or technical malfunction of any online computer system, servers or providers, computer equipment, software failure of any e-mail or registration to be received due to technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from entering or downloading any materials in connection with the Contest.

Data protection and advertising

  1. ECC processes information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulations and is the data controller for the purposes of the 2018 Act on data protection (ECC privacy notice). The personal information you provide when entering the competition will be used to administer the competition and will not be shared with anyone except as permitted by law. Essex County Council will retain your name, age, email address and mailing address to announce the winner of the competition.
  2. By providing your name, age, email address and postal address to ECC, you consent to ECC processing your personal data for the purpose of running this competition and providing you with information about this competition.
  3. If you would like to see any personal information we hold about you, please contact the Transparency Team (TT): Essex County Council, PO Box 11, Chelmsford CM1 1LX, 01245 431851, [email protected] .

How to contact us

  1. You can contact us about the competition by writing to Essex Year of Reading Writing competition, Essex Library Services, County Hall, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH.

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