The Hall Caine Prize for Creative Writing, an annual competition for Island Schools, has attracted a large number of entries. The competition, is open to all schools on the Island and this year pupils have submitted over 830 stories to the Department of Education and Children.
The theme of the competition changes annually and this year’s was ‘Space’. Students were encouraged to interpret the theme as they wished and they have travelled far beyond the final frontier! The judges, drawn from Island schools and the media, will not have an easy time in deciding on winners in each category.
It is not only about the glory of winning this prestigious competition, though, prizes range from £100 in primary to £150 in KS3 and 4 and £200 in KS5 and UCM. The winners of each section will be notified at the end of March and every entrant will receive a certificate to acknowledge the time and effort they put into their writing.
Mrs Gloria Rukeyser, Hall Caine’s great granddaughter, who is herself a writer, author and journalist, funds the competition to keep her famous ancestor’s name alive and to encourage the art of thoughtful storytelling in Manx schools. Mrs Rukeyser will attend the presentation of awards at the Studio Theatre, Ballakermeen, on 12 May this year and is looking forward to meeting the young people and their teachers.
The date was chosen as it is close to the author’s birthday, 14th May, and although this cornerstone of Manx literature was born 164 years ago, his legacy remains alive, thanks to novels like The Manxman and The Prodigal Son.
The Department of Education and Children and the Island’s schools are grateful to Mrs Rukeyser and her family for their generosity and their ongoing pride in their Manx ancestry. Margaret Mansfield, who has taken over the running of the competition this year, says,
‘We can be really proud of our Island schools and the way in which they encourage children to develop their imagination and literary flair. I have had the pleasure of visiting many of the schools because of this competition and I have enjoyed the enthusiasm and the interest shown by pupils and their teachers.’