THE POWER of the written word was celebrated as the winners of the Rotary Young Writers Competition were recognised in Dorchester.

President of the Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary Club Diana Apps hailed the ability to write as a ‘vital life skill’ as she oversaw the prize-giving ceremony at Waterstones in Dorchester.

The competition saw young people from schools across the area submit creative writing for judges town councillor and former headteacher Peter Mann and Waterstones manager Jan Jaggard to assess before winners and runners-up were announced.

Jan said: “It is really important that children write good stories as they will be the ones filling the shelves of bookshops in the years to come.”

The junior age group saw three pupils from Sunninghill Preparatory School take the prizes, with Max Hansen winning and Bella Laux and Daena Shah taking the runners-up spots.

In the intermediate age group Noah Warnes from Thomas Hardye School and St Mary’s Middle School Puddletown pupil Georgie Guler were declared joint winners.