Dorset based Academy and Emmy Award winner, Lord Julian Fellowes attended a special event to present the winners of a children’s writing competition with certificates.

The Downton Abbey writer arrived at Shire Hall in Dorchester alongside his wife Emma to celebrate and judge the Story House competition, hosted by local estate agent DOMVS.

The children’s writing prize is an annual creative writing competition designed to nurture and celebrate the literary talents of young minds aged 5 to 12 in Dorset.

Dorset Echo: Group photoGroup photo (Image: Domvs)

The first-place prize went to Lysander Bugler from Southill Primary School, whilst the runner up was Aria Lynes of Sunninghill.

Dorset Echo: Lysander Bugler and Lord FellowesLysander Bugler and Lord Fellowes (Image: Domvs)

Mr Paul Mason, Head Teacher at Southill Primary School, Weymouth where winner Lysander Bugler is a student said: “Southill Primary prides itself on the quality of its writing teaching and it is no surprise to me that Amelie and Lysander entered such impressive stories into the competition.

“On behalf of the whole school community, I would like to congratulate them both on their stories and their success, with a special well done to Lysander, whose winning story Lord Fellowes enjoyed so much.

“We would also like to thank DOMVS for organising the competition and helping to inspire the next generation of authors.”

Lord and Lady Fellowes read out the winning stories, as well as some written by other students.

This was followed by a short speech by Lord Fellowes, talking about ‘how inspired he was and the importance of keeping literacy alive in schools.’

Polly Greenway, CEO of DOMVS says: “The Story House competition is now in its fifth year and continues to go from strength to strength.

“As always, we are immensely honoured and thankful for Lord and Lady Fellowes, who have supported the competition since its inception.”

Dorset Echo: Abel Flux and Lord FellowesAbel Flux and Lord Fellowes (Image: Domvs)

Each year, Lord Fellowes ‘ignites the writers’ creative spark’ by providing the first line of the story, which was this year: ‘I always thought of Alison as my best friend until the day I discovered she disliked me.’

Lord Fellowes said: “The fact is, we regard literacy as one of the major keys to fulfilment and achievement in later life for these children.

“The Story House competition not only acknowledges individual achievements, it also inspires the entire community to appreciate and support the budding talents of Dorset's young storytellers, who are our literary stars of tomorrow.”

Dorset Echo: Albion Bryant and Lord FellowesAlbion Bryant and Lord Fellowes (Image: Domvs)

Entries for next year’s competition will open in September 2024.