The Rock Retreat and Accord Literary are collaborating with schools in Gibraltar, Ghana and Bermuda to offer young writers and illustrators the opportunity to share their ideas and creativity in a Junior Creative Writing Competition.

With our support, the competition launched in Gibraltar with a three-day event between 23 – 25 February. The event saw well-known authors, illustrators, poets, songwriters and other creatives, including Benjamin Zephaniah, Gareth P Jones and Eleanor Dobbs, work with school children in-person and via Zoom, to build creative writing and story-telling skills. The Competition closes at midnight on 31 March 2023, with the Awards Ceremony to take place on 27 May during the Accord Festival of Children’s Literature in Accra, Ghana. The winning and commended pieces of writing and illustrating will be published in the World Book Capital Rock Accord Anthology, broadcast on radio and featured in a short film about the competition.

Speaking about the event, Rock Retreat founder Eleanor Dobbs commented: We spent three energy filled days in Gibraltar working with 40 young creatives as well as young people who joined us on zoom from Ghana and Bermuda.  The focus of the event was writing or illustrating stories for the Young writers Competition being hosted by Accord Literary and The Rock retreat and to help give the attendees the broadest understanding of the power of storytelling we welcomed contributions from writers, poets, song-writers, illustrators, animators and archivists from all over the world.  The young people were energized and excited to meet the speakers and to hear their stories about the creative process and in turn used the experience to develop some brilliant ideas of their own.  With thanks to Kusuma Trust for making this magical event possible.