TALENTED young writers and photographers impressed judges in a Rotary competition held in Bourton on the Water just before Christmas.

Every year North Cotswolds Rotary club works with local schools throughout the UK to encourage and develop the talents of young students, with competitions held at the Cotswold School for the Young Writer and Young Photographer of the year.

Those entering the Young Writer competition had to write a piece of prose or a poem of approximately 500 words on the theme of ‘My Inspiration’.

Young writers penned articles on a wide range of subjects as diverse as surviving tough training to become a Royal Marine, and the inspiration to overcome addiction to computers and take up painting.

The judges, Mike Boyes and Liz Alexander, were very impressed with the overall standard of writing, which they said showed promise and imagination.

In the Senior age group the winner was Alex Hester, aged 15, and the runner up was Grace Jacouides, also 15.

Ollie Brosch, 12, won the Intermediate age group, with Alexa Butterfield second and Lottie Lifely third.

The winners of each age group will go forward to a District Final, where they will be judged against the best entries from other competing schools in an area that stretches from Herefordshire and parts of Worcestershire, to North Somerset, parts of Wiltshire and all of Gloucestershire.

Those entering the Young Photographer competition had to submit a portfolio of three pictures on ‘The Beauty of Nature’, together with a brief written explanation about each picture and how it matched the competition theme.

Judging the competition were Rotarians Ed Alexander, Mike Boyes, Bob Hadley and Nicki Scott, and photos were assessed for technical merit, content and composition, and imagination and style.

Standards were impressively high, and judges said that some of the individual photos were stunning.

The Senior age group winner was Jamie Lord, 16, whose image of pebbles on Chesil Beach was a favourite with the judges, ‘showing the complexity of all the colours in a single stone’.

Tom Williamson came second and Thea Pett third. Oliver Wilkins, 12, won the Intermediate age group, and his picture of early morning rays of sunlight shining through trees and mist was another of the judges’ favourites.

Toby Harris came second, with Edward Craske third. The Junior category was won by Joss Jeary, 10, with images of fallen leaves and woodland trees.

Ed Alexander, president of North Cotswolds Rotary, congratulated all the finalists and thanked the teachers involved, Lindis Dobson with the Young Writers and Stephen Hillier with the Young Photographers, for their enthusiastic support and for encouraging students to take part in these competitions.