CHIMES of success rang out from the town crier's bell to herald another superb year of story writing for children at Ellesmere Primary School.

In a special zoom celebration David Mitchell, Chester's official town crier, bellowed out the winners of the annual competition hosted by North West Academies Trust's (NWAT) – of which the primary school is part of – to write 500-word tales.

The excited finalists tuned in to listen to Mr Mitchell declare Ellesmere Primary School's Tanara Curran (Year 5) the overall winner with The Emerald Turtle. She won £50 in Waterstones vouchers and £250 for her school.

Second place went to Rosie Charley (Year 4) Ellesmere Primary School with Sandy Sweet, she won £40 in Waterstones vouchers and £200 for her school.

The budding authors, who attend NWAT primary schools across Cheshire and Shropshire, let their imaginations run wild to produce a stunning array of stories in every genre from real life to outer space fantasy.

Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, said: “Once again I'm delighted that so many children entered and we have thoroughly enjoyed reading their stories. I say it every year, but the imagination they show never ceases to amaze me.

“It’s always important to celebrate hard work and achievement, but it's perhaps even more vital to shout it from the rooftops right now after the challenging 18 months we have all been through. This competition showcased everything that is good about our schools and why we are so proud of our children."

The pupil's creations had been judged by a NWAT panel and Mr Mitchell, who read the three winners' stories out loud.

The awards ceremony is usually held at Waterstones Chester but, due to social distancing precautions, teachers staged the event online to make sure the celebrations were safe.

Judges described the stories as ‘quirky’, ‘humorous’ and ‘moving’, with explorations of everything from other realms to complex emotional and social issues.

Mr Mitchell, who was a primary school teacher for 16 years and is a writer himself, said: “The first place story was so moving I was concerned about reading it aloud.

“Story writing is very challenging for children, particularly finishing with a good ending, but they all managed to keep me guessing.”