The CLA launched a writing competition in May of this year with the aim of encouraging care leavers of all ages to put down in writing their experiences and feelings about their lives both in care and after care.

Writers were given the challenge of sharing with other care leavers, within 1500 words in prose or poetry, their sad, funny, bizarre, ordinary and extraordinary experiences.

The response was overwhelming and the standard of all the entries exceedingly high.  The ‘judges’ were amazed, not only at the quality of the writing, but also the depth of feeling expressed in every piece.  It was felt that this project revealed just how important it is to care leavers that they sustain their childhood memories in this way.

The top three chosen entrants were Fiona, Daniel Hunter and Deborah Bhatti. You can read their entries by clicking on their names. There were also ten runners-up who were highly commended.

In the end, it was felt by the judges that all the entries were excellent in their own way and in real terms there were no overall ‘winners’ in this competition.  The judges did not endeavour to analyze each piece in the way a teacher might mark an examination paper and we should impress on all the entrants that the judges only singled out entries which, for each of them personally, had a particular resonance.

You will be able to download all the entries (for which the writers have given their permission) here on the CLA website very soon.