There’s just 4 weeks left for Greater Manchester children aged 7-11 to enter The Lowry’s annual Creative Writing Challenge (CWC).

Aimed at amplifying the voices of children from across Greater Manchester and celebrating children’s creativity and imagination, Creative Writing Challenge entries can include poetry, short stories and stage text.

Last week saw pupils from St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Summerville Primary School and Christ Church CE Primary School visit The Lowry to get inspiration for their entries by watching the critically acclaimed stage adaption of Onjali Rauf’s much-loved novel The Boy at the Back of the Class. The Lowry supported the schools by providing transport and theatre tickets free of charge.

The Boy at the Back of the Class has been adapted for the stage by writer and broadcaster Nick Ahad, who is one of the judges of this year’s CWC.

Nick Ahad said said: “Ever since I was a little boy, probably around the age of the children who came to see The Boy at the Back of the Class on tour, I’ve loved writing probably more than anything else.

I remember the first stories I read and certainly the first ones I wrote and I vividly remember my first trip to the theatre. Those stories still mean so much to me. To think that some of the children who see The Boy at the Back of the Class might be inspired to write their own stories is a privilege greater than I can express. I’m so excited to see what they come up with.”

Victoria Johnson, Class Teacher from Summerville Primary School said: “This was a great show for our kids to watch, they really resonated with the subject and loved hearing their own languages spoken on stage. Taking part in The Lowry’s Creative Writing Challenge has been really valuable for our children, they’ve had the opportunity to write scripts and perform alongside coming to watch a show. They look forward to their weekly sessions and have thrown themselves into the opportunity to be creative”

Nick joins former Emmerdale star and author Samantha Giles (herself who is appearing at Lowry in Key Mellor’s The Syndicate in May), poet Tony Walsh, Mike Leyland of the National Literacy Trust and actor Carla Henry on the CWC 2024 judging panel.

The CWC showcases the amazing talent and potential that Greater Manchester children have to offer and will culminate in a special celebration event at The Lowry, Salford in June for shortlisted entries that will see children either perform their work themselves or performed on their behalf.

The Lowry’s aim is for the challenge to be accessible to as many children as possible and will accept entries in a variety of formats including written format, voice recordings or video. The deadline for entries is Friday 26th April 2024.

In each category, there will be a 1st place winner and runner-up, plus a special Founder’s Prize and a winner selected by a Children’s Panel. All shortlisted children will receive feedback from the professional judging panel.

Jenny Riding, Director of Learning and Engagement at The Lowry said: “We know how important it is for children to experience live theatre but the cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on the ability of schools to take their pupils out of the classroom and on school trips. We’re proud that we have been able to support some local schools so they could come to enjoy The Boy at the Back of the Class and hopefully get inspiration for their Creative Writing Challenge entries – which we look forward to seeing!”

The year’s CWC will also feature a new children’s judging panel made up of members of the reading group from Little Hulton Library, as well as a new partnership with the University of Salford that will see a judging panel made up of students.

For more information on The Lowry’s Creative Writing Challenge, including how to enter please visit:


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