WAR Horse author Michael Morpurgo is to judge a children’s creative writing competition as part of Settle Stories Yorkshire Festival of Story.

As part of next month’s event, which is being held online, seven to 11 year olds are being challenged to write a 750-word fairy tale about a tree or trees.

The competition is open to children all over the country and is being run in conjunction with Hull Culture and Leisure Library Service.

It is hoped the competition will provide a fun and interactive way for children either at home or school to engage with the natural world and pave the way for a brighter future for the planet, inspired by stories of change and collaboration.

Michael Morpurgo, whose latest book is When Fishes Flew, will judge each story and three winners will receive book tokens and a tree planted in Settle Stories new ‘Story Wood’ in the Dales.

Each tree will feature a QR code so visitors to the wood will be able to scan and download each winning story.

The writer will also write to each winner and they will also receive a signed copy of his latest book.

He said: “A connection with nature is vital for young people and for all of us. I’m delighted that this competition is focusing on nature writing and very much looking forward to reading the entries.”

The Yorkshire Festival of Story will run for two weeks from November 12 to November 28, is free, online and available to all.

Following the success of last year’s online event, the festival will again champion diverse voices, Its theme will be to explore what ‘we want the world to look like and ask how we can pave the way for a better future.’

Sita Brand, CEO and artistic director of Settle Stories, said: “Our aim is to help children discover the power of storytelling and create the future they want to see. This generation is growing to be great custodians of our planet - more so than many adults, and this competition allows them to unleash their creativity while making a long-term positive difference.”

The fairy tale competition closes on October 18. Visit https://www.settlestories.org.uk/whats_on/fairy-tale/ to download a resource pack and during the festival.