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NEWS: Four young writers from Kent part of historic event at Crystal Palace

Good afternoon,

We hope you might be interested in this positive news story featuring four young writers from Kent! Of the nine winners of the Your Crystal Palace Writing Competition, four are from Kent: two in the 9-11 age group - Macy Lewis (Headcorn Primary School) and Nancy Hilden (Sutton Valence Primary) and two in the 11-13 age group - Emilia Swallow and Louise Smith (Maidstone Grammar School for Girls). Last night, the winners got a unique opportunity to be part of history. Please see full details below in the press release. We have photography to accompany the story too ( including individual photos of the four Kent winners.
For media interviews, please get in touch with us directly. We can connect you with Graham Whitlock, author of The Crystal Palace Chronicles and one of the judges of the competition.

Helen Lewis
Director - Literally PR 



Nine young writers become part of history with their reimagining of the re-emergence of a lost London landmark

Children aged 7to 13 were awarded their prizes for their short stories at the Crystal Palace Museum on the 85thanniversary of the collapse of the Palace

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At 7:10pm on 30thNovember 1936, the first sparks of flames were seen emerging from the Crystal Palace in South-East London. The smoke and glow from the great fire were reported to have been seen as far away as the south coast, as the mysterious blaze consumed the People's Palace, which had stood proudly for eight decades, three times bigger than St Paul's Cathedral, hosting the first FA Cup Finals and welcoming millions of visitors every year from around the world including, of course, Queen Victoria herself.


At 7:10pm on 30thNovember 2021, nine young writers aged between 7 and 13, came together with their families to celebrate winning the ‘Your Crystal Palace Writing Competition' in the Crystal Palace Museum, the last standing part of the Palace. Some of the children chose to read their winning story aloud to the crowd of almost 50 people. Others asked local author of The Crystal Palace Chronicles, a time travelling adventures series for 11-14 year olds, Graham Whitlock, to read on their behalf. Each brilliant story brought to life an imagined tale of what could happen if the Crystal Palace were to return again.


The competition saw entries from across 10 schools in the South-East, and the prizes included an iPad for overall winner China Wright, and a bundle of goodies for each of the nine children, including a book token, a copy of The Crystal Palace Chronicles: Star of Nimrod with a bookmark and poster, a certificate, a book from local diverse and inclusive children's' publisher Parakeet Books, and some Crystal Palace Park dinosaur gifts.

Each of the winning stories are now exhibited in their own dedicated display at the Museum along with a bronze helmet that one of the firemen wore trying to battle the flame 85 years ago. The stories are also on display at the Upper Norwood Library Hub.


The winners are:

Ages 7-8

China Wright (St Joseph's School, London)

Gemma Jackson (Paxton Primary School, London)

Louis Mason (Rockmount Primary School, London)

Eleanor Cox (Heavers Farm Primary School, London)

Ages 9-10

Annie Grossart (Crown Lane Primary, London)

Macy Lewis (Headcorn Primary School, Kent)

Nancy Hilden (Sutton Valance Primary, Kent)

Ages 11-13

Emilia Swallow (Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Kent)

Louise Smith (Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Kent) 


Author Graham Whitlock said:"The imaginations of these nine young storytellers rose like phoenixes from the ashes and planted this historic event firmly in 2021."


The judges of the competition were:


Judy Skidmore from Parakeet Books

Emily Jewell, director of Upper Norwood Library Hub

Richard Watkins, guide from The Crystal Palace Museum

Graham Whitlock, author of The Crystal Palace Chronicles


About Graham Whitlock


Graham Whitlock is a writer and local instigator who is hopelessly in love with London. He edited the Dev and Olli children's books by Shweta Aggarwal and his critically acclaimed writing for the stage includes adapting the Shane Meadows film 24/7 and the Ealing Studios comedy Passport to Pimlico, the UKs first immersive musical.

Graham is proud to have helped found and run award-winning charity DreamArts transforming young lives fusing arts and therapy and feels lucky to work with thousands of young people living in some of the most deprived parts of London, helping them share their stories, express themselves and achieve their potential.


Notes to editors:


Graham Whitlock, author of The Crystal Palace Chronicles, is available for media interviews.

Copies of the new book are available as paperback and ebook/PDF - please contacthelenlewis@literallypr.comordianaashlee@literallypr.comfor media enquiries.


Online media folder containing photos of the event, the book, the author and press releases:


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