MORE than 200 school pupils have taken part in a short story writing competition.

Children from seven Sussex Schoolsworks schools, many learning from home under the coronavirus lockdown, were asked to come up with a creative tale.

Winners included reception and Year 1 champion Zach Balchin from River Beach primary school in Littlehampton with his story Night Ninja, about a policeman called Dan who turns into a ninja.

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Rustington Community Primary School had two winners: Elodie Barclay in Year 3, whose story Freedom was about a troll and his animal friends, and Jack Candler from Year 6 with Caged, about a zoo visitor’s magical encounter with a lion.

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The winners and runners up have been awarded book vouchers, and their stories will be published in a special collection that will be available in every Schoolsworks school's library.

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Chris Seaton, head of Schoolsworks, said: "This competition was a great way to get all of our children - whether working at home or in school - involved in a rewarding activity.

"It was wonderful to see so many entries coming in, and over the last few weeks, a team of judges - myself included - have been busy reading and shortlisting stories in each age category.

"The standard of writing and the level of creativity was very impressive, so a huge thanks to every child who entered the competition."