Writing Festival winners earn surprise visit from AFC Bournemouth’s Women’s team

Members of AFC Bournemouth's Women's team surprised the winners of a creative writing competition. All images (c) Richard King (Instagram @mrrichardking)

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: October 12, 2023 | Updated: 12th October 2023

Members of AFC Bournemouth’s Women’s team surprised the three winners of a creative competition for schools and home-educated children in Dorset.

As a prize for winning the competition in their respective age categories, Eleanor Havard-Hussain (7), Leo Russel (8) and Sadie Morton (10) were given an exclusive tour of the Vitality Stadium, led by Steve Cuss, Head of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust.

As part of the tour, four players in the club’s women’s team surprised the winners in the home dressing room, presenting them with an AFCB home shirt with their chosen name on the back.

Alongside the tour, which covered the dressing room, tunnel and press area, the winners were announced the in the official matchday programme in the cup match against Stoke.

The competition, open to all Primary schools and home-educated children within Dorset, aimed to inspire youngsters to write, with a football theme story as a starting point and helpful hints to create an exciting story.

The Writing Festival worked in partnership with Sandford St Martin’s Primary School, providing resources to support educators and teachers to guide their pupils’ creativity.

The three judges were:

  • Lorna Child, a multi-talented children’s author and HOT radio presenter.
  • Christine Aziz, a creative writing tutor at Arts University Bournemouth, winner of the Richard & Judy book prize and author of the recently-published children’s novel, ‘The Kingdom of Broken Magic’.
  • Jane Skellet has 46 years’ experience leading creative writing in schools and is the founder of the Hengistbury Head Writers Group.

They praised the exceptional quality of the submissions, highlighting the success of this initiative in promoting creativity and literacy among young people in Dorset. The three winning stories can be read on the Bournemouth Writing Festival website at

Festival Director Dominic Wong said: “We were overwhelmed with the response to our competition to inspire young people to write, and were delighted that AFC Bournemouth and their Community Sports Trust supported us with such fantastic prizes.

“Thank you to everyone who took part and we look forward to announcing our next writing competition for young people in the New Year.”

Next year’s Writing Festival takes place on 26-28 April 2024 in Bournemouth Town Centre. For details, visit

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