Two Cheshire youngsters will have their work read by millions after winning a creative writing competition launched by one of the biggest names in UK transport.
Sixteen year-olds Chris Reel from Sandbach and Charlotte Lloyd from Northwich are among 12 winners from across the country selected by National Express to have their short story published on its on-board infotainment system VUER, which is short for View, Unwind, Enjoy, Relax.
Chris entered the first-ever ‘Express Yourself’ story competition with his story: ‘The Road to Realisation’, an exciting tale about a young man who has signed up to join the army, as a way to escape his life.
Charlotte meanwhile impressed the judges with her story ‘SAFI’ about a girl who uses her imagination to travel far and wide as a coping mechanism in a dystopian world.
Bosses at the UK’s largest coach operator launched the writing competition, which was judged by children’s authors across the UK including Northern Judge Rachael Lindsay from Winterley, near Crewe, as part of its ‘Youth Promise’ – a commitment to give back to young people in communities across the UK.
Now Chris’ and Charlotte’s stories feature alongside the other winning entries in a special Travel Tales book for children on VUER: National Express’ complimentary ‘infotainment’ app, which allows coach travellers to enjoy films, TV and magazines and free WiFi – all completely free of charge.
National Express UK Coach Managing Director Chris Hardy said: “Every year we take millions of people on a journey, so it seemed really fitting to turn the tables and invite kids from all over the country to let their imaginations run riot and take us on a literary journey and they certainly didn’t disappoint. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the quality of the entries which have taken us from depths of the jungle to outer space – and just about everywhere in between.
“All the entries we received were brilliant and we’d like to say a huge thanks to all the young people who entered – we loved reading every single tale – as well as of course a massive well done to Chris and Charlotte whose stories will now be enjoyed by millions on VUER”.
Charlotte said: “I am delighted to have won the Express Yourself writing competition. As an aspiring author, it was really interesting to meet Rachael and see where she writes. It was extremely encouraging to know that she enjoyed reading my story.”
Chris Reel said: “I’m really pleased to have won – especially during my GCSEs. Thank you National Express.”
Author Rachael added: “I think it is great that National Express has given youngsters the chance to show their abilities like this. Writing is not easy and both Charlotte and Chris have done exceptionally well. It is so important that young people are encouraged and applauded in their endeavours. Congratulations to both!”
Chris’ and Charlotte’s stories are available on VUER this summer as part of the ‘Travel Tales’ short story collection. To read it customers simply need to download the VUER from the Apple or Android app store on their phone or tablet before they get on-board to access the content, which is then streamed over Wi-Fi during the journey.