Reigate & Banstead Writes 2021.

What’s your Tale from Your Town?

If you’re aged 9-14 then its time to dust off your writing pens and scribe a story about where you live.

The delayed 2021 Reigate & Banstead Writes will be open between 19th May and 30th June 2021. A shorter timescale than previously. The winners will be notified by 16th July.

Stories can be any genre, they can be a fantasy or set in the past. They can be funny, mysterious or scary, but must be clearly about Redhill, Reigate, Merstham and its parks, monuments, buildings and woods.

What would happen if an alien spaceship landed on the Moors Nature Reserve? Or if you found yourself transported into the future; what would Redhill be like in 200 years time? How about a funny ramble up Reigate Hill? or discovering some strange creature lurking at the bottom of Earlswoood Lakes…

Let your imaginations run riot!

Winners of 2020 Competition Announced.

Wartime story featuring Reigate’s fearless pigeons takes 1st place.

Orla McNally, a pupil at Reigate Grammar School, is the overall winner of this year’s competition. She should have met Crispin Blunt MP and award winning author Vashti Hardy at a celebration afternoon at the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, the borough’s leading arts venue. Instead a socially distant celebration took place at The Warwick School, Redhill.

Orla penned a magnificent story about Reigate’s pigeons set during WWII. Her winning entry was unanimously praised by the competition’s judges.

There is an interesting backstory behind Orla’s masterpiece. Orla was inspired by memories shared by friend and former Reigate resident, Brenda Howlett-Nye (herself a published author). Brenda’s grandfather, Frederick Howlett was the Chief Inspector of Reigate Police during WWII. In his spare time, he kept pigeons. His birds took on an important espionage role during WWII. They fearlessly conveyed secret messages out of war-torn Europe all the way back to the fortress on Reigate Hill.

Sophie Pither from St. Joseph’s School, Redhill came 2nd with her spooky story The Ghost Train, whilst Ella Dutton from The Warwick School came 3rd. Her Story ‘Power of The Past’ used Reigate Fort and Earlswood to fabulous effect.

The independent judging panel, consisting of local teachers, public librarians, journalists and local councillors had difficult choices to make this year and they reported a ‘very high standard’. All of this year’s entrants should be enormously proud of their achievements.

Orla received her prize, sponsored by the Community Fund for Reigate and Banstead from Crispin Blunt MP. The Community Fund for Reigate and Banstead is a new and growing philanthropic fund that provides support specifically to local projects which tackle need, disadvantage, and community participation across the borough of Reigate and Banstead.




Crispin Blunt MP, Orla McNally, Kay Hymas and Gareth Owen, Chair of the Community Fund for Reigate and Banstead.

Reigate and Banstead Writes is the brainchild of Kay Hymas, Library Manager at the Warwick School. Youngsters aged 9-14 are asked to tell us their tale about their town in 1,000 words. The competition is open to all who live or go to school in the borough.

Click here to download Entry form.

Click here to download competition rules.