MERSEYRAIL has launched its first ever writing competition to encourage creativity among budding authors across the region this summer.

Working with local author Charlie Lea from Read Now Write Now, Merseyrail is giving youngsters the chance to win book and rail vouchers by creating stories based on locations around the rail network map in new competition 'Summertime Stories.'

The competition is split into two age groups - five to eight and nine to 11-year-olds - and is free to enter with entries being accepted until September 9.

Themes and locations for the competition are: West Kirby - stories about the environment; Crosby beach - scary stories; Chester - stories set in the past.

Children can access three creative writing worksheets for budding authors to choose from which has been created by Charlie.

Charlie Lea, director of Read Now Write Now, said: “We are so excited to be helping Merseyrail inspire a new generation of writers to follow in the tracks of famous local authors from our region.

“Our worksheets should inspire young writers to think of and write some amazing stories over the summer holidays, in settings they know or are only a train journey away.”

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Prizes will be awarded by age range at a special prize giving awards ceremony at the end of the competition and are as follows:

  • First prize - £50 book voucher plus £50 Merseyrail voucher
  • Second prize - £25 book voucher plus £25 Merseyrail voucher
  • Third prize - £10 book voucher plus £10 Merseyrail voucher

Prize winners and commended stories will also be published online and at local stations.

Sally Ralston, CSR manager at Merseyrail, said: “At Merseyrail we work closely with local community groups and schools to engage with young people across the Liverpool City Region.

“This project with Read Now Write Now has been particularly exciting as we are encouraging children to showcase their creative skills and visit places across our network that they may not have seen before.

“I can’t wait to see what the children come up with – I’m sure the calibre will be very high and judging will be incredibly difficult.”

Children are encouraged to visit the locations suggested in the worksheets for inspiration, and with an unlimited off-peak travel Family Ticket priced at just £11 for a family of up to five it’s a great day out for all.

Worksheets can be found on the Merseyrail website at

and can be dropped off at West Kirby and Blundellsands & Crosby stations as well as any underground stations.

Submissions can also be sent online via the website.