BATH: A teacher has launched an international writing competition after his students were inspired by an author's visit.
Head of classics at the Royal High School Jerry Pine had the idea for a Roman short story contest after a visit from successful children's writer Caroline Lawrence.
The Roman Mysteries' author spoke to girls from the senior and junior schools about her career and the pupils had a go at writing their own stories.
The event was such a success that Mr Pine decided to set up the Golden Sponge Stick competition – named after a toiletry item mentioned in each of her books – open to young people all over the world.
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So far the competition has been featured on classics websites and in national magazines. Mr Pine has had an email from a student in California wanting to enter.
There are four age categories for entries, with prizes of a golden sponge stick trophy and book tokens for each one.
Stories should be set in Roman times, with some display of historical knowledge, and be no more than 1,500 words. Closing date is Friday, November 21 and entries should be sent to Jerry Pine at The Royal High Senior School, Lansdown Road, Bath, BA1 5SZ or email@example.com.