To celebrate the 650th anniversary of the first woman known to write a book in English, a special writing competition was launched. 

Together with the Friends of Julian of Norwich, the Eastern Daily Press ran a competition earlier this year for children and young people aged between four and 18. 

Entrants were asked to submit beautifully composed prose or poetry up to a maximum of 500 words on the theme 'Divine Love'. 

The theme took its name from the publication by Julian of Norwich, whose Revelations of Divine Love tells the story of her experiences in May 1373. 

Following the sixteen visions which Julian received, she took up residence as an anchoress at St Julian’s Church in Norwich. 

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Sally-Anne LomasSally-Anne Lomas (Image: Sonya Duncan)

The winners were chosen by Sally-Anne Lomas, who wrote, produced and directed the documentary, The Search for the Lost Manuscript: Julian of Norwich. 

She said: "I thought all the entries were wonderful. There was such a range between poems and essays and fairy stories and it was great to see so many original approaches." 


Sam Howell, aged 14 

Ms Lomas said: "I chose this as the winner because this started and ended with strong images; kneeling at the altar, watching a shooting star. In between it told the story in a very meaningful way of a growing sense of divine love." 


Eita Akaki, aged 13  

Ms Lomas said: "This was my runner-up because it told such a vivid story. I liked the use of a character who was ill and suffering and how her life was improved by Julian's words."


Alice Hiscock, aged 14 

Ms Lomas said: "I loved the questioning rabbit and the way this was imaginative and allegorical with the wise tree and the naughty fox. Very original." 

Edie Curtis, aged 14 

Ms Lomas said: "I felt this was a passionate plea from the heart, and in reaching out for help in this way created a real sense of divine love in action. Also, I liked the environmental angle." 

The winner will receive £100 worth of book vouchers, the runner-up £50 worth of book vouchers, and honourable mentions £30 worth of book vouchers. They will be contacted by email.