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For the first time in more than 30 years, Royal Mail is giving primary schoolchildren the chance to create an official Christmas stamp.
Only twice before has the company’s official Christmas stamp been designed by schoolchildren – in 1966 and 1981 – but now Royal Mail has announced details of its 2013 Christmas Stamp Design competition.
Launched by children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child, the competition is open to primary school pupils aged from 4 to 11, and will give two winners the chance to see their design used by hundreds of thousands of people sending festive greetings to friends and family across the country.
The theme of the competition is ‘What does the Christmas season mean to you?’ and the designs can be religious or secular. As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, both winning designs will have to be approved by The Queen.
Two winning designs from children will be selected by a panel of judges, and their designs will appear on one of the 1st and one of the 2nd class Christmas stamps from this year’s range.
Lauren Child said:
I’m delighted to be part of this fantastic campaign to get children thinking creatively about what Christmas means to them. As well as seeing their stamps on letters and cards in the UK over the festive season, the winning designers will also join a list of the best children’s illustrators who have designed Christmas stamps for Royal Mail – a great honour indeed.
Stephen Agar, managing director of consumer and network access, Royal Mail said:
I am delighted we are able to give two UK schoolchildren the chance to design an official Royal Mail Christmas stamp. Previous designs have become iconic images and it will be a fantastic honour – and a prize that money cannot buy – for the two children chosen.
The two winners will follow in the footsteps of highly acclaimed children’s’ designers and illustrators who have designed Christmas Stamps in the past, such as Nick Park (2010), Axel Scheffler (2012), Quentin Blake (1993) and Michael Foreman (1987).
Schools, and parents of home-schooled children, can sign-up to the competition online or by returning the application formin a pack sent to them by iChild, the online educational resource centre, in association with Royal Mail.
Applications for the 10,000 availableresource packs will be sent out on a first-come, first-served basis and entries must be received by the closing date of 19 July 2013.
The winners of the competition will be announced in the autumnand the stamps will be available to buy from 5 November 2013.
Royal Mail will select 120 regional runners up across the UK. They and their schools will each receive prizes of £100 for the school and £100 gift vouchers for the child.
From those 120 runners up, a shortlist of 24 finalists will be chosen. They and their schools will receive prizes of £500 for the school and £500 of gift vouchers for the child.
From the finalists two winners will be chosen, one for the first class Christmas stamp and once for the second class. They will also receive prizes of £1,000 for the school and £1,000 in vouchers for the child.
Full details can be found at www.royalmail.com/designastamp