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in partnership with

M. G. Leonard and Lauren St John announce the competition winners




The six shortlisted entries:
Drastic Plastic Colourful Bird - St John's C of E Primary School (Sevenoaks)

Sea Turtle - The King's School Gloucester, by Purdey

Frank the Shearwater Bird - The Mall School (Twickenham)
Hawksbill Turtle - Petworth C of E School
Starfish - Overfields Primary School (Middlesbrough)
Polar Bear - Palace Wood Primary School (Maidstone)




We would like to thank you for entering our competition. If you haven't been shortlisted you have still made a significant contribution to the environmental campaign, making people aware of plastic pollution.

We will be posting and celebrating every single competition entry on our social media platforms because you have done such amazing work - the world deserves to see it and be reminded of just how much plastic there is out there.

Keep being the change you wish to see in the sea



First Prize: A visit anywhere in the UK mainland by one of the UK’s best-known children’s authors AND one of the UK’s most brilliant illustrators, PLUS 50 books – one from every author and illustrator in Authors4Oceans.


Runner-Up Prizes: Two schools will each receive a visit from either a top Authors4Oceans author or one of our fantabulous illustrators, plus 20 books from our award-winning Authors4Oceans team.


When The White Giraffe was published, Blue Peter Award-winning author Lauren St John and the Born Free Foundation launched a nationwide competition to get kids creating sculptures of endangered animals out of recycled rubbish. You can see still see the awesome Animals are Not Rubbish finalists here. The winning school was SS Philip and James Primary School, Oxford, with their incredible ‘Franklin’s bumblebees swarming in the shape of a Dodo.’ They hand-sewed bumblebees and stitched them into a dodo form to make a powerful point about extinction. Using plastic, can you say something similar about marine species?


VIRGINIA MCKENNA OBE is an animal welfare and conservation campaigner, actress and author. She starred in film classics including The Cruel Sea, A Town Like Alice, and Born Free, the iconic film about Elsa, the lioness George and Joy Adamson returned to the wild, which launched the modern conservation movement. In 1984, she co-founded the charity Zoo Check with her late husband Bill Travers and their son Will Travers to investigate the issue of wild animals in captivity. Zoo Check has now grown into international wildlife charity Born Free. Virginia was awarded an OBE in 2004 for services to the arts and the animal conservation.

DAN 'Diver Dan' TRAVERS is Virginia’s son and underwater media specialist, camera operator and PADI diving instructor, who has worked with HSE, BBC, ITV, SKY and others exclusively underwater on films since 1988. He helped construct the 'nursing-pen' for the Born Free Foundation's 'Into The Blue' Dolphin release project in Turkey and was there with a small underwater film team to witness the magical release. Recent films he has worked on include Mission Impossible 6, Ancient Futures (Jurassic Park), The Mummy, Paddington 2 and the Kingsman films, and he was the Marine Co-Ordinator on The Personal History of David Copperfield and Swallows & Amazons.

ANNA BASSI, EDITOR, THE WEEK JUNIOR has been creating publications for young people for over 20 years. She launched The Week Junior – a multi-award winning weekly current affairs magazine for 8–14-year-olds – in November 2015. The aim of The Week Junior is to help children make sense of the world they live in. Every issue includes news stories and features about animals and the environment – topics which its readers are passionate about. As editor of the magazine, Anna is determined to give young people the information they need to make a positive difference and help make the world a better place for everyon

FELICITY CAPON has been deputy editor of the award-winning The Week Junior since its inception in 2015. Before arriving at the magazine, Felicity spent time as a writer, reporter and columnist for Newsweek magazine, The Day and The Telegraph and writes for various other UK newspapers and magazines. She is passionate about current affairs and working out how to make the news accessible and entertaining for young people each week, as well as coming up with eye-catching front covers. When her head isn’t buried in a newspaper, Felicity likes drinking copious amounts of tea, long walks and good films.

BELLA LACK is a fifteen-year-old Youth Ambassador for the Born Free Foundation. She says:
'I use social media to engage people in issues that are facing the planet and its wildlife. I particularly focus on introducing my generation to these problems because I strongly believe that we are able to turn things around before it’s too late. From a young age, I’ve always loved animals. It started when, as a toddler; I was enchanted by the diligent ants and lethargic snails that resided in my garden. This has blossomed into an ever-growing wonderment and love of the diversity of creatures that our planet possesses. The Ocean is home to millions of exotic, sublime and enchanting creatures. It is vital that we ensure the safety of our oceans by drastically reducing our use of plastic.'

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NATASHA FARRANT has worked in children's publishing for almost twenty years, running her own literary scouting agency for the past ten. She grew up in London where she still lives with her husband and their two daughters. She is the author of the Carnegie-longlisted and Branford Boase-shortlisted YA historical novel The Things We Did For Love, as well as two successful adult novels. Natasha was shortlisted for the Queen of Teen Award 2014, and the second Bluebell Gadbsy book, Flora in Love, was longlisted for the Guardian Children's Prize.


  1. The judges’ decision is final.

  2. Entries are limited to a maximum of one per class.

  3. The competition closes at midnight on November 10th. No entries will be accepted after that time.

  4. Please only use plastic RUBBISH. Do not buy brand new plastic and create a bigger problem for our precious oceans!

  5. The competition is only open to schools in the United Kingdom.

  6. Models must be the work of children working alone or with the help of teachers or support staff.

  7. The photographs of the plastic models must be of an adequate quality and resolution and taken in good light. High resolution jpegs clearly visible to the judges would be greatly appreciated, although the file size must not exceed 300 MB. Authors4Oceans reserves the right to display images submitted in a gallery on thsi website.

  8. The six shortlisted models will be displayed in London. Any shortlisted school will be responsible for posting or delivering their plastic sculpture to a London venue at their own expense. Please bear that in mind if you’re creating a giant plastic sculpture! Try to make sure it's sturdy enough to survive the journey! 

  9. By entering this competition, your school accepts that if your plastic sculpture is shortlisted it can be displayed in London and photographed for publication in the print or online media.

  10.  No Authors4Oceans author or illustrator is liable for any loss, injuries or damage caused during the making or transportation of the plastic sculptures.

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