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Have you ever wanted to indulge your inner writer?

We at Rutland Hall Hotel & Spa were ‘blown away’ when the fossilised remains of a 180 million-year-old ichthyosaur, a 10-metre-long sea predator from the early Jurassic Period, were discovered in the Rutland reservoir – just a stone’s throw away from our hotel! 

Following this unprecedented ‘sea dragon’ discovery, we have decided to celebrate the local news with a creative short story competition, offering winners the chance to enjoy a free restaurant meal and an overnight stay at our hotel.

We are calling on budding writers and creatives alike to put pen to paper and create a compelling ‘Beast of Rutland’ short story, which will coincide with National Storytelling Week (29th January – 6th February).

National Storytelling Week is an annual event celebrated by all ages, where people come together to enjoy folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents and storms at sea. 

Open to all ages, we welcome a creative and imaginary interpretation of the ‘sea dragon’ discovery, differing from the official scientific explanation, which involves the shallow sea setting over Rutland millions of years ago.

Bonus marks will be awarded to storytellers who can successfully tie their tall tales of the ancient creature to Rutland Hall Hotel & Spa.

Entries close on Sunday 30th January, so please be sure to submit your literary masterpieces by then. 

Winners will be announced on the final day of National Storytelling Week (6th February) and prizes will be given to the top three entries. The prizes are as follows:

1st = Dinner in the new Blossoms restaurant & an overnight stay in a newly refurbished bedroom for two

2nd = Bed and Breakfast in a newly refurbished room for two

3rd = Dinner at the new Blossoms restaurant for two

Speaking of the short story competition, John Higham, General Manager of Rutland Hall Hotel & Spa, said: “We were shocked to hear the recent news that a 180-million-year-old ‘sea dragon’ had been discovered in the Rutland reservoir. 

“With our hotel located right next to the Rutland waters, we knew we had to celebrate this momentous discovery with a competition. To pay homage to ‘National Storytelling Week’, we encourage guests to get their creative juices flowing with a short story about the ichthyosaurus.”  

He continued: “We are delighted to announce that the winner of the short story competition will be able to enjoy a free meal at our newly opened Blossoms restaurant, in addition to an overnight stay in one of our newly refurbished bedrooms.

“We welcome entries from people of all ages and are very excited to see the creative interpretations of the Rutland-based ‘sea dragon’. Don’t forget – bonus points will be awarded to those who successfully link it to our very own Rutland Hall Hotel & Spa. Good luck!”  

To participate in the short story competition, please submit your entry here.

For more information on Rutland Hall Hotel & Spa, please visit

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