A Rutland hotel is celebrating the discovery of the newly famous ichthyosaur ‘sea dragon’ with a creative short story competition – offering winners the chance to enjoy a free restaurant meal and overnight stay.
The team 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 the hotel itself.
To celebrate the unprecedented discovery of one of the largest and most complete skeletons of the prehistoric species found anywhere in the world, the hotel is launching a competition encouraging the public to pen a compelling ‘Beast of Rutland’ short story, that links with the mysterious and almost mythical ‘sea dragon’.
Open to all ages, the hotel welcomes a creative and imaginary interpretation of the 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 budding storytellers if they can successfully tie their tall tales of the ancient creature to Rutland Hall Hotel & Spa.
Entries close on Sunday 30th January and winners will be announced on the final day of National Storytelling Week (6th February). Prizes will be given to the top three entries, with first place getting a dinner, bed and breakfast package, second getting a bed and breakfast stay, and third getting an evening meal in the restaurant.
Discussing 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!”
For those interested in participating in the short story competition, please click here.