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2015 Children’s Short Story Competition 12 – 16 years

We were thrilled and honoured that Somerset based Barbara Spencer agreed to be our judge. She is the author of great books for children, teens and young adults and one of her latest stories “The Amazing Brain of O C Longbotham” was entered by Troubador for this year’s People’s Book Prize Children’s Section. Besides writing stories, Barbara spends a great deal of time in Waterstones chatting to people and visiting primary and secondary schools. Now a hands-on grandmother, her current desire is to disappear in a puff of smoke and find peace and quiet to pursue her writing.

We had a great response yet again this year receiving 48 stories with some really first class entries, although the theme “Rebellion” proved to be rather a difficult subject. But we received some very imaginative tales with clever surprises ad endings. We thank everyone who entered and are sorry if your story wasn’t shortlisted but that doesn’t mean that you scored badly. The marks were just extremely close, sometimes with only one point between them.

The winning stories are attached below, together with Barbara’s encouragements. She wrote to say “It was a most enjoyable experience but my compliments to the short listing judges including the head teacher, and I don’t know which head teacher, for reading so many stories”.


“The Centre of Rebellion” by Harry Penwell, aged 14 of Deanshanger, Northants



Loved this – all the way through I knew there was going to be a great last line. And there was! With sincere wishes for a great writing career.


“Revolution” by Abby Walker aged 14 of Bishop Auckland, Co Durham



A great story – very unusual about a hacker and I loved it. One comment – I would have used the word ‘imprisoned’ near the end rather than ‘incarcerated’. Keep writing!


“Always Going” by Abigail Durand aged 12 from Aylsham, Norfolk

Abi Durand


This is a most unusual story and I loved it. The anger and impatience comes over so well, I can’t help wondering if it is slightly autobiographical? Well done!