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2015 Children’s Short Story Competition 11 years and under

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 72 stories with some really first class entries. The theme was wonder cats and horses both animals attracting entires, all with clever surprises, endings and great ideas. 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”.


“White Wonder” by Rowan Mathilda Todd, aged 9 of Guildford, Surrey (story attached)



I loved your story “White Wonder” with its funny rhyme and spelling ‘because’. I think you enjoy writing, please keep entering competitions and writing stories. Well done for using conversation too – it makes for a much more interesting piece.


“A Topiary Tale” by Eve Williams aged 10 of Ealing, London (story attached)



I really enjoyed reading “A Topiary Tale”. It was a simple story, nicely written and it read well, with some good vocabulary. Enjoy your writing and I hope you will enter other competitions.


“Wonder Horse” by Navaneeth Madhavan aged 10 from Beckenham, Kent (story attached)

Wonder Horse

I did like your story about Stella, the wonder horse – particularly the paragraph about disliking school – that bit was great. You obviously enjoy writing and I hope you will continue entering competitions – the only way to improve your story telling.


“Gansas the Wonder Cat” by James Spink aged 6


I think your story is great – Gansas is a super cat. I showed your story to my granddaughter. We both think you deserve a special prize – here it is “A Fishy Tale”.

Barbara was incredibly impressed by the tremendous effort that went into this story by a 6 year old, all beautifully handwritten with exceptional grammar. Obviously all his own work too.