15 Jun 2018 10:08 AM

I'm delighted that after much deliberation the winners of our Short Story Competition are announced. Susan Moore, author of the Nat Walker series of adventures was highly impressed by the creativity of the entrants and it was hard to choose the winner and runners up. 

My colleagues and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories submitted by Year 7 pupils from a variety of schools, and have selected our particular favourites for our 'Hall of Fame' alongside the stories which made it through as finalists.

Our overall winner gets to host Susan Moore at a creative writing workshop for their class, where they will hear firsthand what it takes to create a winning story that will keep their reader engaged. This year's winning story came from a pupil at Bentley Wood High School for Girls who will have Susan Moore visit their school shortly.

Finally I would like to thank all those who took part and submitted their stories, we hope that you enjoyed writing them as much as we enjoyed reading them.  If yours didn't make the Hall of Fame this year, please keep writing, we only had a limited amount of space and wanted to include so many more, it was very hard to choose.

Feedback from Guest Judge: Susan Moore

WINNER:  Sunset Co -JC  Bentley Wood High School for Girls

Sunset Co.’ is the compelling story of a dystopian, near-future where a company called ‘Sunset Co.’ has created biosphere bubbles over the major cities, in which the inhabitants must work hard to afford to live there. The story revolves around a girl called Ivory who works at the Nutra-Shake company. We see her ordered life fall apart when she is collected by a couple of Sunset Co. employees, and thrown outside of the bubble for not being up to standard in her work. The story ends upon the horrors awaiting Ivory when the door to Sunset Co. is slammed shut behind her.

The story is both vivid and gripping. The spare use of dialogue in progressing the story is well done. The scene and world setting are well-crafted so that I could easily picture its orange tones, convenience food, sanitised bubble environment, and rigid rule system. Ivory’s character as a cog in the wheels of manufacturing was well drawn. I felt her apprehension at being collected by the twins, and then her disbelief and horror at being ejected from the bubble. Her journey from a life of calm and repetition ends with a punch, in chaos and corpses. It gave me pause to wonder if a terrible future like that could happen. A powerful story, well told. Congratulations! 

2nd place: The Boy in the Slum - IS   Alperton Community School

‘The Boy In The Slum’ is a heartfelt story where the chasm between the rich and poor in India is shown in stark realism.

Told in the first person, this is about a boy from a wealthy family who is forced to leave all the trappings of his comfortable life, and flee his home when his father is arrested. Along with his mother and two sisters they move into a broken-down dwelling in the local slum. The boy is forced to start working to earn money, and he becomes a scrap metal collector. He forms a firm friendship with Raj, another boy from the slum, who saves his life. Their friendship is severed though when the boy’s father is released, and the family moves back to his old home and life.

From the vivid descriptions I could easily picture a stinking slum with its backdrop of rubbish hills. The daily danger of being killed by rubbish avalanches when trying to eek out a living gave the story an added depth of drama. The boy’s journey was vividly painted with description. Nice work. Congratulations!

3rd place: Jungle Quest -HK   Bentley Wood High School for Girls

‘Jungle Quest’ is a dramatic journey into the dark and scary depths of the jungle. When Mona’s father becomes sick she picks up her bow and arrow, and heads off in search of the mysterious Bakawaka tree. The tree’s luminous leaves have healing powers, and her quest is to bring one home to help her father. The threat of tigers, snakes, and panthers is never far from Mona’s path, but it is the Ishmari tribe who are most dangerous of all. Mona comes face to face with an Ishmari man and fires an arrow at him before making her escape!

She finds the Bakawaka tree, gathers a leaf, and hurries home. But she is too late, her father has passed away. The story ends on a cliffhanger because out of the corner of her eye she sees an Ismarian.

I was left wondering if the Ismarian had killed her father in revenge for being shot with the arrow. Or, maybe the Ismarians were a figment of Mona’s imagination? This ending was strong and powerful for a short story. It made me go back and re-read Mona’s adventure a couple of times to see if I was missing something in the plot. Well done. Congratulations!

Read Susan's feedback on our other finalists here.

 

School Hall of Fame Finalists

Alperton Community School

Alperton Community School

 

 

The Boy in the Slum  IS.

Bentley Wood High School for Girls

Bentley Wood

High School for Girls

I wish - SC.

The Box - HH.

The Chase - AD.

My Name is Ann - AA.

To Run, Not to Run - JZ.

Who You Are - FA.

Jungle Quest - HK.

Sunset Co - JC

 

Guru Nanek Sikh Academy

Guru Nanak Sikh Academy

Hardships - JD.

The Mysterious Adventure - SB.

A Strange World - KS.

Think before you Take Action - JS.

Untitled - PA.

Untitled - PD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nower Hill High School

Nower Hill High School

 

The Beach - DS.

Zapped - ST.

 

 

The Nightmare Forest - AP.


The Upside down story which changed my life forever… - AJ.