Friday, 5 April 2013

And the winners are....

We had a great response to this competition with some fantastic stories. Congratulations to the winners but also a big thank you and well done to all those who entered. I hope you enjoyed writing them as much as we enjoyed reading them.

We’re really happy to have a local winner and also one from the other side of the world.

Jessica’s was our choice for winner because it is such a well crafted short story, which is never easy, but she also very cleverly and flawlessly worked in all of our keywords. 


In the Woolwich rubbish dump, there lives something that you would never think would be there. Everyone stays clear simply because of the stench. That is everyone, except Henry Pleasant. Henry is not any homeless boy. He was originally from the Victorian era but now he’s in the twentieth century. How you ask? Well, isn’t it obvious? He has a talent, a very special one indeed. He could see magic where others saw rubbish and he built a time machine from junk others had thrown away.

Let me take you back to when it started. Henry was a street urchin. He’d run away from his chimney sweep job and the dump had treated him well since. One day he was in the bins, seeing if the rich had disposed of anything still edible when he heard a soft meow coming from behind a penny farthing wheel. After much elbow grease, Henry finally got the wheel away and found a heap of new born kittens.  Henry scooped up the kittens and skipped down to the market. Nothing prepared him for the adrenaline rush of the bustle and noise. He stood there for about 20 minutes before an old lady came over. “How much are you selling them for dear?” the lady asked “How does one penny sound?” she said reaching into her silk purse “Deal!” blurted Henry. The lady handed over the penny and gathered up the kittens with her ring covered hands. On his way home Henry saw a sweet shop and decided to get in the Easter spirit by treating himself, for the first time ever, to an Easter egg. To his amazement, inside the egg was a toy robot.

When Henry got back to the dump, he saw something that hadn’t been there before, pieces of metal, wires and a screen. Before long Henry had assembled a life-sized robot of his own, as if by magic the screen on its stomach lit up. It was a ‘Sign in’ screen and on the screen was a riddle: What animal looks like it’s wearing a suit? Henry wracked his brain trying to remember all the animals he had seen at last year’s parade for the grand opening of the brand new Natural History Museum.

All he could remember of the odd creatures never seen before by anyone was a giant whale and… a penguin! He quickly typed in “penguin” and heaved a sigh of relief when “access granted” flashed up on the screen. “Hello master” the robot said in a mechanical voice. “Please don’t call me master” Henry sighed then added “My friends call me Red Urchin” pointing to his shock of red hair. “I am not your friend; I am your loyal servant, Red Urchin.” The robot held out his hand and said “Where do you want to go?” Without giving it a seconds thought Henry replied “To the future!”

Suddenly Henry was standing in a rubbish dump, but this one was very different.  Everything looked strange and futuristic. He looked down and saw a bright red tulip peeking through the clutter. Because it was the same colour as his hair he saw it as a good sign. Looking up, he saw all the parts in front of him to assemble a big, flying tulip. He worked day and night, only resting when he couldn’t walk, after 2 months he had created a rocket which he named Red Urchin and lived in it on the Woolwich rubbish dump. An astronomer was walking past the dump and spotted the rocket. He found Henry, introduced himself and asked to be shown around the rocket and was astonished to discover that the rocket was actually capable of launching. He looked at Henry, held out his hand and said “Where do you want to go?” Without a seconds thought Henry looked up at the sky and replied “Up there!”


There is also a special mention for two other entrants in the children’s competition.  We were impressed by Meah’s amazingly creative imagery and ideas.  We’re sure she has a great future ahead of her.

And Farra’s story about the giant European rabbit has really stuck with us, because it so skilfully developed a persona and stayed in that character throughout.  Well done.

The winner in the adult’s section had a great 'spirit of Easter' theme. 


A long time ago in a land far removed from ours, where things were a little strange, a mother cat had
just given birth to a litter of squirming, pink and blue fluffy kittens. She had brought the kittens into the world on the eve of Easter, just below a strange tree that grew upside down, its roots stretching high into the sky. It was covered in bouquets of red flowers, who's perfume wafted gently in the breeze of a pretty little meadow.

 The kittens climbed over each other in their attempts to snuggle up to their mother, but one little kitten, more curious than the others, scuffled on his belly to see what lay beyond the shadows of the upside down tree. He had noticed a tunnel and he thought he must move closer to get a better look at this strange new thing. As he neared the entrance, a ragged little urchin dressed in shabby clothes ran out gasping and out of breath.
'What are you doing there, little kitten? Its Easter Eve and the Easter Penguins will soon be hiding their eggs. You need to run along home or they will be too scared to go about their business.'

'The Easter Penguins?' Asked the little kitten, 'What is Easter and what are penguins?'

'Easter,' said the urchin who happened to be magic, 'is all about these.' He said as a puff of smoke came out of his palm and in its place lay a golden Easter egg. He tossed the egg to the kitten, as he dashed down a path at the end of which rested a bright red rocket. The urchin climbed inside it and it promptly vanished. The kitten, alarmed at such a feat, crawled over to where the rocket had been, and all that lay in its place was a 1p coin. The kitten sniffed at the coin and thought to himself, I must find out about this 'Easter' and what it all means-' I bet this could help me', he said aloud as he picked up the coin in his mouth.

He wandered and he meandered, until he thought his tiny newborn legs would collapse right from under him. Just as he thought he could take no more, he fell exhausted on the shore of a river.

'Who goes there?' said a kindly but gruff robot, who sat on the edge of a raft dangling his shiny metal
feet into the cool waters.

'Just a tired and lost little kitten, trying ever so hard to find out about Easter.'

'I don't know about Easter, but I know someone who might- the wise whale. He knows most everything there is that is worth knowing.' Said the robot.

'Please Sir, could you take me to him? I don't think I could walk another step.' Said the kitten.

'All I have is this coin as payment.' Said the kitten as dropped the 1p coin out of his mouth.

'That will do.' said the Robot. 'climb aboard my raft.'

 The little kitten breathlessly struggled to climb up, just as the robot reached out his claw to help him. The robot pushed off from the shore and let the river carry them downstream. After they had travelled what seemed to be miles they reached the mouth of the river, and there swimming above the waves, was the wise whale.

'Please, Mr Wise Whale, what is Easter?'

'Oh, you silly kitten, you travelled all this way to ask such a question? Why, Easter is you! It is the
celebration of life.' And with that the whale disappeared beneath the waves and the kitten found
himself home again, nestled beside his mother. The kitten opened one eye and there lay a shiny
gold Easter egg, that had been left by the Easter Penguin 'I am Easter he thought, and Easter is with


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