Me, Myself & I: Here are the winners of our writing competition

When author Nadia Shireen – our Writer in Residence – announced a writing competition back in March, you sent us incredible entries from children all around the country. Now we can finally announce the winners and runners-up! 

Earlier this year, Nadia Shireen – our wonderful Writer in Residence – had a brilliant idea. She asked children to become the star of their own story – by writing it themselves!

That's right. This was the only rule given to children: YOU are the main character, and you have to use your REAL FIRST NAME.

Well, we've been bowled over by all the amazing entries you sent us (over 600 of them!), which only made Nadia's judging job harder. They've been read and relished and wowed and howled over, but we now – finally – have five winners and ten runners up!

More about our Writer in Residence

Read the 5 winning entries

You can read the stories below, which will now be turned into ACTUAL books by Nadia Shireen's publisher, Penguin. 

Leaping Beauty 

by Nancy Biddlecombe

Hey! I’m Nancy, I’m no ordinary Princess, I’m sassy and quirky and don’t wear a dress. I have emerald green eyes and healthy, blonde hair but I’m desperately looking for something to wear. I don’t want any pearls and I don’t want to see a gem. For me, it needs to be a more practical hem. My skin is light-peach and oh so smooth and I am so fancy that I sleep on a booth! But, I need some ideas from other Princesses, some hints and some tips but NO fussy dresses! I hate the way they swish about. That is the truth, without a doubt. I want to be courageous and I want to be strong. I want to be admired all day long. I’ll pop into some fairy tales and take a good look. After all, it’s not hard to find things in a book…………..

Firstly, Snow White’s still living with dwarves in a wood so deep… Whilst the Queen is still plotting to put her to sleep. I won’t eat ANY apples from a seller in a hat. I’m much more savvy and sensible than that.

On we go, Sleeping Beauty is up next. She’s snoring her head off – let’s send her a text! I’ll be much more lively and not such a sleepy head. I’ll always be awake and might never go to bed!

Leaping over to Rapunzel whose long hair can no longer be seen. BUT, a wig over baldness allows her to still be Queen. I’m not shaving MY hair off any time soon. Rapunzel must regret it... I can only assume.

Over to Cinderella who’s still married to a Prince full of charm, whilst her sisters so ugly still plot to do harm. With no ugly sisters to harm me, I’m free! BUT, my brother might be a problem, unless I disguise myself…. We’ll see!

Now for the Princess whose kiss turned a frog to a Prince. She’s had second thoughts and regretted it since. I think I’ll learn my lesson from this Princesses’ tale – But not knowing my future yet… there’s a chance I might fail!

Little Red though not a proper Princess got rid of the wolf who wore her Grandma’s dress. She’s brave and courageous – something I admire. Can I be like her, if my life becomes dire?

I’ve gone through some fairy tales and had a good look. It was just SO easy to find things in a book. I’ve got some ideas now, as you can see. I’ll wear a bright green cloak and socks that go up to my knee. I’ll live in a Palace so charmingly sweet and eat handmade chocolates – Oh my, what a treat! I’ll probably meet many a charming, sweet face but I’ll never kiss any pet frogs (just in case!). I could marry Prince Charming but why would I choose him? We’re in the 21st Century now, so a new fairy tale must begin………. 

Back page of the book
From Snow White we go onto a sleepy head ……… All of the fairy tales that you might have read.
Read this book about a modern Princess – she’s far from ordinary – with matters to address.

Download the illustrated entry

My Little Brother Jamie

By Charlie Parry for his brother Jamie

My little brother Jamie is obsessed with superheroes. In fact, he thinks I am one!
When I come home from school he is waiting for me to ask me –
‘Charlie, what new things have you learnt to beat bad guys?’
I tell him I’ve done hard sums, reading and writing to keep my brain alert to outsmart the bad guys.
When I come home from football training, he is waiting for me and asks –
‘Charlie, does your training help you to be faster than evil guys?’
I tell him I’ve been running, scoring and saving goals which means I’ll be fitter than any baddies!
If I am on my Xbox with my friends he always asks –
‘Charlie, are you building a super team?’
I tell him ‘Yes, I am on my Xbox recruiting more good guys to fight evil!’
If I am in my bedroom with a friend, Jamie asks
‘Charlie, are you making plans to fight the bad guys?’
I tell him we are talking tactics to make sure the earth is safe from evil!
When we are all having dinner, Jamie asks
‘Charlie, what food are you eating to make you so big and strong to fight bad guys?’
I tell him I’m eating all my vegetables so my muscles will be extra powerful in case I need to save the world!

He asks me lots of things all the time. He thinks I am big and have superpowers but I don’t and I am only 8!
The real super hero in the story is in fact Jamie. He saves me every day from being sad and stressed. He is super funny, super cute and sometimes super annoying. Together we make a super brother team!

Download the original entry

The Battle vs Wizzard and ME!

By Jinyao Wang

One day I woke up in a chocolate bar. I was very confused why I was in there but the chocolate smelled nice indeed. As I tasted a bit, it tasted like the best chocolate ever! I was boiling inside but I felt I was floating and floating inside. I was thinking how to get out, whilst I was thinking I was eating the chocolate a bit and a bit.

Suddenly, I thought of an idea: just keep eating the chocolate until it burst!!! Then it actually burst and I was falling and falling… Just then I found out I was out of space but then I landed in a city or town or…?!

I saw a sausage running towards me.

When the sausage was right next to me, he said ‘Are you all right?’ 

‘Em, I think I am all right,’ I said.

Then I stood up. The sausage held my hand and told me lots of things about the city. He told me about a bad Wizzard who wanted to take over the city. Also the sausage said to me that he’s finding him and [will] attack the bad wizzard.

‘Can I help you attack him?’ I shouted. ‘OK!’ he said. So we walked and walked to find him. Luckily he brought two swords and two knives. Then we found his castle so I just ran towards it as so [did] the sausage. Then the bad wizzard jumped out of nowhere!

‘OH IS YOU SILLY SAUSAGE,’ shouted the wizzard. Suddenly me and the sausage attack the wizzard. After a while, we won and killed the wizzard then we had a happy ever after.

Download the original entry

The Tree Monster

By Eissa Adebambi

Not so long ago, there was a young boy called Eissa. At school he used to daydream about having unique monsters as his friends.

Every day after school, he rushed home to use his grandfather’s old typewriter to write stories about the monster he had just imagined about at school. And every single little thing he wrote had a very strange habit of coming true.

He had a particularly favourite monster he called the Tree Monster. The Tree Monster’s body was a humongous bush with one log as his eyebrow. As horns he had two sticks full of thorns and he always used to carry around a log for snacks.

Eissa and the Tree Monster used to go out on adventures where they chased squirrels and stole honey from beehives, and when the bees found out they chased them into a part of the woods where the trees were packed tightly together. It seemed like there was no way through until the Tree Monster whispered a command: ‘Holy mother of the mosquito muse.’

There was a BANG and a SQUILDANG and ZANG.

There was some smoke and the trees parted. Eissa and the Tree Monster stepped through, leaving the bees on the other side.

When they got to the other side Eissa looked confused so the Tree Monster told Eissa he was the Forest King. They spent the next few hours lifting up broken, nude tree trunks, discovering undiscovered species of bugs even David Attenborough didn’t know about! They settled down to eat the honey they stole earlier. It was so delicious it was indescribable. By then it was nightfall. They laid down, their hearts pumping and exhausted. Looked up at the sky and saw the stars forming a picture of Eissa on the Tree Monster’s back.

More than 50 years had passed. Eissa stopped writing and forgot about the Tree Monster. One day when he was moving to a nearby cottage he found his old typewriter and all the memories flashed back to him. As always, his writing transported him to a magical world where he hoped to meet his childhood friend.

The Tree Monster reappeared but this time he looked different. He looked depressed and sad. His back was hunched and he had salt stains running down his eyes from where he had been crying. Eissa explained he was sorry and didn’t mean to hurt the Tree Monster’s feelings by forgetting about him. So the Tree Monster forgave Eissa: he was just glad his buddy was back! They ran through the woods for the last time since he was old and his life was coming to an end. Eissa tripped up and the Tree Monster helped him up. His bones were fragile so the Tree Monster put him on his back and they chased the sun.

Download the illustrated entry

The Wrong Way

By Anya Mather

‘Your turn to hide, remember, Mam said don’t go out of this aisle,’ Anya reminded her little sister Lydia.

It was Anya’s turn to hide. She thought carefully about her next hiding spot. ‘Anya, Lydia, no!’ Dad said. ‘Don’t hide amongst the clothes, stop it!’ Anya took her chance. She dove under a rail of hanging trousers! Suddenly, she felt a strange pulling sensation at the bottom of her pretty purple skirt. She tried to crawl out of what she thought was the perfect hiding place. However, the pulling sensation became stronger. She was being pulled towards the top of a pair of green trousers. She could see all the way down the inside of the legs. It was dark and smelly, like old dirty shoes. She found herself travelling through the trouser legs. Surely trousers couldn’t be this long!

Anya landed abruptly on a hard surface. She landed in the middle of what looked like a red field. The sky was green and the trees were blue. She realised at once that she had travelled to another world, a world that was the wrong way around!

All of a sudden, Anya could hear what she thought were lots of tiny voices whispering ‘Help us!’. Anya was petrified. She didn’t know where the voices were coming from.

Anya tried to decide which way she would walk. Her body shook as she made this tremendously difficult decision. She decided to go straight ahead. With every step she grew more confident. She walked towards a blue tree. Again, she heard ‘Listen to me, Anya!’. Anya gasped. They actually knew her name. The voices sounded friendly and strangely made her feel calm. ‘They’re coming from the tree!’ Anya said aloud. ‘Hello,’ she said quietly. ‘Hello, is anyone there?’

‘We are all around you Anya, here to guide you home. First you must help us save our world, we have chosen you.’

‘If I do help you to save your world, will you help me get back to my world and my family?’ Anya asked.

‘Of course we will! We’re Zellings!’

‘What do you need me to help you with?’

‘You have something magical that belongs here, the stone in your bracelet is what we need. We have been tracking it for quite some time. It will bring peace to our nations.’

Anya looked at her wrist and reluctantly removed the bracelet. There was a flash light. 

Anya could hear Lydia laughing. ‘Found you!’

She noticed the stone in her bracelet had been replaced, it was half blue and half green. ‘Remember us,’ Anya heard. She was thrilled to be back with her family and could not believe the adventure the stone from her bracelet had taken her on. She would never forget the Zellings and how she’d helped them. She hoped they now lived in peace.

Download the original entry

Here are the 10 runners-up

A Chemical Reaction

Read the story by Evie Gowland

'The stagnant smell of chemicals filled Cath's room. We were experimenting with her personal chemistry set, the one she had gotten for her birthday.'

Captain Crocodile

Read the story by Matthew Wiggins

'Matthew was a normal boy. He was like all the others, he liked video games and he loved reading. He was ordinary until one day!'

Girls Can Play Football Too

Read the story by Kevena-Nicole

'Kevena-Nicole (aka Kevena) was obsessed with football - she talked about and dreamt about football every day.'

One Sunny Morning in the Wet Green Rainforest

Read the story by Daniel Thomas

'One sunny morning in the wet green rainforest, there was a boy called Daniel. He had brown skin and curly black hair. He was very tall and he wore special red glasses. They were bendy so they helped him see all around the forest.'

Phoebe The First Person To Go Back In Time

Read the story by Phoebe

'Once there was a girl called Phoebe. She was not good at English. Her handwriting was rubbish. When she was outside, she played with Rose and Tracy. They were very kind and caring. They played dinosaurs in Egypt.'

The Adventures of Creative Caya

Read the story by Caya

'Hi! I'm Caya. I have cerebral palsy and have to wear splints. My mum thinks this makes me special. But I don't. I think what makes me special is this...'

The Boy Who Sees Sheep in the Road

Read the story by Matthew Hartridge

'Darkness. Lightness. The world is separated into two shades. Lightness is the kind beings. Darkness isn't. When I was four, my world was light, now it is not. I am Matthew and this is my story.'

The Stray

Read the story by Jack

'One cold winter's day, I woke up like usual and yawned like usual then turned to face the mirror and jumped so far backwards that I fell out of the window... I looked down at my hands, I couldn't reach the window because I was a small Jack russell!'

Why Angel Can Dance

Read the story by Angel Yoboue-Toure

'Once upon a time there lived a little girl called Angel and she loved to dance [and] lots of people came to visit her and people watched her sing... Angel was going to sing for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.'

Wise Up Jennifer

Read the story by Jennifer Kilgallon

'There was this girl called Jennifer. She thought crazy thoughts like... Polar bears are useless!'

It was so hard to pick these winners and runners-up, as the quality of every story was just so high. Thank you to all the children who entered and keep writing your stories!

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