The 50 Word Fiction Competition: Previous Winners

Read the previous winning entries, alongside the prompt they responded to. 

Want to try your hand at writing a 50-word story? Enter our monthly competition here.

 

2017

 

Write a story featuring a roll of the dice.

January

All-age category winner by Wander Gubler-Leeuwenhoek:

Demiurge
It was just a game. Everything was. Is. Yet,  frenetic - eyes darting, heart thundering - I weighed my changes. Endless variables. Outcomes beyond count. An entire embryonic universe stretching out before me, yearning to unfold. So, teetering on this razor’s edge between ubiquity and oblivion, I cast the die.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Carmen Sunny-olowu (age 13):

'It's magic!' He shouted after her retreating back.
She stopped and slowly turned around. 'What do you mean?'

He grinned and slowly raised a finger to his lips. 'Shh...'
And with a flick of his wrists, he rolled the dice. At first, nothing happened.
And then, everything did...
At once.

 

Write a story inspired by a balloon scape.

February

All-age category winner by Izzy Jones:

The first time the balloons came, it was raining. They emerged from the clouds, plump rotting plums, panting out thick gold coins that rattled down our streets. The thunder spoke: ‘consider this payment in advance.’ Today we saw them approaching, we do not know what they have come to take.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Heidi Ida Josefsson (age 14):

Emerald skies
above kingdom
watching:

Nescient balloons
in air
rising

Sleeping sun
above castles
hearing

Scornful grass
on ground
whispering

Furious queen
in chamber
crying

Dark creatures
in forest
hunting

Golden children
among trees
hiding

Lost beads
in moss
shining

Troubled king
wife's bracelet
seeking

Dreaming me
my words
finding

 

Write a story featuring a camp fire.

 

March

All-age category winner by Lyn Fountain:

To make a fire Dad's fingers fold,
knot, craft a triumph from the embers
of yesterday's cold racing papers.
Rent books and betting slips make hopeless tapers;
they glitter for a moment,
turn to ash. Mother's face
reflects the blaze like a newly struck penny;
the heat of her shame.

 Young Writers category winning story by Aimee McCall (age 14):

The witches cackled with delight as they tossed a young boys body into a cauldron which was sat upon a campfire.
"He deserved that!" The eldest screeched.
"Yes!" The rest of the witches cried. "A child with a side of cheese... now that he is not stealing it."

 

 

2016

 

Write a story set in the future.

January

All-age category winning story by Robert Shepherd:

The future was supposed to be spaceships, not giant feet. No-one foresaw the day they rose, great arches stretched up to sky.

Hindsightedly, we saw the signs. Skyscraper toenails in London, great tendons trawlered in nets. We should have known, we said. Just once, we should have seen something coming.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Abigail Januszewicz (aged 12):

The computer says it’s year 9019. Today robots have just been released from factories all over New York and the rest of the world. My robot keeps saying “keep calm through this transition between your kind and mine”. Its light sensor turned from blue to red, then it exploded.

 

Write a story inspired by a night time crowd scene.

 

 

February

All-age category winning story by Anna Doherty:

Mr Mint is highly allergic to fur, so Mrs Mint keeps a secret dog at work. Whenever Mr Mint is being unreasonable and waspish, she smuggles the dog home in her rucksack to moult and then Mr Mint is bedridden for days. She feels it’s less hassle than divorcing him. 

 

Young Writers category winning story by Natalie Boal (aged 14):

My eyes locked on the prize, just a street away. Pain clawed at my stomach as I quickened my pace through the obnoxious crowd of suits and umbrellas. Car horns blared as I began to sprint across, and pulled out a dead president.
‘Large with ketchup and mustard’ I panted.

 

Write a story inspired by the sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi.

March

All-age category winning story by Bruce Chambers:

“Two road sweepers observing the sculpture. 
“The big haun’s oot again.”
“Aye, the cooncil’s lookin’ fur a handoot.”
“It’s no real.”
“Naw, it’s surreal.”
“It’s whit?” 
“A kinda dream idea.”
“Rubbish.”
“Tam’s no gauny be happy either way.”
“How come?”
“He’s tae sweep it up.”
“Whit, a dream idea?”

 

Young Writers category winning story by Katherine Laidlaw (aged 17):

Corpses don't always bleed. When they freeze or when they drown, it is the same as when that colossal mound of a creature fell. Yes, creature - they said it was merely a machine, but I saw its face when we tore it - blew it - apart. 
No, corpses don't always bleed.

 

 

Write a story featuring a board game.

April

All-age category winning story by Nathan Cooper:

'Firetruck,' stated my nephew, confidently placing his word. Firetruck indeed! A vowel is nowhere found on my spelling pew. He counts 54 points for triple word score. My only option is to pluralize his word. Why can’t I pull good letters? A “Q”? Seriously, what the firetruck? He’s gonna win.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Morgan-lee Mcmillan (aged 17):

Tensions were high. They all stood in what seemed like a mexican standoff. They kept there cards close to there chest with eyes locked on one another. 
"It was you wasn't it"
"Naw it wasny me" 
"Aye it was, it was you in the kitchen wae the lead pipe mate!"

 

 

Write a story about a mythical sea creature.

May

All-age category winning story by James Vincent:

Ah kin see
The sea
Monster’s
Heid

Atween they
Gannets
Divin fur
Thur dinner
Roon aboot
The critter

Ahin thone
Seagulls
Shairin
A fritter

Ah’ve seen
Distant phoaties
Sent in fae
Twitchers
Yaisin
Twitter

Ah ken
It’s hur
Wi thone
Sleekit een

Whit a mawkit
Awfy
lukkin
slitter

Young Writers category winning story by Katie Somers (aged 13):

They dangle their putrid feet in my lake. They disturb my calm water with their splashing and screaming.
I HATE IT.
So when one unfortunate little child swims off to catch a ball I grab its ankles and take it down to have a little talk. 
This normally works.

 

Write a story that begins on a bus.

June

All-age category winning story by Jess McGeachie:

Ecstatic, excited, elated
The bus whirred and jolted
As it reached its destination
Alighting from the bus
Looking back to planet earth
And welcoming my future
The idea I had
Had grown into realisation
New world, new planet, new life

Young Writers category winning story by Iona Campbell (aged 15):

As I gazed out of the window at the dark fields rolling by, I noticed the lights inside the bus begin to flicker. The bus screeched to a halt. I blamed it on a rogue deer, that was until I heard faint tapping from the other side of the window.

 

Write a short story about swimming.

July

All-age category winning story by Megan Crosbie:

She wades past skin and into the sea. Black fabric clings to her thighs and the curve of her belly. In one fluid motion she dives under, accepted easily into the water.

She surfaces. Tightening her headscarf, she watches the horizon: unwavering, dependably familiar. She almost doesn't feel them staring.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Brady O'Connell (aged 15):

Wob the pet rock swam in the stream all day.
That was his life.
Bob his owner came by every day to feed him an apple.
After every meal Wob swam a 300 metre backstroke by flowing with the current.
Only problem is, he can't get back to the top.

 

 

Write a story featuring a mobile phone

August

All-age category winning story by Mike Smith:

‘Ah’m on the bus’ he growled into his phone as he squeezed into his seat.
‘Aye, right!’ came the irritated reply. ‘Yer in that boozer again.’
Unexpected support came from several voices on the upper deck. ‘He’s on the bus, missus’
It was then he realised the speaker was on…

Young Writers category winning story by Charlotte Chalkley (aged 17):

Seeing people turn their backs on me is certainly a novel experience. Those quiet sketchers and onlookers used to flood the Louvre just to catch a look at me!

At least it seems I'm still in the spotlight.

I smirk, holding serenely still for the next eager horde of selfie-takers.

 

 

Write a piece of historical fiction.

September

All-age category winning story by Mark Roberts:

She breathed out against the whalebones of her corset. His letter had disappeared among the flames in seconds. He was probably already on the ship, heading east, focused on his future with the Company. She moved to the bureau, took out a pen, ink and paper and began her revenge.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Joan Lim (aged 14):

“Oh, Helen! Her etiquette! She’ll amble around the room when calling and meddle around, ankles flashing and obscene…this was a mistake from the beginning!”

The sun-soaked drawing room is filled with tea and distress.

Amused by her bemusement, the matronly woman opposite her chuckles. “She’s barely a year old, darling!”

 

Write a story inspired by a morning paper and coffee cup.

October

In October, we held our monthly 50 Fiction Competition in association with the Daily Record and we had a huge number of entries inspired by this image.

Author and coloumnist Shari Low sat on the judging panel and, thanks to the high quality of entries, we decided to add a Highly Commended slot for each category.

All-age category winning story by Rachel L. MacAulay:

I awoke feeling surprisingly well-rested. Heading to the kitchen, I smiled for the first time since the hellish ordeal with Max started. I had won. The kids were mine.

But the items on the table stopped me short. They were in Max’s habitual morning arrangement.

Then, I noticed the silence.

 

All-age category highly commended Cara Mackenzie:

She places everything on the table; ordered, neat.

People will think she's a professional. Together.

Newspaper. Latte.

Empty bag at her feet, timer on her ancient phone to tell her when to leave.

She can pretend it's a meeting, not the launderette.

They don't know she has nowhere to go.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Bronagh Johnson-Bailey (aged 16):

She's at it again this morning.

"Go get the newspaper for Daddy, dear."

I hesitate, she twitches. When I return she's gently placing his coffee, I drop his paper next to it. Mum and I sit for breakfast in silence. His place is set, his seat remains empty.

 

Young Writers category highly commended Emily Turner (age 17):

There he goes again. Gazing at that blonde barista instead of getting to work. And he has the nerve to dump me on my face, like I’M the distraction. Still, I’ll be the one reminding him how late he is when he eventually spares me a glance. That’ll teach him.

 

 

Write a story about a powerful book.

November

All-age category winning story by Duncan Clark:

“Dangerous book”.  She wasn't sure if the older woman meant that as a question or statement.  The shop was quiet.  The cat hadn't moved far from the radiator, nor had she.  

“Gives people a false sense of the past”.

She put the 1977 Broons annual down and left.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Angus Ivory (age 11):

"Don't open it," he whispered pleadingly. "Just don't open it." Lying there in the dark, I was drawn to it. My fingers slid slowly over the elegant ridges and cracks in the hard leather cover. A mouse on the floor watched me intently. Slowly, I opened it. The mouse froze.

Write a story inspired by a grand, snowy house.

December

All-age category winner by Jenny Rutherford:

It fell silently from the sky. A giant, soft blanket smothering everyday life.
 
Children started with excitement as a winter scene unfolded. They thought it was snow.
 
But he knew it wasn’t snow. It was ash. Looking out of the window he knew now was the beginning of the end.
 

Young Writers category winning story by Amba Kiran Reece (age 17):

The West Wind rattles through the house. He has been welcomed here ever since the Small One left. He creeps up the staircases and becomes re-acquainted with the corners. The Darkness, a friend, nods at him from beneath the abandoned cradle.

Together they settle in for a comfortable winter.

 

2015

Write a piece of Fantasy fiction. 

January

All-age category winning story by TM Hayes:

The elevator rumbles upward through the darkness. “We’ll be the first people aboveground in over 50 years.” Sasha whispers in excited disbelief as if we can be overheard in this loud metal contraption. The elevator stops. The trapdoor opens. Our eyes adjust to the blinding sunlight, we gasp.

“Horrible.”

“Beautiful.”

 

Young Writers category winning story by Iona Scroggs (aged 14):

She always watched from the mysterious, deep ocean at the strange creatures living above it. They didn’t look like her, not really. Nothing ever did. She was alone. She constantly tortured herself by watching the creatures find another but she never found the same feeling. All she felt was emptiness.

 

Write a story which features a map. 

February

All-age category winning story by Sean HG Watt:

The ship's map showed her where to go. It floated ahead, leading her past burnt holes exposing the star-spotted black. She didn't dare look; escape was just round the next corner. She rounded it, suit creaking. Nothing but space and splintered hull parts. The map smiled, then flickered out.

Young Writers category winning story by Hannah Ledlie (aged 16):

My parents treasured the past, and anything that came from it. They would often take me to the archive; unroll a map and describe the amazing places it showed. I was sixty years old when I first breathed fresh air and blinked real light and saw it all for myself.

Write a story set in a park.

March

All-age category winning story by Lauren Heaven:

It was rammed. She told him it would be.

Noisy dogs, bouncy children – intrusions on his idyllic Instagram shot.

He points out a recently vacated spot and they park themselves amidst the litter.

“Smile,” he says as he looks at her through his screen.

Filters can’t fix everything, she thinks.


Young Writers category winning story by Dominic Miller (aged 16):

No matter what day I went to the park, there he was. He'd sit in solemn silence, never saying a word, as if contemplating his life.

I never knew why he came. I only learnt his name after reading the plaque that one day took his place on the bench.

 


Write a story that makes us laugh

April

All-age category winning story by Peter Cannon:

"A fine example of abstract design," observed the would-be critic. "The symmetry of dark vertical lines against the off-white flatness of the plaque is, quite simply, unique."

"Excuse me?" said a young man. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but that's the ventilator cover. The art exhibits start over there."


Young Writers category winning story by Rianne Johnson (aged 13):

“Hilarious!”

“Where did you get THAT one from?”

“That was your best one YET!”

Those were the good times, when we joked; we were close. Those were the good times, when only laughter filled the air. Those were the good times, when we laughed till we cried. We had fun!

Write a story about a road trip

May

All-age category winning story by Stuart Cormie:

The M6 traffic cares nothing for your urgency, but you do arrive in time. She lies colourless, breathing slow, eyes closed, oblivious to the silent family. By an ear you shout "Mum" (hearing aids already out). A little jolt? Only hours later, her cruel, failing body deals its final hand.


Young Writers category winning story by Molly McCallum (aged 12):

When he said roadtrip, I saw hotels and shops. Not camping. I saw dad drive the rented, rusty green campervan, unaware of the havoc in the backseats. My brothers were flying paperplanes, my sister screaming for food. Even my mum was too busy taking pictures, getting lost in sunny Wales.

Write a story set by a river.

June

All-age category winning story by Jane Roberts:

One after the other - lemmings - they dive-bomb the water's surface - regardless of trainers and clothing. She's a red halter necked Venus - hair in nonchalant top-knot.

Waterlogged eyes, blinded by trust, they gaze up at her standing backside. Dry.


Young Writers category winning story by Jordan Sanderson (aged 16):

Big John has been trying to impress Wee Betty for a few months now. Every guy Betty has ever gone with has been able to swim. She likes that in men. He jumps in to impress her whilst she's watching but realises he still has his shoes on.
Absolute ragin.

Write a story featuring a sporting event

July

All-age category winning story by Laura Ogryzko:

Jabbing, jotting, aiming, maiming; the glistening bodies hopped in their pen. They may have been dancing had it not been for the thick blood. Their taut fists encased in swollen red mittens making their arms look like match sticks. Rabid onlookers willed the match sticks to strike. They wanted fire.


Young Writers category winning story by Katherine Laidlaw (aged 17):

You know the thunder of the cheers at the Olympics - the roar in here is no less loud. The unbearableness of it batters my eardrums and the ball slides from sweat-slickened hands as I twist momentarily, scanning the crowd for a face I don't expect to see.

Write a story about a cowboy

August

All-age category winning story by TM Hayes:

His boots strike the parched earth creating small dust clouds with each step. He holds his hand before him, making soothing clicking sounds deep in his throat. The beast heaves; zigs and zags in a tight square. Expectant breaths the only sounds for miles. "Whoa, girl." She hesitates. Then relents.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Amelia Puchala (aged 13):

Falling. Off the robot. Through the crack in this polished world. Imperfect crack. Imperfect me. Before it didn't matter. I was the world Rodeo champion. Before...horses weren't metal.


I hit the floorboards with an imperfect 'thud!' With one last effort I turn to see DDYXZ2 perfectly mount the horse.

Write your very own short fairy tale

September

All-age category winning story by Emma Sibthorpe:

In a cottage in the forest there lived a witch. One day a Prince rode by.

"Fantastic neo-gothic architecture - I must have it!"

He offered ten times the market value. She relocated to a city penthouse and amused herself turning frogs into traffic wardens.

And everyone lived happily ever after.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Hannah Ledlie (aged 17):

Once there was a boy who built a ladder to the Sun and requested she shift her gaze from his family’s wilting crops. She complied, on the condition he stay and guide her rays forever more.

The boy is still up there today, ensuring his family live happily ever after.

 Write a story featuring food

October

All-age category winning story by Robin Munro:

A turnip perhaps isn’t the most practical of abodes, but to Englethorpe it was perfect.  It was edible, had a faint earthy pong and exuded a warm yellow hue when lit by candlelight.  His home made him feel snug, and ravenous, as he tucked into a bowl of spiced beetroot.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Katie Luxmoore (aged 15):

The king devours the meat before him. He pays no heed to the gathering crowd and an impatient youngster steps closer. The monarch pauses to growl a low warning.
Suddenly, a shot rings out and he falls to the side. The animals scatter.
An unnoticed hunter has felled the king…

Write a story set in Scotland.

November

All-age category winning story by Linda Mallinson:

Pipers had piped, dancers had danced, guests had gone; it had been a brilliant party. Hamish headed upstairs. Once more his knees were lifted high, tartan swirled and diamond patterned socks flashed to and fro. A final highland fling? No, the grandchildren had left their Lego on the carpet again.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Emma Hickman (aged 15):

There's haggis in his beard, haggis in his clothes.
There's bits of haggis everywhere, even up his nose.
There's haggis in his fingers, haggis between his toes.
Haggis squelching as he walks, dropping as he goes.
The meeces like to follow him and help him decompose.
He's Haggis.

Write a story including the phrase: cold as ice

December

All-age category winning story by Jared Woods:

His fingers shook so violently that Brian couldn't grasp the wire. His tremors rendered it nearly impossible to be a member of the bomb squad anymore, and his partner knew it.
Sympathetically, his friend offered an excuse. "Hands cold, sir?"
"Cold as ice," Brian sighed, relieved for the fabricated escape.


Young Writers category winning story by Isobel Hellam (aged 15):

The crusty ice shelves loom across the horizon, biting winds slice around corners. The velveteen figures shrink closer together; each penguin sheltering its egg.
A disturbance: one slithers from its parent's grasp. The storm hisses in relish and sweeps across the shell, once smooth, now frosted over. Cold as ice.

 

 

2014

 

Write a story set at a birthday party. 

January

All-age category winning story by Deborah Murphy

"Champagne!" the elderly socialite demanded.

Mike soon realised his mistake in wearing a penguin suit to the party.

Playing along, he politely handed her a glass of bubbly.

Next year he’d wear a tuxedo, he thought, sipping his drink through a straw to avoid soaking his large orange beak.

 

Young Writers category winning story (a birthday rap) by James Fisher

I’m a birthday cake and ma heid’s on fire

I’m gona get high then even higher

In a matter of seconds I’ll be sliced and diced

Know what I mean – that’s not very nice.

Here they a’ come to blow me out

Know what I mean – and they’re gonna shout.

 

Write a story inspired by a crowded shopping centre.

February

All-age category winning story Brighid Ó Dochartaigh (@bbrighid1)

I saw it through the swirling crowd. The red carnation tucked into your black wool jacket, just as you'd promised. Then he reached out and plucked it, lifted it to his lips, and smiled. You laughed and slipped your arm through his. I was only ten minutes late.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Caroline Sessa

I ran in. The bustle of the station surrounded me. I had to find her, to tell her. Then, a glimpse. She was boarding a train. I tried to catch her; the doors shut before I could. It was too late. Now she'll never know... that she forgot her toothbrush.

 

 


Write a crime story.

March

All-age category winning story by Nina Vedder:

Through the car window the flames look orange and black. Like tiny tigers, escaping a cage.
I'm wearing two different shoes. Blue bow left.
"Will Dad be okay? And Jenny?" I ask.
Mum says nothing and turns up the radio.
The house gets smaller and then I think I sleep.

Young Writers category winning story by Erwan Regy (age 11):

I crossed the ‘crime scene’ line anyway. Lying on the ground was a young boy crying in fear. Towering over him were policemen, interviewing what looked like the kid’s parents. The boy turned around, revealing the crumbs and chocolate chips on his face. Then I saw the empty cookie jar.

 

Write a story which features an old key. 

April

All-age category winning story by Elaine McKay:

Thurrs nae loack cis thurrs nae doors cis thurrs nae hoose cis thurrs nae waws- the cooncil came an' demolish'd thum aw.

Bit Ah'll keep ma key in ma poackit; it fits there, even noo that it's ma auld key. 

See, ma new street's awright, bit isnae where Ah've lived.

Young Writers category winning story by Daniella Cugini (aged 16):

"Dad, what's this for?"

Ben clutched the ancient, tarnished key, eyes round as saucers.

"Old keys fit old chests," Dad replied, smiling. "Go look!"

Minutes later, Dad looked up to hear screaming. He sprinted into the bedroom, only to see Ben jabbing the key between his grandmother's ribs.

 

Write a story set in the woods. 

May

All-age category winning story by Sue Kingham:

Colin’s ear and nose hair twitched, his chins wobbled as he let out a piecing "Hoop Hoop". Selina was mortified. 

"Hoop Hoop!" came a bird's reply from the far side of the wood. 

Colin sprinted off.

She dug out her phone, scrolled through her Elite Singles profile, and deleted ‘nature lover’. 



Young writers category winning story by Keirit Dosanjh (aged 11):

I was lost.

The woods were magical, sunlight streaming onto the leaf-strewn path ahead – peaceful, but I was still lost.

I was suddenly aware of sharp pains in my back.  A twig snapped.

I jumped round.

They were reaching out to pinch me again, both doubled up in silent mirth.  

 

 

Write a piece of historical fiction.

June

All-age category winning story by Jenna Burns (@Jenna_221b):

You’ll thank her for the socks. You’ll not mention Fletchley’s death.

You won’t say there’s a Big Push coming, the fear of it a cold weight in your chest.

You’ll say I miss you and end with all my love. They’re the only truths you have left.

 

Young Writers category winning story by George Menz (aged 15):

I have sinned, the captain thought, and made this place vile. For centuries, no Highlander would trust the name Campbell, or submit to the Crown, or forget this tragedy. It brought him comfort. Whatever evils they suffered, the Scots had one imperishable defense against the force of arms: they remembered. 

 

Take two friends sitting on a wall as your inspiration.

July

All-age category winning story by Leila Valois:

They met monthly. Sometimes, they drank quickly, ring pulls already opened with that first, cool swig taken before they sat down. Othertimes, like today, they sat untouched behind them. They never asked, always waited for the other to talk.

"That last chapter though."

"Yeah, no more dog books. Always upsetting."

 

Young Writers category winning story by Isabella Campese (aged 12):

We sat there looking over the town. If I was going to say it, it had to be today.

"So, I was thinking," I started nervously.

"Come on, you can say anything."

"Okay, here it goes. I like you...as a friend."

"I was just about to say that too."

 

Write a story which features a letter.

August

All-age category winning story by Veronica Whittaker:

The solicitor forwarded the stamped letter to Jenny, who recognised the hand writing immediately.
Silent tears slid down her face as she read.
'I'll still love you John, whatever your decision. Please keep in touch. Mum'.
But John no longer existed, Jenny hadn't been called that in years.

Young Writers category winning story by Emily Chen (aged 14):

Heels ringing against stone, Felicia steps into the young CEO’s office.

“A letter for you, sir.”

He looks up as she tosses it onto the gleaming glass of his desk, edges worn and so out of place in this digital age. Unreliable. But untraceable.

A loaded glance passes between them.

Write a story set on a spaceship. 

September

All-age category winning story by Tim Cassford:

Galen looked out from the command seat, laser-blasts still ringing in his ears. A million stars regarded him in silence.

Doors hissed open. Yorgen entered, his face pale.

"Does... Does it get easier?"

Galen turned back to the view. The previous crew were drifting past; corpses crusted with frost.

"Yes."

 

Young Writers category winning story by Hannah Ledlie (aged 16):

The youngest girl in space was too small to see out the windows. 

“What’s going on daddy?”

She looked up at the man whose hand clutched hers, whose eyes looked down on Earth in a way that would never be replicated; reflecting fire, dancing.

“Nothing,” he replied, drawing her close. 

 

 

 

 

 

Write a ghost story. 

October

All-age category winning story by Jared Woods:

The dead man only visited her room to hold her hand. He had explained this to her before, many times, and she'd since learned that he vanished much quicker when she pretended to be asleep. She breathed. He sobbed while his brittle fingers trembled around hers. 

She kept still.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Ariane Branigan (aged 15):

She’s face to face with me: we’re so close I can feel her eyelashes brush mine, count every speck of gold in those cobalt eyes.

"Why are you here?"

She giggles, leans in confidentially- I catch a hint cinnamon on her breath- and whispers,

"I got bored of being dead."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write a story set in an abandoned theme park.

November

All-age category winning story by Carla Taylor:

“Good haul today?”

“Not bad - £16.85 and some bloke got me a fish supper.”

A nod of approval as I trudge past his scabby command station.

I am tucked up in a teacup by the time the rain starts falling; chip shop grease warming my belly.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Beth O’Reilly (aged 16):

As I ran I looked around. I stopped! It was the gate to the theme park.

Pushing through, I snuck behind a merry-go-round. I could hear footsteps growing closer.

I could smell the rubber of his shoes.

“C’mon pup, you can’t be out here!”

I replied with a bark.

 

 

 

 

 

Be inspired by an outdoor ice rink at Christmas time.

December

All-age category winning story by Liam Alastair Crouse:

Mo chasan a' falbh bhuam; spèilearachd air dhol san dìochuimhne. Deigh sleamhainn na galla. Theab mi tuiteam, ach làmh a rug orm. Sheall mi ris, 'Chris…' ars mise, ag aithneachadh mo sheann bhràmair am-measg na gràisg, 'diamar a…' Shocraich e mi, gàire mhireagach na gnùis, 's e falbh aig tèile.

Translation: My feet went from under me; skating skills gone to pot. This damned slippery ice. I almost fell, but for a steadying hand. I looked up. "Chris …" I said, recognising my old boyfriend amongst the throng, "how are …" He righted me, a cheeky smile on his face, as he skated away to another.

 

Young Writers category winning story by Eve Lambrick (aged 13):

I depressed the switch. All colours were muted, all sounds silenced. I knew this peace would not last; it could not last. The full gaiety of the festive season was nigh, but even the gaudy christmas tree had found peace. Pyrrhic peace. For just at that moment, a light flickered.

 2013

Write a scene set in cafe.

January - Sarah Painter

"I wanted to see you. Just once."

"Excuse me?"

The woman is young. Of course. "I've chucked him out," I say. "My husband. He's all yours."

Her face goes milk-like. "It's you." She's not even that pretty.

Especially right now.

"It's me," I agree. "Next time, it'll be you."

Write a story inspired by a cave.

February- Hannah Lavery

Over breakfast, you said you didn’t care for boat trips and that you hated ‘bloody caves!’

So, I went alone.  When we got there and the music played, I missed you.

When I returned, we had scones and tea.  Singing under my breath, I brushed the crumbs from you.

Write a story involving a watch



March- Jakki Henderson

"But what about the five twenty-five?"
"It's never on time," he'd said and jumped down on to the tracks. 
Retrieving his father's watch which had slipped from his wrist, he looked up at me, triumphantly, waving the heirloom high.
"See, five twen-"

 

Use a photograph from your own collection to inspire a story. 

April- Melissa Hugel

To: Mom

Subject: RE: Your Father

No.

To: Melanie

Subject: Your Father

Melanie,

It finally happened. Last night at around ten. He didn’t suffer in case you were wondering. The service will be Wednesday at St. Patrick’s followed by a reception at the house. Should we expect you?

Regards,

Mom

 

Write a story in the genre of Science Fiction inspired by a door sign reading 'No entry, do not knock on this door'.

May- Stephen Burns

He saw the sign; he knocked anyway, and a host of tiny, spidery robots appeared at the other side.  As he turned to run he knew it was already too late as they swarmed through the glass and carefully, thoughtfully, and without any trace of malice, slowly recycled him.

Use commuters on a tube wearing face masks as a prompt.

 

June- Janet Whyte

Six eyes strippin' me.  

They'd be starin' harder if they saw. 

Underneath.
But lustless and feart.

 

They leer; gallus wi' masked anonymity.

A smirk creeps under ma cooncil-issue mask, but ah dinnae let it reach ma eyes.

Ah'll keep ma truth hidden.


A duster roon yer gub stoaps nuthin. 

This month, we would like you to set your story in an airport

 

July- Nadia Naeem

“I’m checked in.” (Don’t cry)

“Gate’s up.” (Smile)

“I should go.” (Stop me)

“Got everything?” (Don’t go)

“Yes.” (Will you call?)

“Have a safe flight.” (Please call)

“Thanks for coming.” (I’ll miss you)

“What are friends for?” (I want to be more)

“Goodbye.” (I love you)

“Bye.” (I love you)

 Use a ringing telephone as a catalyst in your story.

August- Chris Martin

She buried John in the woods, wrapped in his coat.

After what he tried to do, she didn’t owe him more.

What if the police had decided it wasn’t self-defence?

The next morning, after her third shower, her phone rang.

A smiling picture and a name on the screen:

‘John’.

 

Write a story inspired by a grand house.

September- Jenny Scott

“Isn’t that your house Mr Ogilvie?”

“Hmm… ? No. I’ve never seen that picture before.”

The nurse gently picked up the old photograph from where it lay discarded on the floor and slid it in to her pocket. She’d return it on a good day. 

 

Write a story featuring a doppelganger.

 

 

October

All-age Category winning story by Georgia Lawe, @georgialawepr

Midnight: up, feed, wind, back down.

2.18am: up, change nappy, feed, wind, sick, clean, back down.

4.45am: up, rock, sshhh, feed, back down.

5.28am: up for the day.

 

Dress. Clean teeth. Mirror.

Grey. Bags. Wrinkles. Red eyes.

The new me stares back.

 

Will I ever be me again?

 

Young Writers Category winning story by Sara Nowak, age 16

He wondered why he'd said 'yes'.

Money. Mrs. Wormwood was rich.

She made him grow a beard. Start smoking. The way he moved, or spoke, or laughed-he had to change everything.

Then, his makeover was complete.

David smiled. He looked in the mirror, and late Henry Wormwood stared back.

 

Write a story about a superhero

 

November

All-age Category winning story by Craig Meighan (www.craigmeighan.com).

In a phone-booth he gingerly changed his clothes. 

Dr Spikes was at it again. 

Really they should’ve called someone else. But they didn't - they had called Tiny Fragile Haemophiliac Boy and here, at the International Broken Glass and Knife Symposium, he would stop Dr Spikes. 

If it killed him.


Young Writers Category winning story by Taylor Anderson, age 13.

My bloody shoes.

My guilt.

Is this what I had become?

My cape was torn.

My enemy lay on the ground.

Powers and magic had taken over me.

She screamed and shrieked.

As I put my hand up.

Powers shot out.

Her body flew across.

I am not a superhero.

 

Write a story set in a library.

 

 

November- Special Book Week Scotland round

Richie Brown

She smiled. "Did you like it?"

"Couldn’t put it down." he grinned. He hated Hemingway but wanted to get closer to the librarian. He’d checked out five books that week and had received a final warning for reading at work.

"How about War and Peace next?"

His face fell. "Okay…"

 

Write a story about an unwanted christmas present. 

 

 

December

All-age category winning story by Ian McLaren

Aunt Agatha's Christmas present to Joan was  another seasonal disaster....this time an ugly old china vase.

A charity shop might get a couple of quid for it thought Joan.

Months later a headline in the  local newspaper read .....'Two pound charity shop vase sells at auction for two million...'

 

Young Writers category winning story by Kieran Kejiou, aged 17

The rabbit. A soft, white toy with a note tied round its neck: 'For your little one'. And it watched her from the table beside her bed, as she lay in that cold ward. Her womb vacated, her arms empty, mourning on Christmas day. Sobbing beneath the rabbit’s gaze.

 

 

 

Typewriter image by Bob Doran from Flickr Creative Commons.