Young Creators!

KID-thinking-writingjpg

It’s been a wonderfully inspiring morning! Whilst preparing breakfasts, packed lunch, loading the washing machine I had the joy and honour of listening to the winning entries of this year’s BBC 500 Words short-story writing competition for children. The finale of the contest, which saw over a staggering 135,000 entries, was held at Hampton Court Palace and the Honorary judge was Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

Wow!

The ability and inventiveness of the children in their stories is astonishing. Their creativity, lyricism and themes were both heart-warming and funny. The Gold Winners in the 5-9 age category and the 10-13 age category were both stories I’d read from the short-list; both enthralling, very different but brilliantly written stories. These youngsters have so much to teach us all.  Below is the winning entry for the 10 – 13 age group. Enjoy.

Dancing on the Streets by Sadhbh Inman

Tai ya tai hi

 

Tai ya tai hi…

On a noisy, dusty road, a child’s bare brown feet are hardly noticed as she weaves in and out of the traffic, dodging cattle and halting at taxis. She presses her nose against the windows of vehicles carrying crowds of tourists. “Tissues ma’am, tissues sir, only ten rupees for a box”. Sita is small for a seven year old, but then seven year olds from the slums in Ahmedabad are often smaller than other children.

Tai ya tai hi

Tai ya tai hi…

The Bharata Natyam rhythm encourages her to dance, from car to lorry, lorry to rickshaw. On Sita’s tiny face a smile begins to form. She is so engrossed in the rhythm that she never misses a beat. A lady in a rickshaw spots her quick-footed movements and starts rummaging through her purse to find twenty rupees, “ten rupees for the tissues and ten for your dancing”.

Tai ya tai hi

Tai ya tai hi…

Sita is delighted about receiving that much money, and dances off to the tailor’s to get her Bharata Natyam dress made and her dream fulfilled. The tailor’s fingers work quickly with the silky, emerald fabric. The gleaming needle punctures the soft cotton cloth, creating neat rows of stitches. Sita watches as the dress is completed. Sita takes the dress, her eyes wide with excitement, her mouth open in anticipation. “That’s one hundred rupees child” the tailor says kindly. Sita carefully unfolds the notes she has been saving for over a year and with a hopeful sigh, hands them over.

“I’ll have that!” a voice booms. Sita stands, her back to the stranger. She strongly smells rum. “Oh! It can’t be” she murmurs. A dark shadow and fiery breath indicate his presence…”Uncle!” His eyes narrow menacingly, sending a shiver down Sita’s spine. “I’ll have that!” he booms again. Uncle takes the money off Sita. He turns around and slams the door behind him.

Sita knows it will be the end of her happiness. It feels like a part of her body is gone, fatally gone forever. Sita also knows that she should have given the money to Uncle, but it didn’t seem fair that he sent her to get money, to make him a rich man.

Tai ya tai hi

Tai ya tai hi…

On a noisy, dusty road, a child’s bare brown feet are hardly noticed as she weaves in and out of the traffic, dodging cattle and halting at taxis.

“Tissues ma’am, tissues sir …only ten rupees for a box”.

The 500 Words short-story writing competition for children contest started eight years ago and was originally created by Chris Evans, a Radio 2 presenter, and supported by the BBC, as well as this year by Oxford University Press and a multitude of volunteer readers. It is a competition that fosters not only the love of reading, but as evident here, the absolute joy of imagination and writing! To listen and read to all or some of the top 50 entries in both categories click here.

500

115 thoughts on “Young Creators!

  1. joylennick says:

    Thank you. Such a beautifully woven story – the beginning linking the end like that is well worth remembering. Such an adult mind in one so young. Poignant She’ll go far.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Joy, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. This circularity of a story is a wonderful technique and it is used to brilliant effect in this winning story. Her writing is very skilled and she is a mature writer tackling a difficult subject. ‘Beautifully woven’ describes it perfectly. We are in for a treat in the future I agree and Sadhbh Inman is sure to be a successful and fascinating writer.

  2. jjspina says:

    So young and so talented. These children have a long life ahead of them to create wondrous works of fiction and non-fiction. God bless them. Thank you for sharing, Annika. hugs xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Exactly, Janice! 😀 I’m so taken with the amazing possibilities and future of these young writers. I sure we will see more of some of them in the years to come – an uplifting thought! A joy to share here .. thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment. 🌺

  3. mysm2000 says:

    Reblogged this on Ms M's Bookshelf and commented:
    Annika has published the entire 500-word story that won in the age 10-13 category of the BBC’s 2018 short story contest. It is beautifully written and begins with a very upbeat mood but please do not miss that this child author is fully aware of modern slavery and its many predators’ disguises.

  4. Mike says:

    A very uplifting post Annika. It’s refreshing to hear some good news for once and the ability of these children is amazing and certainly gives hope for the future. This story also brings back memories of a back packing trip I took to India many moons ago where I saw this with my own eyes. Far too many young children on the streets either selling things or simply asking for money from passengers of cars, rickshaws and the odd camel cart. It opened my eyes to real poverty.

    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mike, thank you for bringing your personal experience in India to your comment. It must have been a real eye-opener and I am sure the experience of Sita is the norm as she has to hand over her money to her ‘Uncle’.

      It is uplifting and reassuring that creativity is such a strong force amongst the young – the bad press they receive does irritate me so it’s wonderful when an event like this receives national coverage. Yes, definitely gives one hope for the future and I am sure there are a few writers to watch out for in the years to come from this year’s entrants.

  5. Mabel Kwong says:

    This sounds lik quite the popular competition and as the others said, there are so many people who entered. So many of us writer’s want to share our works with the world. This story you have shared was so vividly written and each character’s emotions and plight were highlighted so succinctly in few words. We all want something in life, be it a better place to live or just more food to eat. Like the girl Sita, so many of us work so hard for it but sometimes what we work for gets taken away from us. And we still keep trying, keep hoping once again. Thank you for sharing this story which has such a wonderful message 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mabel, thank you so much for your lovely comment and thoughts! It’s lovely to see you here! 😀

      How true that the characters are captured brilliantly in just a few words, the ‘Uncle’ memorably described and the light and joy of Sita is conveyed in all her actions! It came as a huge twist to me when her precious dress was taken away – I realised I underestimated the writer and hadn’t expected this to happen – but wow, incredibly powerful and realistic I fear. I wondered if Sita headed out with the same hope or with resignation to her fate … maybe the reader is meant to make their own minds up.

      With such creative skill and energy this is a competition I will be following closely in the future.

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        The Uncle part did catch me too, was not expecting that. It’s a reminder to us that anything can happen anytime, things and dreams can get taken away from us. I’m inclined to think Sita is trying again…and also that’s just the way life is for her.

        Once again, thank you for sharing, Annika 🙂

  6. Clare Pooley says:

    This is indeed a fabulous competition and the number of entrants this year was phenomenal! I was unable to listen to the final, sadly. Thank you for including Sadhbh’s story – such skill to present this moving story in so few words!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Clare, I thought I’d misheard the number of entrants so went to check online! It’s heartwarming to know so many young people are keen to write and submit their stories!The final sounded fabulous and I wonder if they will ever televise the event – the back drop alone is fantastic and then so many well-known writers as well as the contestants of course. So happy to share the beautiful and tender winning story of the older age group.

  7. Davy D says:

    Thank you for showcasing this Annika, it is a wonderful competition and highlights what writing talent and creativity exists with young people. It gives hope that the talent for writing and discovery still shines brightly.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Absolutely, Davy! One of my pet peeves is when older people knock the youngsters of today … their creativity and zest for life is no different than any other generation and I think it’s shortsighted to think otherwise. Just the sheer volume of entries gives one great hope of the love of writing!

  8. Julie Holmes, author says:

    Wow! This is wonderful, and from someone so young! I was all excited for her to get her dress, and the twist (and well-“illustrated”) of the evil Uncle. So vivid, and though so short, very emotional. Well-deserved win, in my opinion. Thank you for sharing this, Annika!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Julie, Sadhbh descriptive detail is astonishing and you highlight her skill whilst describing the evil Uncle – sends shivers downs one spine in just two sentences! Incredibly skilful! Oh, the ending was so sad and moving – and unexpected which is brilliant! It’s been a delight to share this winning story … heartwarming to see and read such creativity in the next generation!

  9. Sue Dreamwalker says:

    I too Annika, listened live to the winning stories, We were in the car on our way into Derbyshire to Chatsworth House RHS Flower Show.. And some of them had me in tears.. Did you hear the one written about the Robin in remembrance of his Gran.. Wow, that one held me in tears..

    The story you have highlighted in this winning category was brilliantly scripted in that its descriptive words brought the images of her dancing feet along the dusty road into view, Along with looming Shadow of ‘Uncle’

    Showing how Dreams were yearned for and how Adults exploit Children into their selfish gains.. Something we know is prevalent in India..

    Many thanks Annika for sharing.. The Children of today are So so inspiring don’t you think.. 🙂
    I know my granddaughters school also took part.. 🙂

    Love and Blessings my friend ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Sue, I hope you had a most amazing time at Chatsworth House RHS Flower Show – I’m not jealous (well, just a little!) Are you writing a post about it? Please send a link in case I miss it! I’m a member of RHS this year for the first time but so far only had time for one garden although hopefully visiting Wisley in a couple of weeks!

      Yeah, lovely to hear another live listener and you were in the perfect place to listen and absorb in peace. I must have missed the Robin story you mention. There were so many wonderful, imaginative stories I would share them all if there was space! Yes, I find the children of today incredibly inspiring and it is reassuring to hear others say this too. Often the media will concentrate on the negative and miss all the wonderful creativity of the young!

      How lovely that your granddaughters took part as well … the shools are very supportive and I can imagine the fun lessons! Love & hugs xx❤️

      • Sue Dreamwalker says:

        Thank you Annika.. Yes the story was taken from a young boys view of visiting his dying gran, ( he wrote from the perceptive she was going away, and he wanted to know how he could keep in touch.. and she told him she would send him a robin,as the robin would be her messenger to tell her what he was doing.. By the end you can tell I so needed a tissue.. 🙂
        And yes Annika I agree. Its wonderful Radio 2 promote young writers this way, and there are some wonderfully talented youngsters out there.. And Teens.. ( thinking of your Son.. ) 🙂
        And yes Chatsworth will make an appearance in due course I am sure..
        Though getting motivated…

        I have been two days trying to put a Quote challenge together.. LOL.. I am afraid Nature is winning the battle verse the internet at the moment. .. 🙂
        Sending Love and hugs your way.. xxx ❤ 🙂

  10. booksandbakes1 says:

    This is just fabulous! For me it’s a real joy to see that writing is still promoted to the young. We need the next generation of writers coming through! Hope you’re well x

    • Annika Perry says:

      Charley, I wonder what ability creative writing you see at your school? Is there still a love of the writing fiction amongst the older students? The stories by these children are fantastic, full of imagination and description. I am sure we will read more by Sadhbh and hopefully some other contestants too in the future.There are so many more opportunities for young writers these days in competitions as this one, events in libraries, bookshops etc – all which instil the magic of writing!

      I’m fine just very busy writing, with ‘life’ & friends, family (including university visits with my Y12 son)! The days fly by at frightening speed. Good luck to all your exam students!

      • booksandbakes1 says:

        We have a Young Writers’ group which meet once a week after school. They’ve been working with an author to create their own anthology which is amazing. Also, part of the new GCSE is creative writing. We do creative prose which is where they have to write a narrative but it needs to be ‘a day in the life of’. We run a few competitions too to promote writing. It’s surprising how many children don’t feel confident with writing.
        Hope the writing is going well. Make sure you take care of yourself though. The English exams are done now. Such a relief! Just got to hold on until the summer now. 6 weeks…

        • Annika Perry says:

          Wow! What wonderful opportunities for your young writers and I’m envious! Working with a local Author to publish their own anthology. The new part of the GCSE would have been my dream exam…oh well … glad it’s there now for everyone! Not long until the summer for you … and hopefully lots of reading time! 😀

          • booksandbakes1 says:

            I’m really pleased. We are having a big launch party for their anthology which is so lovely.
            At least it’s giving the next generation inspiration to be writers. We need to keep planting the seed so it long continues.
            Can’t wait – on my last legs I think! Xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Kathy, how true – incredibly emotional which starts light and tender, full of hope and dreams, only for them to be shattered. Touches one heart and stays there, I feel!

  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    Sadhbh is a brilliant writer. To have such understanding at such a young age and to be able to write it is a daunting achievement. I’m chilled as I read her story.

    I’m also struck by how much this young girl understands of the ugly and dishonest adult world. She shouldn’t but this is a fact, that children know about abuse. And kids suffer, not only second hand as they watch their parents be used by bullies, but are abused as well by first hand experiences.

    She has written a story but also a declaration, an instance when storytelling can make a difference. May someone with power read her tale and do something to end the abuse.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Wow! Shari, your comment is a declaration in itself! I was speechless when reading your comment first and concur whole-heartedly with everything you write. Sadhbh’s writing is brilliant and this is what struck me first. But as with great writing there are so many depths to the story. Her detail, knowledge and description of the exploitation is something we might not want children to know about, but it exists, and if stories such as these can make an impression and effect a tiniest of change that would be wonderful. In the meantime, I think this is a writer to watch for the future, as she becomes better known, her range of influence will hopefully grow as well.

      Thank you so much for taking your time to read and comment with such depth and thought.

  12. hilarymb says:

    Hi Annika – brilliant story … and sadly so true … and I must listen to these competitions when I return to the UK – I know I can do it now … but lots of other things going on here … cheers Hilary

    • Annika Perry says:

      Hi Hilary! Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comment. The stories are wonderfully read and are a delight to listen to when you have a chance. Hope things will calm down for you and that you’re having a good summery June. 😀🌻

    • Annika Perry says:

      Carol, I know! What an ending and totally unexpected… I had to reread it a couple of times and by then I needed some of those tissues! A brilliant story by her and one that can teach us a lot too! As always, a joy to share here! Hope all is well with you, Carol and wishing you a lovely week! 🌺🌻

    • Annika Perry says:

      Andrea, I hope so too! 😀 The very act of writing and submitting is a huge step and I’m sure quite a few have caught that writing bug! I’m sure this young writer is one we will see more of in the future!

  13. Baydreamer says:

    Wow, what an amazing talent for such a young age, Annika. The story conveys truth that many of us aren’t aware of or haven’t experienced, but is written so well and poignantly. It’s heart-breaking to visualize children suffering in any way, shape, or form. On a lighter note, it’s awe-inspiring to see so many young writers. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, my friend, and enjoy your day. 💕🌼

    • Annika Perry says:

      Lauren, you highlight the dichotomy of emotions so well. The vast amount of entries from all these keen writers is something to be celebrated by us all! This winning entry is astonishing on so many levels I agree … the subject matter handled so sensitively, the brilliant writing, descriptions. I felt rather naive and innocent as you correctly say that this isn’t something most of us will have any direct experience of … the value and power of writing should never be underestimated! Hoping you’re having a lovely start to the week! Here it is very warm, but I refuse to complain! Heavenly! 🌺🌻

  14. Behind the Story says:

    Thank you for sharing Sadhbh’s story with us, Annika. I saw many such children selling gum or cigarettes or trinkets on the highways in Manila. I suspect Sadhbh also saw the scene often if he lived in or visited India. Some people become blind to suffering they see every day. He didn’t, and he turned his sympathy into a story. I’m glad this contest gave him a chance to share the story.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Nicki, you can obviously recognise this scene from your personal experience and you describe it so well. From her wonderful details in the story I feel that Sadhbh must have seen some of this herself and her compassion and empathy is so touching. A wonderful entry and worthy winner!

  15. Jacqui Murray says:

    As a teacher, I rarely but sometimes stumble upon a child who can write like that. It’s the difference between being a storyteller and a fiction writer. What he does there, drawing readers in, is huge.

    BTW, it’s what I describe you as when I rave about your book to others. You’re a storyteller.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jacqui, bless you for that … now I’m smiling away!😊 Thank you so much for all your wonderful support and kindness! ❤️

      Blimey, can you imagine the first adult / teacher who first read this … their screech of wow must have echoed around the building! The writing is almost magnetic, the pull is so powerful, the writing seamless and tender, flowing. I feel she is using all these amazing techniques but no idea that is what’s she’s doing – a natural storyteller!

  16. mysm2000 says:

    Beautifully written with a deceptively upbeat beginning and sad that someone so young is aware of child slavery in our modern-day world. Perhaps this story will help to spread awareness and help to end this obscene practice. Amazing writing.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much for your great comment. You bring out the hidden depths of the story and yes, the exploitation of these young people, effectively child slavery. It is astonishing how aware the girl is of the subject. I would ask her about the background to the story, what inspired her to write it. It can only be a positive force the more stories and articles there are highlighting this issue. The writing is indeed amazing and I think this strikes one first so the subject matter catches up a second or so later.

  17. robbiecheadle says:

    This is a very sad story and the most poignant part is that it is probably true. An amazing writing effort by so young a child.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Robbie, on my first reading I was shocked by the ending … so sad and even more so that a child wrote it and recognises there are such harsh and injustice actions in life. I think her heart will have gone out of her dance now that her dream was snatched from her.

  18. Wai Mei says:

    That’s a beautiful entry! I know from working with children than they feel things more profoundly than we would guess… but it’s always a pleasant surprise to see the inner workings of their minds.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment and reflections and insight from working with children. How true that often we forget the depth and wisdom of their young souls – it is astonishing to read such a beautiful, skilled and touching story.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Definitely a winner, Bette! 😃 The mind boggles at the huge number of entries but they have regional readers across the country … the short-list is sent down to the final judges! A joy to share here!

  19. roughwighting says:

    The fact that that these many children wrote these many stories and felt courageous enough to send them in is enough to show that the world is on an upswing. Truly. With the talent in this story is also shown compassion and empathy. All the things that we need to help our world go round in love.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Pam, what a wonderful uplifting comment; filled with warmth and love! How true that the compassion of this winning entry, and so many others, gives one a real hope for the world, that their positive energy will reach out and touch others. From so many participants this is a real possibility. And yes, as we all know, it takes a lot of courage to submit one’s work – and young children they feel this even more keenly. Very impressive and inspiring! 😊 Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend! ❤️

      • roughwighting says:

        With the help of great teachers, I’m hoping students gain confidence while young that will help them write and share on into their adult years. Wish we’d had that confidence back then, yes? xo

  20. balroop2013 says:

    Since the story has an Indian setting, Ahmedabad is a city in Gujarat (India) I feel the story is inspired from the Hindi movie “Traffic signal,” which depicts the life of poor children who are pushed into selling their wares at the traffic signals, which is an organised racket with wide tentacles. The movie is available for free viewing if you are a prime member or can be watched at Youtube too free, with English subtitles.
    Thanks for sharing this story Annika, such contests encourage children to write with panache. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Balroop, thank you so much for adding some extra insight into the story and its possible background. I’ve watched a bit of the film and want to see it all on TV. It is an incredibly harsh life and the glint of joy, a dream for the girl in the story, was snatched away. I feel it is a mature and wise 500 words, tenderly conveyed. ‘Panache’ is just the word! A lovely weekend so far – hope the same for you! 🌸🌼

  21. D. Wallace Peach says:

    I’m astonished, Annika. A 10-13 year old wrote that? Wow! I love the size of the competition, the enthusiasm for stories and writing, the thrill of seeing a new generation of writers who love words. Yay. Thanks so much for sharing. You made my day. ❤

    • Annika Perry says:

      Diana, your enthusiasm matches mine, I notice!! 😀 The quantity (and quality) of the entries is staggering and I had to do a double take to make sure I hadn’t misheard/misread! It gives one hope to know that so many thousands of young souls have a love for the written word and want to create new worlds, stories for us all to enjoy. Even if their passion for writing isn’t sustained into adulthood, their passion for life and creativity will hopefully remain to be channeled elsewhere.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mae, the writing of many of the stories is mind-blowing and this is particularly wonderful, sensitive and imaginative. Sweeps the reader up and away in the story!

  22. Curt Mekemson says:

    Very impressive, Annika. I am ever amazed at the creativity of children. Kid’s art, in whatever form, always captures me. The forever challenge is how to encourage and maintain that creativity. Thanks much. –Curt

    • Annika Perry says:

      Curt, you’ve perceptively highlighted the main issue of creativity – whilst many have a natural joy and ability to be creative, this seems to become lost during later school years and adulthood. Time, tests, rules, expectations seems to get in the way. It takes a determined youngster, often with support, to continue on this path. For young writers there are a lot more competitions/encouragement than ever before, particularly aimed at the under 25s.

      • Curt Mekemson says:

        “For young writers there are a lot more competitions/encouragement than ever before, particularly aimed at the under 25s…” Which is good news, Annika. I particularly like your comment on support. A good mentor makes a world of difference. –Curt

  23. Tiny says:

    Wonderful creativity! I am happy your writers are encouraged by competitions like this. I am currently mentoring a young (11 y.o.) writer, who is very talented and creative as well. She has written (by hand) several illustrated, humorous short stories, now bound as story books by her mom. She has recently started writing on an iPad and is hoping to get published soon 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Wow! Helen, this is wonderful and how inspiring for you to be working with such a young writer!😀 Their fresh and creative take on the world, their passion is amazing-I hope it goes very well for her. She is lucky with so much support from you and her mother. Those handwritten & illustrated stories will be preicious to her in the years to come … tell her to keep them safe! Are there many competitions for young writers in Florida or nearby? There seems quite a lot in the UK at the moment and the schools are very supportive of these, which helps a lot.

    • Annika Perry says:

      A punch-line I was not expecting, which is just what you want for most stories! The rhythm mimics the girls movements beautifully and I would love to discuss with the writer if this is intentional or just ‘happened’. Beautiful touch, whichever way!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Nahla, a joy to share her winning story and it’s easy to see why it won Gold! Wonderful story and writing … so many nuances and themes dancing along with the girl!

  24. rijanjks says:

    Wow, Annika! You are so right. We have much to learn from these tiny teachers. This line is an example: “The gleaming needle punctures the soft cotton cloth, creating neat rows of stitches.” She could have said the tailor sewed neat rows of stitches, but with her descriptive and creative words, she gave us such a vivid picture. Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jan, that sentence stood out to me too … and you’ve picked a brilliant example how to turn writing into creative writing! The verb is full of force and power against the soft cloth, lovely contrast and full of action. The whole story has a cinematographic feel to it! Inspiring, isn’t it?! 😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      I’d read the story earlier in the week along with quite a few of the others, but hearing it win and read aloud, I just had to share here! So happy it’s touched so many. 😀

  25. Miriam says:

    So much creative talent and indeed this story can really can teach us a lot. Children are so incredibly perceptive aren’t they? Wonderful example of heartwarming talent. Thanks for sharing Annika. 💕

    • Annika Perry says:

      ‘Heartwarming talent’ sums up their work perfectly, Miriam! 😀 Not only a wonderfully touching story, but written with such style, grace and description. Captivating!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Brigid, I love how the number of entries doesn’t deter any of the young-their wonderful enthusiasm for writing seems to be enough. Of course, to win is an amazing accolade and boost for the confidence and all future writing projects. Having a lovely Saturday – wishing you a great weekend too! 🌼🌸

  26. delphini510 says:

    Thank you Annika for posting this wonderful story, it is astonishingly good and I feel
    I would be happy to write with this easy excellence.
    The story is so happy in spite of the hard work the girl is doing. She dances to the rhythm between cars and rickshaws selling her tissues.

    The sad part when the dress is taken from her stops the song.

    Glad you had the radio on this morning and paid attention. Thus you could give us this. 💕 .
    -~ miriam

    • Annika Perry says:

      Miriam, ‘easy excellence’ sums up the writing style perfectly … it flows and moves just as the dance on the road. The ending was a sad unexpected shock and one can’t help but feel for the girl whose dream has been shattered.

      It’s been a pleasure to share here … as this was a story I’d read earlier in the week and when I heard it won, I knew I wanted to share it here. So glad you enjoyed the morning read! Hope you’re having an amazing Sunday!
      hugs xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jill, I had to double-check the number of entries as it is phenomenal! 😀 It’s inspiring how the young are embracing their creativity. The girl (I should have made that clear) is fantastically talented and a writer to watch in the future.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Ashen, I hope you have a wonderful time reading more of the entries – a rewarding visit! How true about the rhythm of the writing … to match the dancing I assume. I wonder if this was written with thought or just came about?

  27. Bernadette says:

    This story heartened me on so many levels. First, that someone so young has so much talent and second that someone so young writes with such compassion. Thank you Annika for making my day.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Bernadette, as you wrote on your post, we made each other’s day! 😀❤️ The love and compassion in this story is incredible and so moving … almost humbling. The writing is superb, balanced & imaginative.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Radhika, it is wonderful when children are encouraged to harness their creativity, given the room to let it flow and develop. The competition is part of the UK pshyche now, most primary schools become invovled. That is the way go! 😀

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