Announcing The Winners of Our Short Story Competition

Here at Print Express we wanted to celebrate creative storytelling – and so we ran a children’s short story competition. And we received hundreds of incredible, fantastic and brilliantly imaginative stories from children all around the country. Our judges have been busy reading through each entry, and today we’re delighted to announce our winners!

In the 5-9 age category, the winner is Rhianna Baines from Dereham Church of England Junior Academy with her story Rhianna & The Dragon Egg!

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Rhianna and the Dragon Egg

One day, when she was walking along the Beach with her family, Rhianna found a small pebble washed up on the shore. She had been looking for stones for skimming with her dad but this one was different! It was perfectly smooth and was purple and yellow!

Rhianna carefully placed it into her bucket for safety and, as soon as she got home, placed it in a box of tissue paper ready for show and tell at school the next day.

The following morning Rhianna stood up in front of all her friends and showed them her unusual pebble but all her friends thought it was silly and laughed at her. Embarrassed, Rhianna sadly put the rock back in the box on her desk and tried to concentrate on the rest of the lesson.

In the afternoon cracking noises were suddenly heard from the box, Rhianna lifted the lid very carefully and inside, to her surprise, was a tiny baby dragon! Her pebble… was a dragon egg!! Rhianna carefully lifted the dragon out of the box and held it gently in her arms, it snuggled into her jumper and licked at her nose.

The teacher called for Rhianna’s mum to come down to the school, only for her mum to be speechless when she heard the tale and even more shocked to actually see a baby dragon wrapped around her youngest daughter’s shoulders!

Rhianna was taken home and took the dragon into her bedroom. She made it a cosy bed from a cardboard box by putting blankets and cushions inside and the dragon climbed in and snuggled up. Rhianna placed a small bowl of milk inside and, with only one lick, the dragon had amazingly drunk the whole lot!

When her dad got home from work there was a big discussion about what had happened at school and what to do with the dragon. Rhianna begged them to let her look after it and after a long talk, they decided that they would have to find a way to keep it, after all it was only a baby!

So, the dragon stayed…but it grew and it grew every day. It got far too big even for Rhianna’s room! So, they made the dragon its own room… in the garage. It became very helpful, one day when dad’s car wouldn’t start it flew him to work (although I don’t think dad enjoyed it very much!) and the steam that came out of its nose kept the house lovely and warm.

The dragon became part of the family, it was just like any other pet really – apart from it was really big and could breathe smoke and fly!

Everyone was very happy and content, until one morning the family came downstairs in a mad rush trying to get ready for work and school, only to freeze in shock on finding a very tired but happy dragon in the garage…

…sitting on a huge pile of eggs!!!! (uh oh!!!)

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In the 10-13 age category, the winner is Eve Mintoft from The Royal School with her story Lost for Words!

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Lost For Words

They took down the sign today. It was found by the path that led down to what once was a river- the one that nobody uses because of the spider-like tendrils of grass that engulfed the path’s bare surface, long ago.

I had known of its existence for a while now; the whole town had, and yet nobody had come to think of it as a threat. The vast majority of us couldn’t read it even if we wanted to, and the ones that could were too old and too frail to even think about coming down to Bogsdown Trails.

I stood watching as the Keepers, hired by the government, dug up the first pole, taking it out in one large, sweeping motion and shoving it onto the back of their poorly-cleaned white van. The Keeper logo had nearly completely rubbed off, and it seemed they were giving the sign as much effort as they were at keeping the van in good condition.

To most people, the discovery of a sign was a big deal. There weren’t many left, especially in the cities, but nobody really cares much about a town like Bogsdown. I shivered, the veins in my pale hands emptying themselves of blood and filling themselves with ice. There were a few dozen people here, maybe a quarter of the town’s population had come just to see the remains of long lost civilisation taken away. I had no interest in being here; it was the very last thing I wanted to do, but I had to keep under the radar- especially with everything that was going on.
I expected they’d kill the mayor: a quick and easy procedure with the licensing the government had. It’s true that the mayor had known of the sign, and according to the government, that was death-worthy. Words are a dangerous thing, especially now, more than ever.

Words, written in any form, are deadly. After years of war and ruin, it was decided that words were the very reason our world was a catastrophe. A world without words was ideal: it was a utopia, a perfect place for humanity to live. At least, that’s what they told us, anyway.

Sixteen years ago, on January the first at exactly 00:00, it was decreed that literature would no longer be taught to anybody. If anything was found with writing, the owner would be killed. If literature was being taught in secret, they would be killed. Writing became a distant memory, one filled with deep, dark secrets. I was born on January first at 00:01, the first child ever to grow up into this new, perfect world.

It all worked for a while, the people who had already been educated were given treatment to help them… adjust… and we all just let technology take over.
That’s when the cracks started to show through.

But I’ve got an idea, one that could change everything, but one that could also lead to my death…

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A huge congratulations to both Rhianna and Eve, who have each won a £50 book token for themselves and a £175 book token for their school libraries.

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