February Competition: Winners and Jude Evans’ Adjudication

 

We were very fortunate to welcome Jude Evans from Little Tiger Press as our adjudicator for February.

The number of entries has grown again this month and was an amazing 42!

Jude’s involvement inspired many members to enter more than once. I was amused by the titles of some of the pieces but I’m sure Jude chose the winners with an expert eye. Jude’s comments are below, her choice of winners is:

1st Place

Sophie by Andy J Steele

2nd Place

Marcelo Wakes the Jungle Up by Kate Prince

3rd Place

Ten Little Acorns by Kristin Tridimas

Highly Commended:

The Monster of the Wood by Rob Iliffe

The Boy who Couldn’t Read by Caroline Meech

Congratulations to all.

I have noticed that some of you are anxious that your entries reach us and sometimes I take a couple of days to reply – apologies. I have set up an automatic reply so that you know your work has got through but I will come back to you ASAP if anything is wrong with your entry.

Next months competition is to write:

A single-page synopsis, any topic. (350 words)

The adjudicator will be Becky Bagnall, literary agent from Lindsay Literary Agency.

Keep writing,

Sharon

 

1st Place

Sophie by Andy J Steele

‘An original and funny story of friendship, rivalry and moral values, Sophie has an unexpected twist that encourages the reader to think twice about jumping to conclusions. The writing is fresh and vibrant, with a fluid, natural rhyming scheme and a delightfully surreal turn of phrase, shown aptly in the stanza:

So now I sit alone,

In a corner of the class,

Where my only friend’s a pencil,

And I don’t think that’ll last.’  Jude Evans.

 

Sophie                        By Andy J Steele

Sophie is so smart.

Sophie is so cool.

Sophie runs a business

at break-times in school.

 

Sophie is so pretty –

and always full of charm.

Everybody likes her;

she’s the Bestest Girl by far.

 

Megan’s Dad’s a lawyer,

but Sophie’s is a rock star.

Dani rides a scooter,

but Sophie owns a car.

 

Sophie’s good at everything.

Sophie’s just the best.

But the more I sit around her,

The more I feel distressed.

 

‘My party was on an island,

way out into the sea.

I found some hungry people

and had them round to tea.

 

‘I gave them all my presents.

They couldn’t thank me more.

They flew us in their spaceship

and left me one to store!’

 

‘Argh!’ I wailed; a desperate sigh.

‘I’ve got a bleeding nose.’

And if I stay around your lies

it’ll surely end in blows.

 

‘I’ve climbed the highest mountain…

I’ve sailed the seven seas…

I’ve got a talking lion…

I walked a bridge made out of bees.

 

‘My best friend’s a princess

in a far and distant land,

where together we’ve made water

from the driest sand.’

 

‘NO – YOU – HAVEN’T!’ I shook my head.

‘I beg of you to stop.

If I hear one more lie from you,

my head might just go POP!’

 

With a hundred faces staring,

She took a bag of sand.

She dropped it in a funnel –

and from it water ran.

 

So now I sit alone,

In a corner of the class,

Where my only friend’s a pencil,

And I don’t think that’ll last.

 

Sophie’s playing football,

She’s taking on all teams

by playing in all positions;

She’s not the liar it seems.

 

She scores a dozen goals,

Appears destined for the squad,

But the teacher doesn’t pick her;

Lily has it by a nod.

 

She sees me watching and comes across;

I try to look away.

‘I know you hate me,’ she starts to say.

‘I hope we’re friends some day.’

 

I can’t stay mad. She’s got That Look.

I hope she doesn’t cry.

‘You’ll get used to losing,

but only if you try.’

 

Now Sophie’s in America;

She might be gone all term,

She’s won the Nobel Peace Prize:

Some people never learn!

 

2nd Place

Marcelo Wakes the Jungle Up by Kate Prince

‘With its unusual cast of characters, including a snub-nose monkey, loris, mouse deer and leopard, this is charming story woven from the intriguing characteristic of the snub-nose monkey hero: that if rain lands on their upturned noses, it makes them sneeze. The characterisation and dialogue are strong and the playful use of language would delight children.’ Jude Evans

 

Marcelo Wakes the Jungle Up By Kate Prince.

DRIP-DROP

DRIP-DROP

SPLISH-SPLOSH

SPLISH-SPLOSH

 

DEEP in the rain forests of Northern Burma, Marcelo the snub-nose monkey and his friends Ramone, the Hog Badger and Clara and Kitty, the Striped-Squirrel twins, were walking to Myanmar Primary School for Jungle Animals, when it started to rain.

 

‘Quick Marcelo take cover!’ Ramone shouted.

 

But it was too late!

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooooo!’

 

‘Oh No I’ve started sneezing,’ Marcelo shouted.

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooooo!’

Poor Marcelo is allergic to rain!

 

BOX OUT: (optional)

Snub-nose monkeys live in the rain forests of Northern Burma; as well as up-turned noses, which cause them to sneeze when it rains, they have protruding ear tufts, a white moustache and beard.

In the rain they often put their head between their legs to keep dry!

 

‘WHAT ever is this terrible disturbance?’

 

It was Doris the Loris!

 

She did not seem happy.

 

‘This is the second morning you have woken me up,’ she huffed.

 

‘Sorry,’ Marcelo explained, ‘but each time a rain falls on my nose I sneeze.’

And, as if to prove the point, he started to sneeze again

 

Aitishoooooooooooooooo!

 

Ramone and Clara started to laugh but Doris was not amused.

 

As the friends carried on walking, the rain kept getting heavier.

 

DRIP-DROP

DRIP-DROP

SPLISH-SPLOSH

SPLISH-SPLOSH

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!’

 

Clara handed Marcelo a hankie.

 

‘Excuse me,’ they heard a small voice.

 

It was Deidre the Mouse Deer!

 

‘I’m sorry to bother you but I’m trying to sleep and your sneezes are so loud.’

 

‘sorry,’ he whispered, ‘’l promise I’ll try to stop sneezing.’

 

But, as hard as he tried, Marcelo just could not stop!

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!’

 

‘Shhhh,’ Kitty whispered, ‘there are some animals that we DEFINITELY DO NOT want to wake up.’

 

They all nodded in agreement.

 

They carried on walking through the undergrowth, past the creek and the crumbling pagodas.

 

Marcelo sneezed and sneezed.

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!’

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!’

 

‘What is this DREADFUL noissssssssssssse?’

 

It was Drake the Snake!

 

‘I am trying to SSSsssnoozze!’ he said.

 

‘Sorry Drake, I mean Mr Snake,’ Ramone replied, ‘we are TRYING really hard to be quiet.’

 

‘Not hard enough now ……Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I want peacccccccccccce and quiet,’ and he slithered grumpily off.

 

‘Let’s hope the snake is the most dangerous animal Marcelo wakes up with his sneezing,’ Clara whispered to Kitty.

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!’

 

All of a sudden the little group heard a loud and very angry GROWL!

 

‘What is that unbearable racket?’ the voice roared.

 

Very slowly, Ramone, Marcelo, Clara and Kitty looked up.

 

It was Victor the Leopard!

 

He was lounging in a tree.

 

‘Oh no,’ Whispered Kitty.

 

‘I am trying to sleep,’ he roared again angrily.

 

Victor stretched his legs and yawned, flicking his tail in Marcelo’s face. The fur made Marcelo sneeze again.

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!’

 

‘Is it breakfast time already?’ Victor licked his lips. ‘I’m feeling rather peckish.’

 

‘Quick ………………..RUN. I think the Victor wants to eat us……,’ Ramone shouted.

 

Marcelo, Ramone, Kitty and Clara ran and ran, as fast as they could, until they got to the forest clearing.

 

‘We’ll have to find a different way to school,’ Kitty panted.

 

‘There isn’t one,’ Ramone gasped.

 

‘We’ll have to be very quiet then,’ Clara squealed.

 

They all looked at Marcelo!

 

‘But I can’t help sneezing,’ Marcelo whaled.

 

Later that day, when lessons were over, the friends walked nervously towards the clearing

 

It had started to rain again and poor Marcelo began to sneeze again.

 

‘Aitishoooooooooooooooo!

 

‘Shhhhhhhhhhh,’ his friends shouted.

 

But Doris, Deidre, Drake and Victor were already waiting at the edge of the jungle.

 

‘OH NO WE IS FOR IT NOW,’ Ramone shouted, ‘QUICK … RUN!’

 

‘Wait!’ Deirdre shouted, ‘Please wait. We’ve got Marcelo a present.’

 

And there, on the ground was a brightly coloured umbrella.

 

Marcelo opened it up and waved it over his head.

 

‘It’s Beautiful,’ Marcelo shouted.

 

Clara, Kitty and Romone began to dance under it

 

‘Thisssssssssss might finally give us some sssssssssssssssssssome peace and quiet and I might be able to get some ssssssssssleeeeep,’ Drake muttered.

 

‘And I ‘grumbled Doris.

 

‘Thank you,’ Marcelo shouted, ‘this will definitely stop me from sneezing.

 

‘And I will definitely sleep through breakfast now,’ Victor winked.

 

3rd Place

Ten Little Acorns by Kristin Tridimas

‘Ten Little Acorns is an economical twist on a familiar children’s rhyme, blending elements of fiction and non-fiction in a clever and accessible way. It introduces facts about the life cycle of trees in parallel with a visual narrative showing the development of our human world: how our landscape, our fashions and our homes change down the generations, during the life span of one great oak tree’ Jude Evans

Ten Little Acorns by Kristin Tridimas

Ten Little Acorns

 

Page 3                                                                      Illustrations

Title page.                                                                Picture of oak tree.

 

Spread 1

Page 4

Ten little acorns on an old oak tree,                          Oak tree with 10 acorns.

Brown and ripe and as shiny as can be.

 

Page 5

One little acorn falls on stony ground.                      Acorn on gravel path.  Boy and girl on path

                                                                                 wearing Edwardian

                                                                                 clothes.

 

Spread 2

Page 6 (top)

Leaves nine little acorns hanging around.                Oak tree with 9 acorns.

 

Page 6 (bottom)

Nine little acorns on an old oak tree,

Brown and ripe and as shiny as can be.

 

Page 7

One little acorn is carried away.                               Squirrel taking nut.

                                                                                 Boy and girl watching.

 

 

Spread 3

Page 8 (top)

So eight little acorns are all that stay.                        Oak tree with 8 acorns.

 

Page 8 (bottom)

Eight little acorns on an old oak tree,

Brown and ripe and as shiny as can be.

 

Page 9

One little acorn is pecked by a crow.                        Crow with nut in beak.

                                                                                 Boy and girl play in

                                                                                 background.

 

Spread 4

Page 10 (top)

Seven little acorns hang in a row.                            Oak tree with 7 acorns.

 

Page 10 (bottom)

Seven little acorns on an old oak tree,

Brown and ripe and as shiny as can be.

 

Page 11

One little acorn is used in a game.                            Boy and girl use it as

                                                                                 stone in hopscotch.

 

 

 

 

Spread 5

Page 12 (top)

Leaves six little acorns – what a shame!                    Oak tree with 6 acorns.

 

Page 12 (bottom)

Six little acorns on an old oak tree,

Brown and ripe and as shiny as can be.

 

Page 13

One little acorn’s taken by the flood.                         Torrential rain, gushing

                                                                                 water. In background,

                                                                                 boy and girl are splashing in puddles.

 

Spread 6

Page 14

Five little acorns are left in the mud.                          Tree bare, nuts below.

 

Page 15

Five little acorns grow a tiny shoot.                                   Germination.

Deep in the ground they form a tiny root.

 

Spread 7

Page 16                                                                    Double page -16 &17

Five little acorns now begin to grow,                        Pages divided into four

All through the year in sunshine and in snow.          seasons – seedling gets

                                                                                 a bit bigger in each.

 

Spread 8

Page 18

Five little oak trees reach up to the sky.                   

They want to grow tall and leafy and high.

 

Page 19

One little oak tree’s bitten by the frost.                       Fifth tiny tree, leaves

Leaves four little oak trees and one is lost.               dead and brown, frosty

                                                                                 scene. Girl and boy in

                                                                                 scarves and hats – a bit

                                                                                 bigger – different hair?

 

Spread 9

Page 20 (top)

One year later …

                                    Page 20 (bottom)

Four little oak trees reach up to the sky.

They want to grow tall and leafy and high.

 

Page 21

One little oak tree is trampled and torn.                    Girl and boy playing,

Three little oak trees are left all forlorn.                     accidentally step on

                                                                                 fourth small tree.

 

 

 

 

Spread 10

Page 22 (top)

Twenty years later …

                                                                                

Page 22 (bottom)

Three biggish oak trees reach up to the sky.

Already they’re growing leafy and high.

 

Page 23

One biggish oak tree is cleared for a wall.               Third middle-sized tree

Two biggish oak trees are left to grow tall.                is lying on ground with

                                                                                 man and small girl in

                                                                                 thirties clothes looking at it. There is a big brick

                                                                                 wall and houses behind.

Spread 11

Page 24 (top)

Fifty years later …

                                                                                

Page 24 (bottom)

Two giant oak trees reach up to the sky.

Already they’re growing leafy and high.

 

Page 25

One giant oak tree is chopped down for wood.                Second tall tree being

One lone oak tree grows as big as it should.           sawn up. Big machinery.

                                                                                 Great-grandfather,

                                                                                 grandmother, father and

                                                                                 baby watching. 1980s.

Spread 12

Page 26 (top)

One hundred years later …                                     Double page spread.   Tall oak tree with ten

                                                                                 acorns, like picture p.4

                                                                                 except is in small park

                                                                                 between housing estate and road. Sun shines.

Page 26 (bottom)                                                     A girl and boy in modern clothes play in play area of park.

 One tall oak tree at the edge of the wood,            They are watched by great-grandmother, grandfather and mother.                                                            

Grows ten little acorns and that is good.                      

The sun shines down after plenty of rain.                                                                                    

The acorns swell and we begin again. 

 

 

 

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