Tamworth’s winning authors of the children’s short story competition are announced


Winners for the Tamworth Arts and Events short story competition have been announced, after the judges’ difficult task of choosing the winners from nearly 50 entries written by young writers across the borough.

Wonderful tales of unicorns, pigs, horses, dragons, dark forests and Tamworth Castle were submitted as part of the competition for budding young authors. The stories needed to have a maximum of 500 words, on a topic of choice – with the only criteria being that it had to include Tamworth somewhere in the tale.

Youngsters across the town, all competed for a range of prizes including an Amazon Fire 7 iPad, theatre tickets, book vouchers and the fantastic opportunity to have their story read out by local celebrities, plus seeing their tales printed in the Tamworth Herald newspaper.

The challenge was set by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, who have been busily sharing links, tips, resources and ideas to help keep families busy during the lockdown.

The competition was supported by local children’s authors Katie Pointon and Ben Davis and has been split into four age categories: 5-9, 10-13, 14-16 and 17-19.

The winners of the four categories are:

5-9 years – 9-year-old Cavan Roe, with his story titled ‘The Premier Dream.’

10-13 years – 10-year-old Ella-Mai Gibson with ‘WW1 Diary.’

14-16 years – 16-year-old Lucy Walton with ‘Ash and Bones.’

17-19 years – 17-year-old Gabriella Shackles with ‘Escape.’

Adey Ramsel, Theatre, Artistic and Events Manager for Tamworth Assembly Rooms and one of the judges of the competition, said: “This short story competition is something that has been in the back of my mind for a very long time. I have been writing stories, scripts and plays for most of my life, with my first few words written on the top floor of the reference library in Tamworth – pre-internet!

“The number of entries and standard we received has been amazing. We have been delighted to help give young people an extra activity to do during lockdown, and have started to look at this as being an annual writing competition.”

As well as being read out by local personalities, the winning stories will also be published in the Tamworth Herald newspaper.

Adey added: “I’d like to thank the judges, the Tamworth Herald, those who will be reading the stories out and those who have donated prizes, for helping to make the competition possible – and of course everyone who took the time to enter. We really enjoyed reading all the stories that were submitted.”

Local author Ben Davis, another of the judges, writes his own funny books for older children and teenagers. He said: “Choosing the winners of this competition was such a tough task and I was blown away by the quality of the stories. I would encourage all the entrants, not just the winners, to carry on writing, because there is clearly loads of talent out there.”

Highly Commended prizes for each category have been awarded to:

Ella Guilder, aged 6, with her story ‘The Unicorn.’

Sienna Chandler, aged 10, with ‘Humboldt Escape.’

Jacob Smith, aged 14, with ‘Mistaken Identity.’

Lauren Kerman, aged 17, with ‘Time Traveling through Tamworth.’

They will each receive a family pass to a show at the Assembly Rooms when it re-opens.