I picked up a pen and started writing : Creative Writing Competition 2014

IMG_0434The winners of the 2014 Creative Writing Competition have been chosen!

Children and staff and their guests were entertained by author and libraries campaigner Alan Gibbons on the 17th June as the prizes for the 2014 creative writing competition were awarded for winners in six categories for poetry and short stories.

Several winners read from their work, which will be published as an eBook in July – available here and on the Amazon marketplace. The next day Alan hosted exclusive creative writing workshops for the lucky winners.

The Schools Library Service would like to thank Alan Gibbons for judging this year’s entries, Clifford Chance for hosting the prize-giving, and all of the teachers and librarians who encouraged the hudreds of pupils to write the amazing poems and stories that we recieved.

Key Stage Two Short Story Winners
1st    Cara Mila Protopopov    Hermitage Primary School
2nd    Ruhina Khanam    John Scurr Primary School
3rd    Naazihah Amin    Globe Primary School
Commended    Sonny Bissessar    St Paul with St Luke Primary School
Commended    Maariyah Ayman    Lansbury Lawrence Primary
Commended    Zahirah Sultana    Cyril Jackson Primary School
Commended    Libby Mashedi    Our Lady Primary School
Commended     Tasfia Begum    Hague Primary School
Commended    Ryan Hunter    Chisenhale Primary School
Commended    Simone Enzo Macharia Ciavarro    Guardian Angels Primary School

Key Stage Two Poetry Winners
1st Work withdrawn
2nd    Hope Wardley    St Edmunds Primary School
3rd    Mia Fay Fischer    Hermitage Primary School
Commended    Malisa Amin    Lansbury Lawrence Primary School
Commended    Zarin Tasmin    Cayley Primary School

Key Stage Three Short Story Winners
Joint 1st    Nishat Humaira    Central Foundation Girls’ School
Joint 1st    Nuha Quddus    Central Foundation Girls’ School
3rd    Leanne Lam    Central Foundation Girls’ School
Commended    Aafriya Al-Mamun    Central Foundation Girls’ School
Commended    Thibyan Haque    Stepney Green School of Maths and Computing
Commended    Muhammad Safaraz Jowardhar    Stepney Green School of Maths and Computing
Commended    Sophie Pereyra Bowdler    Morpeth Secondary School
Commended    Ruma Begum    Langdon Park Secondary School
Commended    Yasmin Abedin    Langdon Park Secondary School

Key Stage Three Poetry Winners
1st    Lailing Berthoud    Central Foundation Girls’ School
2nd    Tasnia Choudhury    Central Foundation Girls’ School
3rd    Tameika Bamfo    Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School
Commended    Rima Zaman Mohini    Central Foundation Girls’ School
Commended     Lucy Vo    Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School
Commended    Stephanie Quarty    Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School
Commended    Samirah Ahmed    Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat School

Key Stage Four Short Story Winners
1st    Thasnia Khan    Oaklands Secondary School
2nd    Mohammed Hassan    Bow School of Maths and Computing
3rd    Anika Haque    Swanlea Secondary School
Commended    Ahsan Mahmud    Stepney Green School of Maths and Computing

Key Stage Four Poetry Winners
1st    Rahim Choudhury    Stepney Green School of Maths and Computing
2nd    Mohammad Hamidul Islam    Stepney Green School of Maths and Computing
3rd    Tahmena Miah    Sir John Cass Foundation and Redcoat School




About the competition

The 2014 competition runs from January to April.  Children are invited to choose one of four opening lines and write a short story or poem. The first prize in each key stage and category (short story and poetry) is £50 with additional prizes for runners up and commended entries. All prize-winners are invited to attend a writing workshop with the guest judge.

This year’s guest judge will be acclaimed author Alan Gibbons.

An anthology of the winning entries will be published as an electronic book via Amazon to take the children’s work to a worldwide audience, and can also be uploaded to school VLEs and websites.

This year, the prize-giving ceremony will take place on Monday 16th June at the Clifford Chance Building for the winners and members of their family.


There are four A3 size posters for this year’s competition that will be sent to registered schools from January.

There are three steps to taking part:

  1. Register your school.  Email schoolslibraryservices@towerhamlets.gov.uk or use the contact form below. The entry fee of £75 for primary schools is payable via SLA online.  The fee for secondary schools is included in their “creative literature” subscription package.
  1. Children write the stories and poems! The stories and poems must start with one of the four opening lines.
  1. Send us your entries by Wednesday 2nd April 2014 for the final judging. Primary schools must send us their shortlist of 10 entries per category. There is no limit to entries from secondary schools.
Competition Rules

Closing date: Monday 24th March 2014. Return entries to your English teacher. Entries to reach the Schools Library Services by Wednesday 2nd April for judging.

Prize Giving: Monday 16th June 2013

The Competition

  • Write a short story up to 500 words (KS2) 750 words (KS3) or 1000 words (KS4) (may also be in illustrated story or comic book format)
  • Or a poem up to 25 lines (KS2 & KS3) and 35 lines (KS4)
  • You may submit a maximum of one entry in each category

Entries must start with one of these opening lines:

  1. I jumped out of the window and started running.
  2. Inside the old leather suitcase was a notebook, a pencil, an apple, and…
  3. Looking over the edge of the hole was enough to set your head spinning…
  4. The sky turned black. We stood and waited in silence.

Who may enter

  • Students in KS2 (years 5 and 6) KS3 and KS4

Submitted work

  • A completed entry form (emailed to schools) must be attached securely to the front of each entry.
  • Entries must be in English. written or (preferably) typed on one side of the page only, or emailed in Word format
  • Work should be in black or blue ink or text on white paper
  • Illustrations/comic pages should be originals or files scanned at 200 – 300 dpi
  • No Word Art or clipart!
  • Each page should have the entrant’s full name and school written clearly on the back.
  • All entries must be the student’s own work, including all illustrations. Plagiarised writing and artwork will be disqualified.
  • The judge’s decision will be final.

Returning work

  • We will return fully illustrated work to the applicant’s school if this is requested when the work is submitted
  • We cannot return any other submissions, so please keep your own copy.


  • Prizes of £50, £30 and £20 for first, second and third entries in each category
  • Prizes of £10 for commended entries
  • Commended and winning entries will be published electronically with rights retained by the author
  • All winners will be invited to an exclusive workshop with author Alan Gibbons on Tuesday 17th June

Published anthology

  • The final published book will be made available from 16th July 2014 on the Amazon Kindle store and other platforms.

Good luck!

Previous creative writing competitions:

Opening Times

Opening times

Term time Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Fridays and holidays: 9am to 4:30pm

Christmas holiday

23rd December to 1st January : CLOSED