Get your entries in for the Surrey Life children’s short story competition

Help the kids get creative

Help the kids get creative - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

School’s out for the foreseeable and the kids are no doubt climbing the walls, so why not encourage them to get creative and enter our short story competition?

Last month we launched our ever successful Readers’ Short Story competition for adults. But why should the grown ups have all the fun?

With schools now out for the foreseeable future and youngsters keen for new activities to keep their creative minds active, we’ve teamed up with our partners at Guildford Book Festival to launch a separate competition for children.

Each July, Guildford Book Festival sends authors into local schools through its Schools Programme, offering the opportunity for pupils from both primary and secondary schools to meet some of the very best authors and illustrators face to face.

It aims to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustrating among young people that will stay with them for a lifetime. Last year almost 2,000 young readers were entertained in schools during the festival.

Guildford Book Festival co-director Alexandra Andrews says: “This year’s Schools Programme is still planned to go ahead but with some events moved to October in line with our main festival programme and so we’re delighted to have been able to join forces with Surrey Life to give youngsters a project to entertain themselves with in the meantime – and hopefully give adults a bit of a break too!”

The story can be about just about anything – time-travel, space, animals, food – the list is endless. The only stipulation is that it must be an original story and of no more than 500 words in length. Entries must be submitted online at by August 31, 2020.

There are two age catergories; Key Stage 2 (7-11 years) and Key Stage 3 (11-14 years) and entries will be judged on their originality and not grammar, punctuation or spelling. Joining Alex Andrews and Surrey Life editor Rebecca Younger on the judging panel will be children’s authors MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman.

The winners of each category will have their story published on the pages of this magazine and read out on BBC Radio Surrey and they will also receive a bundle of children’s books.

MG Leonard & Sam Sedgman

MG Leonard & Sam Sedgman - Credit: Archant

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The authors of all the shortlisted entries with be invited with their families to meet MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman at their festival event in October.

For more information about Guildford Book Festival’s schools programme and to find out how to become a partner school, email:

More about Judges M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgeman

M.G. Leonard is the internationally bestselling author of the Battle of the Beetles trilogy and the non-fiction companion, The Beetle Collector’s Handbook. Beetle Boy won the Branford Boase award and has been translated into 37 languages worldwide.

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Sam Sedgman is a novelist, playwright and award-winning digital producer. His work has been performed internationally and shorltisted for the Courtyard Theatre award. Written with M.G. Leonard, The Highland Falcon Thief is Sam’s first book for children and the inaugural in a major new mystery series entitled Adventures on Trains.

The Highland Falcon Thief is available in paperback now, priced at £6.99 and published by Macmillan Children’s Books

To enter fill out the form below and copy the story into the box:


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