Gloucestershire children get creative to win ultimate Christmas present for school

KIDS across Gloucestershire are getting in the Christmas spirit to try and win £1,500 for their school.

Popular children’s author Sam Hay is challenging local youngsters to come up with a new Christmas classic story, for a chance to win some brilliant prizes up in the fourth annual Write Christmas competition.

The competition, backed by, is open to children between four and 11 years old and split into three age categories. To enter they need to channel their inner Dickens to write a short story or poem (max 200 words) inspired by winter or Christmas.

The entry that Sam, author of the Undead Pets series of books, judges to be the best across the entire competition will win £1,500 for their school to spend on books or writing equipment, in addition to a Christmas stocking full of festive treats worth £50 for themselves. Two runners up will each secure £250 for their school and a festive goody bag.

The top 50 entries from across the UK will also be made into a printable, free to download book, to be released in December 2017.

Entries must be submitted by November 17, and children, parents and teachers can get hints and tips from Sam, plus full details of how to enter at

Sam Hay believes the competition is a great step towards unlocking children’s creativity.

She says: “I’m very excited to be judging the Write Christmas story competition for a fourth year running. It’s a great opportunity to get kids all over Britain writing and showing off their fantastic imaginations. I’m always so impressed by their creativity and originality.

“Christmas has been the inspiration behind some all-time classics including Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the much-loved The Nutcracker. It’s a time for magic, excitement and wonder. I can’t wait to read this year’s stories and poems!”

Ian Cowley, managing director of, adds: “Children’s imaginations never fail to amaze. We’re proud to invest in the best young writing and provide them with resources to help stimulate their creative minds at Christmas and beyond. Compiling the Write Christmas printable e-book is one of the highlights of our year.”

Last year’s Write Christmas winner was Edwin Walker, aged 10, who captured the judges’ attention with his “unusual and clever” story written in the form of a police report, that detailed how someone broke into a little girl’s house on Christmas Eve, left sooty footprints on the carpet and stole mince pies and milk.