Book People's Bedtime Story Competition 2018 saw hundreds of children aged between five and 11 writing bedtime stories on the theme of imagination for the chance to see their story transformed into a real picture book. The book will be published by Little Tiger Press, sold exclusively by us at Book People with proceeds going towards Save the Children UK. Our judging panel, including Olympic gold medallist and author Alex Gregory MBE as Head Judge, had a tricky task picking a winner this year with so many fantastic stories to choose from. After much consideration, they made their decision and we can reveal that the Bedtime Story Competition 2018 winner is seven-year-old Tom Burlison from Epsom!
Tom's story is about two children called Elliot and Ruby who walk to school together each morning. Ruby uses her imagination to turn every walk into an adventure and encourages Elliot to discover and unleash his own imagination. This take on the imagination theme was a hit with our judges. Head Judge Alex Gregory said, "Tom's entry is a brilliantly clever story intertwining the character's real lives and daily school going routine into exciting imaginary adventures. It's a clever, heart-warming and thoughtful story from an author with a very bright future."
Alex's fellow judges agreed with Save the Children's Philanthropy director, Peter Ashcroft, commenting, "We think it is a wonderful story that captures the theme of imagination excellently and is written with great maturity for such a young boy. Out of the shortlisted entries, it's the one that most naturally aligns with our work, by highlighting how the power of imagination can help children to escape their reality." Sarah Walden, Group Buying and Merchandising Director at Book People said, "I have been blown away by the extremely high standard of the stories, imagination and writing in this year's Bedtime Story Competition. However, Tom's story 'Elliot and Ruby's Amazing Adventures' is such a wonderful celebration of the power of friendship and imagination as well as perseverance that it had to be the winner."
Tom's book will feature illustrations from top children's book illustrator and competition judge, Sara Sanchez. She has already drawn a lovely illustration of Tom's characters, Elliot and Ruby, as well as fellow category winners and runners-up. Find out more about 8-9 age category winner Grace here and 10-11 age category winner Sophia here.
Tom was made aware that he was the winner of the 5-7 age category but it was from a very special school visit by Alex Gregory that he was told that he was the overall winner who would have his story published. After being declared the winner, Tom said "I felt very excited when I found out my story would get published. My book is going to raise lots of money for Save the Children and that makes me feel so happy." Like his fellow age category winners, Tom will also receive Â£250 worth of books for himself and another Â£250 worth of books for his school.
Elliot and Ruby's Amazing Adventures will be published and available to buy in summer 2019 - you'll have to wait a little longer to read his brilliant story. This book will follow suit of the 2017 winning story There's a Boy Just Like Me by Frasier Cox which has raised over Â£15,000 for Save the Children so far and is available for purchase on our site.