This year's Bedtime Story Competition came to a close earlier this month and we have been busy reading all the wonderful entries. We had over 1300 stories submitted and were completely astounded by the talent and effort put into every one we received. These stories have been judged by our esteemed judging panel consisting of Head Judge Claudia Winkleman, radio DJ and author of the hit book Radio Boy, Christian O'Connell, this year's illustrator Alison Brown as well as representatives from Little Tiger Press and Book People. After much deliberation we are finally able to announce our winners for each category and our overall competition winner today!
Without further ado our three category winners are...
Ages 5-7 Category Winner:
Name: Jackson Mendoza
Story Title: Jackson and the Marrow
7 year-old Jackson from Southend wrote a very funny story about a great new friend he made over the summer. What was perhaps... unconventional... about this friendship was that the friend in question was, in fact, a marrow! Safe to say we were quite surprised to learn that Jackson's quirky story was inspired by his real-life experiences during the summer holiday but this cheery story is definitely a worthy category winner.
Ages 8-9 Category Winner:
Name: Frasier Cox
Story Title: There's A Little Boy the Same as Me
9 year-old Frasier from Brighton wrote his story as a poem about a hypothetical friendship with a boy who is just like him. However, the boy in question is a refugee who shares the same interests and childhood hopes as Frasier. Frasier has autism and his lovely story holds a powerful message about inclusion for all which, we feel, is what friendship is really all about.
Ages 10-11 Category Winner:
Name: Amy Chick
Story Title: The Little One Said
11 year-old Amy from Gloucester's story features some very caring animals. As Mouse, Hippo and Hare struggle to fit in their bed, Hippo and Hare decide to surprise Mouse with a new bed. But, the bed is too big for their house and so with the help from many other friendly animals they all team up to build an extension on the house so that there is enough room for all the animals in the bed. Amy has written a humorous and lovely story about the power of friendship.
Check out the video of the three winners on their special Winners' Day Out:
The Bedtime Story Competition 2017 Overall Winner...
Each of these very special stories is brilliantly written and our judges had to think long and hard about which they wanted to pick as their overall winner. However, the winner was eventually chosen and agreed upon and we can reveal that...
...the overall winner of The Bedtime Story Competition 2017 is Frasier Cox with his story There's A Boy The Same As Me. Congratulations, Frasier!
Here's what the judges said about Frasier's story:
Head Judge, Claudia: 'I was blown away by the standard of the stories and writing from all the entries into Book People's Bedtime Story Competition. Frasier's story, is incredibly touching and thought provoking and it's absolutely remarkable a 9-year-old boy has written such a thoughtful story. Frasier is a very worthy overall winner and I can't wait to see the final version with Alison Brown's brilliant illustrations once it's been made into a real book next year.'
Judge and Campaign Ambassador, Christian O'Connell: 'I really enjoyed reading the entries from this year's competition, but Frasier's story was my favourite. The fact a 9-year-old boy showed us what so many people and politicians forget, that we are all connected in this world. We have more in common than we think. Such a big-hearted idea and story all told in a beautifully moving poem. Frasier is a very, very special young man. This actually moved me to tears the first time I read it. This is just what we need in the world right now, we need to send Donald Trump a copy of this when it comes out!'
Illustrator, Alison Brown: 'If a top adult author tried to write these sentiments in a child's voice, I don't think they could have done a better job! It just sounds like it comes from the heart, very authentic and moving. The imagined scenes make for lots of lovely images, too.'
Judge and Group Buying and Merchandising Director, Sarah Walden: 'I was extremely impressed at the quality of the writing and imagination shown in this year's Bedtime Story competition. However, Frasier's story stood out from among the crowd. There's a Little Boy the Same as Me contains an incredibly considerate message which really struck a chord with me. We're delighted to be able to bring Frasier's story to life and celebrate his unique and compassionate perspective on one of the most pertinent social issues of our time.'
Frasier had this to say about winning the competition: 'I'm really pleased and very excited to have won The Bedtime Story Competition and can't wait for my story to be made into a real book. I love reading and writing stories and to know that my book will be read by children all over the country makes me very proud.'
The overall winner is to have his story illustrated by incredible children's book illustrator, Alison Brown, published as a new picture book by Little Tiger and sold by us at the Book People next year. Plus, all three category winners will receive 250 pounds worth of books for home and a further 250 pounds worth of books for their school which gives them plenty of reading to inspire more great stories!
All the winners were treated to a fun day out in London and were gifted an illustration of their stories by Alison. To see a video from their day out keep an eye on our social media channels and to get a hold of this year's winning story when it becomes available, you can click 'Notify Me' to receive an alert when it's ready to order next year!
Thank you to everyone that took part in the competition, all your entries were absolutely fantastic and we hope you all continue to keep writing such brilliant stories!