Your words mean so much to us!

Hey DL Kids,

We all love a good story – reading them, writing them, listening to them. We know your heads are brimming with full of crazy stories and amazing ideas, just waiting to be put down on paper and shared.

So here is your chance to show us just how truly brilliant you are. We’re launching a fabulous story writing competition to find the nation’s very best young story tellers.

So get writing – whether its funny or scary, or magical or adventurous – we want to hear it! The competition will be judged by the awesome award winning author Jo Simmons, whose written a whole heap of hilarious books like I Swapped My Brother on the Internet, My Parents Cancelled My Birthday and her fantastic new book I Lost My Grannie in the Supermarket.

Image of Jo Simmons
Image of collection of childrens books

Jo will not only be judging the competition but will also read the winning entries out loud on DLKids Storytime and listened to by kids up and down the country.

So… what are you waiting for?

The competition

Just use your wildest imagination to create a brilliant story. Think of stories of space aliens, tales of fairies and goblins, and the adventures of your favourite pet, sporting heroes or family and friends.  You can write about whatever takes your fancy.

Story Ideas

Stuck for ideas? No worries. Jo has written some great opening sentences which you can use to get you going if you’re suffering from ‘writers block’.

Billy put on his shoes, opened the front door and stopped.

There, on the doorstep, was a…. The trouble started when my sister’s hamster escaped.

It was the smell that woke Rumi up first. That unmistakable smell of…

The egg was huge, much bigger than a hen’s egg, with a blueish shell, and Cassie had almost kicked it as she marched home through the fallen leaves.

“You have only three hours to do this, and I’m counting on you. We all are. Now go.”

Tips for getting started

Need some help? Below are Jo’s top tips to give you that edge to write your best story ever.

But most importantly…have fun!!

  • Where is your story taking place? It doesn’t have to be an imagined world, you can write about what you know.
  • Who are your characters? You’ll need a hero, who the reader will really care about. Your hero doesn’t have to be human. It could be a dog, a unicorn, a woodlouse, an orange pixie, a sausage roll that can talk.
  • Your hero has to want something – a jewel, a bar of chocolate, to find their brother, to go home.
  • You’ll need to test your hero – don’t let them off easy. We need to see what they are really made of.
  • Maybe give your hero a sidekick, a little friend who sticks with them through thick and thin.
  • You’ll need an anti-hero – an enemy. Maybe this enemy is the one causing the trouble for your hero. Again, it doesn’t need to be human. It could be a dragon, a huge moth, a storm, an old lady possessed by the ghost of a dead chipmunk.
  • Remember to think of an ending. Sometimes it’s helpful to do this straightaway, right after you’ve come up with your story idea.
  • Stuck for an idea? Play. Loosen up your mind. Run around, jump about, shout out some favourite foods, places, animals, words. “Custard, beach, wolf, harrumph!” Let your imagination fly.
  • Look around you for story ideas – stories are everywhere. Out on the street, under your bed, in your pocket… Listen in to conversations, the radio, people on the street. Ask what if…? What if a dragon moved in next door and wanted to eat my dog? Then turn this idea on its head. What if my dog wanted to eat the dragon? Then look at it while standing on your head. What if my dog made friends with the dragon and they bought an ice cream van…?
  • Most of all, have fun! Go for it. Get some words down, don’t worry about how they look at first. Later, you can go back and tidy them up a bit.

What are the prizes?

You can enter into two age categories 5-7 years (we suggest aiming for up to 200 to 500 words) and 8-11 years (maximum of 1000 words).

The winning story will be read by Jo and broadcast in DL Kids StoryTime as part of our After School Club. Mums and dads will be delighted to hear the top prize incudes a free family membership, plus a signed copy of one of Jo’s books.

10 other runners up will have their story read by one of our DL Kids team as part of Story Time and receive a signed copy of one of Jo’s books.

Are there any rules?

The story can be about anything you like, but it must be your own work.  No, not from the internet, or written by your big brother or sister, the cat, the hamster or the budgie.  No more than 1000 words please!!

Stories must be entered by 5pm on Sunday 7th March 2021. If you’ve won, we’ll let you know by 20th March.

All the rules can be found here.

*Click here for competition terms and conditions

How do I enter?

Easy. Once you have finished your story ask your mum or dad to fill out this form. Then all you need to do is cross your fingers.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Maximum no. of words: 1000
Don't worry, anybody is able to enter, whether you are a member or not.
If successful, I consent to this story and my details being used by David Lloyd Clubs for the purposes of use in DL kids activities and publication.

Click here to see how else you can stay active and entertained as a family with David Lloyd Clubs @home.