Two lucky children win laptops in Weston Favell Shopping centre's writing competition

The children of Northampton were challenged to write short stories with a 'wild' theme over the summer holidays and judges were blown away by the entries

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:50 pm

Two talented young writers have each walked away with a laptop after winning Weston Favell Shopping centre's 'Wild' writing competition.

Throughout the summer holidays, the local children of Northampton delved into their wildest imaginations and put pens to paper to produce their best short stories for judging. Weston Favell Shopping centre tasked them with putting together the best tale of world explorers, woodland creatures or underwater adventures - all following a 'wild' theme.

Over 60 entries were submitted via mail and email, however, there could only be two winners. Seven-year-old Braydon emerged triumphant in the five-nine years category and 11-year-old Darcy came out on top in the 10-13 years category, each claiming a laptop as their prize.

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Winners: Braydon, 7, with his sister Saffrhon (left) and Darcy, 11.

Weston Favell’s Marketing Manager, Zoë Butler, said: “I enjoyed reading all the wonderful stories entered into the competition. It has been an absolute pleasure meeting such creative runners up and I’m so pleased for Darcy and Braydon.

"I hope they enjoy their laptops and write more stories soon!"

For the five to nine years category, Braydon sent in his tale of a heroic sea creature called 'The Giant Starfish's Adventure'.

Here is a snippet from Braydon's story:

‘Slowly, the tall man got up from his deck chair and stared curiously at me.

“I recognise this gigantic sea star,” he said, carrying the bucket cautiously to the water’s edge. “When I

was a little boy, my dad took me fishing. A wild, thunderous storm tipped our boat over, and I struggled

to keep afloat.” The man put the bucket on its side. “This magical sea creature saved my life.” His

children looked at him in disbelief.

I stopped and gazed at the tall bearded man with soft, kind eyes. Was it really him? Three hundred

moons ago, I was riding the roaring waves when my eyespots sensed trouble. I dived below the

drowning boy and carried him to the nearest coast.’

The five to nine years category (500 words) was judged by award-winning author, Jane E Clarke, who has written over 100 books for young children, including the popular fiction series Al's Awesome Science and Lottie Loves Nature.

Jane said: "A fantastic, original, imaginative adventure with a satisfying story arc. The author uses dialogue well, knows a lot about the subject matter and makes the reader care what happens. Congratulations!”

For the 10-13 years category, Darcy sent in a brilliantly descriptive story about a mysterious creature and her baby called 'The Kimpan'.

Here is a snippet from Darcy's story:

‘Crrashh! Surrounding the murky lake, dozens of trees fell down to their knees and rods of lightning striked each living thing it could grasp. Mud devoured the fallen logs beside me whilst raindrops, which swarmed like bees dropped into my hair. “Harry, get inside, what are you doing out there!” a yell called from inside the house. Although I was disappointed that I had to go in, I carried myself into the shack where I had got a lecture from Ma. With a mixture of water and sweat still dripping off me, warmth and the sweet scent of cinnamon rolls engulfed my entire body as I swept past the kitchen door and into my room.’

The 10-13 years category (500-750 words) was judged by author, Alice Hemming, who has published over 50 books including The Dark Unicorns series which has sold worldwide.

Alice said: “What a great bunch of stories! I really enjoyed reading them all and was impressed at the standard of writing and the variety of settings. It was a difficult decision, but I have chosen ‘The Kimpan’ by Darcy as my winning story.

"The believable setting and characters gripped me right from the beginning, creating atmosphere and appealing to all my senses. I can still smell those cinnamon rolls! The author used

dialogue well and the story felt complete and satisfying, building to its unexpected and moving conclusion. Well done!”

The winning stories, along with the runners up, are currently on display at Weston Favell Shopping centre. Keep your eyes peeled for the centre’s next giveaway at