National Writing Day 2020 – Junior writers competition

‘It’s not magic that takes us to another world. It’s storytelling.’ – Val McDermid

Do you like writing stories?

We are looking for young storytellers to feature in a new exhibition in our ArtSpace. Using an image from our museum collection (pictured below) to inspire you, tell us the story. You don’t need to think about the history, just write whatever comes to mind when you look at the image. Perhaps it is a scary story, or a funny story, an adventure or a romance.

If you are aged between 7 and 12 years old, you can send us a story of up to 200 words –with illustrations if you like to draw- and the best 10 will be featured in our ArtSpace at a date to be confirmed once we can safely reopen to our customers. Until then we will be sharing them online via our website and social media.

Of our final 10, one winner will be picked by local representatives of the literary world and will receive a £10 Waterstones voucher plus a place in the winner’s frame in our exhibition.

To enter please ask your parent or guardian to send us your story (written by hand or typed), along with your name, age and a return email address. Entries can be sent via email, with the subject line of Tell Us a Story, to or via post to Tell Us A Story, Rhodes Arts Complex, 1-3 South Road, Bishops Stortford, Herts, CM23 3JG

The closing date for the competition is 1st August 2020.

A note for parents/guardians- please ensure you provide a valid email address so that we may correspond with you as, if a story is successful, we will need permission to share on social media. Please note that your child’s full name will not be used either on social media or in the display in the ArtSpace and no images will be used without you consent.

The Rules

  • All entrants must be aged between 7 and 12 years old on the closing date of the competition.
  • All stories must be a work of fiction and should not make reference to real people or events.
  • Entries cannot be returned so please keep a copy of the work.
  • Any entries over the word limit will be disqualified.
  • Submissions received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only one entry per individual is permitted. If a parent/guardian is submitting for more than one child please send a separate email/entry per child.
  • Entries should not contain defamatory, obscene, offensive or any other unsuitable material and should be suitable for all ages but particularly younger people.
  • The first round of entries will be judged by members of the Rhodes staff and volunteers
  • The final ten will be judged by a panel of judges from the local literary world.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.
  • In submitting a story to the competition, the parent/guardian is agreeing to the rules set out above.National Writing Day 2020