2013 Children’s Writing Competition Winners
Monday, September 9th, 2013
The results of the two children’s writing competitions are in! Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to the winners, Liam Moore-Bethel and Eloise Martin.
The winner of the limerick competition is Liam Moore-Bethel, aged 8. The runner up is Hugo Pike, aged 8.
The under 15s writing competition has been won by Eloise Martin, aged 14, from South Wilts Grammar School for Girls. The runner-up is Cosima Woodard, aged 12,from St Gabriel’s School, Newbury
by Eloise Martin
South Wilts Grammar School for Girls, Salisbury (age 14)
As the alarm turned on, I buried myself beneath the sheets of my bed trying to block out the annoying racket. Unfortunately, the beeps were very persistent. As I groaned in defeat, I rolled over to reveal my mother, beaming over me like some kind of trophy she had won.
“Good morning sunshine! It’s a beautiful day once more!” my mother said/sung. As soon as she said it, she started on ordering my room. It was her daily routine, and one that she never breaks. It calms her down, so I just let her get on with it. I looked through my window. Today was definitely not a beautiful day; it was tipping it down.
“Morning Mum,” I have to say this every single morning, otherwise she starts to have one of her panic attacks. I crept around her as she was humming the same song she always has and headed towards my wardrobe. I opened it up to reveal a blue top and a skirt that didn’t even belong to me.
“Mummm?” I turned to join eye contact with her, regretting the answer already, “Where have all my clothes gone…?”
“Oh yes dear, they look much better in the grass,” she gestured towards my window, “Take a look?” She then smiled simply and got back to her organising. I sprinted downstairs, and saw my clothes sprayed out across our front garden getting soaked. I let out a frustrated yelp and stormed out, gathering the strewn socks. Passers-by were giving me odd looks, but really, I didn’t care. I was too caught up in all my clothes. As I ran back into the house, I noticed my mum in the kitchen staring blankly at the rain.
“Mum, don’t do that again, OK?” I dumped my clothes into the washing machine and set it, “Mum? I need to go to school now.”
I turned around to see her not there. I spanned my head frantically.
“Mum?” No reply, “MUM!” I then looked outside and saw her walking past our house in her dressing gown in the pouring rain. I rushed outside to see that she was already 15 metres in front of me.
“MUM!” I darted past the scattered passers-by to find her on the pavement in a ball shape, “Mum, there you are. Come on we nee-,”
“GET OFF ME!” she screamed unfurling from her ball, “GET OFF ME!” She burst into tears and started rocking back and forth.
“Come on Mum, we need to get you out of the rai-,”
“WHO ARE YOU? GET OFF ME!” She continued to screech at me. I started to shiver from the cold drops of rain penetrating my pyjamas. People walking by were staring curiously at the spectacle that was unveiling.
“Mum, let me just take you home. I need to get to school,” She then became very quiet and stood up abruptly, “Thank you Mum.”
I was relieved that she had heard me that time. Normally it takes about double the amount of time to persuade her to get back into the house. As we trod back into the house, I looked at her. Her naturally beautiful face was now beginning to ware. She had a huge clump of brown hair missing from the time she started to pull it out. She was once stunning, before Dad died. I gathered a blanket and laid it on top of her.
“I need to go now. I’ll be back soon, I promise,” I sprinted upstairs to get changed into the clothes that were left in my wardrobe and collected my bag.
School is the one place I can relax. It’s a place where everybody else gets stressed out about exams and homework, but for me it’s a safe haven. I don’t have to worry about whether my mum will have one of her attacks or whether she’ll do something in the kitchen. A care worker comes into our home after I’ve left for school, but unfortunately they can’t stay there forever.
As I walk to my first class, I notice a boy getting beaten up by some very scary looking year elevens in the corner of the field. Nobody else had noticed this happening, or, very wisely, come to the conclusion not to interfere but before I could decide whether or not to carry on walking like everybody else, I could feel my feet moving towards the scene. This isn’t usually like me, but the boy getting beaten up looked like he was about to be knocked unconscious. The closer and closer I got, the more I wanted to help. I could now see that the boy was around my age, 14 years old, and he didn’t look very athletic. I finally came to the feet of the group. I coughed to catch their attention, but they didn’t hear me. After the second cough, the smaller of the year elevens turned around and gave me a death glare.
“Wha-?” he spat, obviously not pleased to see me. The other year elevens finally noticed that they had company and turned around to crowd, instead of the nearly unconscious boy, me. I hadn’t actually planned what I was going to say, and finally realised that these people could easily hurt me as well.
“I don’t think you should be doing that,” congratulations for pointing out the obvious. They then looked at each other, clearly making a judgement call on whether they should ignore or turn their ‘attention’ to me. I was hoping it to be one of those moments where we all got along. The apparent leader of the group stepped forward and clicked his neck. This evidently wouldn’t be one of those movie moments.
“JESSICA!” I span to the sound of my name and saw a teacher storming past all the students in my direction. The teacher, who hadn’t noticed the boy lying on the floor or the shifty looking year elevens running away yet, carried on talking in the worst was I could thing of. Sympathetically.
“There’s been a call from the care worker. It’s about your mother. She’s gone missing.”
by Cosima Woodard
St Gabriel’s School, Newbury (age 12)
I have always known. From a very young age I have always had to accept that I don’t fit in. Other kid’s mums always seem to steer their preciously perfect sons and daughters away from me at just one glance. I tried to turn a blind eye for a while, but now I have had to learn to accept it and just ignore my surroundings when necessary. You see, other kids think I’m weird because of where I live and my family.
My family are gypsies and proud of it. We have always been and always will be proud. Apart from me. You can guess why.
We live in an old, rusty beige coloured caravan at the end of Mars road on Galaxy estate. At the end of the road are about seven skips full of rubble and people’s rubbish. Our caravan is parked (well not really parked as it is not moveable) in the midst of all this junk. Inside our caravan it is crowded, stinky, and in the winter, damp. There are two sets of bunk beds one of which my two sisters, Tracy and Gina, share. The other is used by me and my brother Lee who is nineteen and can’t get a job because of his criminal record. The fold-down sofa is shared by my mum and dad, Frank and Sharon, who are both thirty-nine. The rest of the caravan is used up by four tiny cupboards, a fridge, a cooker and a sink.
Every morning I try to wake up before my sisters. This is because they take such a long time getting ready that we are always late for school. That morning I quickly got dressed, gave my hair a comb and brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink. I looked in the cupboard for some bread but, as usual, there was none so I shrugged and walked out of the caravan and down the road to the public toilets. We don’t have a toilet. So we use the public ones. The council try to keep them clean and safe but it’s a hopeless case. As I got to the toilets I looked around. The walls above were covered in graffiti. The windows were shattered and there was broken glass all over the floor which made a crunching sound as you walked over it. I wondered whether my brother Lee had been involved with this. In the back of my mind I knew the answer. Lee was the road’s gang leader and was involved in everything. I entered the toilets cautiously as I didn’t want cut feet. As I walked in I saw my brother’s rival gang from Venus R oad and my heart skipped a beat. These were the boys that people dreaded meeting on a dark night alone. These were the most brutal, foul-mouthed, violent gang on the whole estate. I turned to run but one of them grabbed me by the back of my collar and picked me up.
“Not so fast little one!” he threatened under his breath, “You’re not going anywhere.”
“Let-me-go” I gasped, my breath rasping between each word.
“What did you just say?” he snarled shaking me.
I didn’t reply out of pure fear. His face turned from an awful grimace into a taunting smile. He turned to his gang who were all lounging against the sinks and cracked mirrors.
“Well, well, well. I can see we have got a lesson to teach this lad, mates!”
My stomach churned. The gang closed in and formed a close-knit circle around me and their leader. I was cowering but he had his fists ready to strike.
“Right then, let’s see what you’re made of!” he sneered and as if on cue the gang jeered and howled with laughter.
First he pushed me. I landed with a thud on the floor. Then he stamped on my face and I felt my nose crack and the warm blood began to ooze and seep down. The gang roared with raucous laughter and the leader sniggered. He held out his hand as if to pull me up and I took it. As soon as I was about halfway to standing, he let me go and I fell back. He then knelt and punched both my eyes until they were so swollen I couldn’t see. Then he dragged me over to a corner and left me there.
The gang slipped away and I could hear their jeers echoing into the distance.
When I finally got to school I was three hours late and it was lunchtime. As I crossed the playground the other kids taunted me by shouting: “Caravan Boy, junk boy, Caravan Boy got beaten up!”
When my teacher Mrs Cooper saw me she took me straight to the school nurse, Miss Abbott, who had to push my nose into place (which hurt), mop up the blood, and ice my eyes. She told me that the Head was coming to see me with my mum.
As my mum walked in I opened my eyes but then quickly closed them again. She was wearing faded pink tracky bottoms and a blue T-shirt saying ‘Do what you like, like what you do’ and some dirty white trainers. Her dyed blonde hair was up in a large high bun and her pursed lips were painted their usual bright red.
I gave a small smile and it was returned.
The Head started firing questions at me so I just told her what had happened. There were several gasps throughout from Miss Abbotts who was listening from the doorway.
Once I had finished the Head just left without saying anything but a grim look was set upon her young face. Mum just leaned down to me and said:
“We do it tonight.”
I knew what she meant. We were moving on.