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Story Time

12 June 2014

Earlier this year, over 1500 budding authors and almost 200 young illustrators from across our family of schools participated in the Global Classroom short story competition 2014. 

This year’s competition challenged our students to create short stories around the theme of ‘Changes’. Primary students were asked to write up to 1000 words, while Secondary students created stories of up to 2000 words, with the added twist of writing their stories in the Gothic style. 

Writing a story is demanding and so to support the young authors in developing their story writing skills, our students participated in a series of Global Classroom online workshops, building their understanding of characterisation, settings, and how to edit your work. The competition gave students the opportunity to hone their story writing whilst also developing their general written English language skills and behaviours such as confidence, perseverance, creativity, originality and fluent thinking. 

We were delighted to receive over 900 Primary entries and almost 600 Secondary entries to the competition, which was judged by two critically-acclaimed authors. Tony Bradman, author of over 100 books, including the popular Dilly the Dinosaur series, judged our primary entries, while the secondary entries were judged by Sally Nicholls, author of the multi award-winning Ways to Live Forever which she wrote while studying at university. Our students also had the opportunity to find out more about their work, future ideas and what its like to be an author in exclusive online Q&A sessions.

Our judges were looking for a clear, strong voice, the theme clearly expressed, an interesting and original plot, strong characterisation and story progression and most of all, whether the story was enjoyable and emotionally engaging. 

Both Tony and Sally were extremely impressed with the high quality of this year’s entries and found it very difficult to choose our winners from the 40 finalists. Many students showed a great deal of imagination and creativity with their plots, which were brought to life with varied and adventurous vocabulary. 

Congratulations to all our finalists, and in particular, our winners and highly commended authors:

Primary Winner

Hannah Yoon, Compass International School Doha, Gharaffa for Rain Valley

Primary Highly Commended

Collin Quinlan, British American School of Charlotte for Devoured 

Joseph Keating, British School of Houston for Changes

Secondary Winner

Ben Brown, La Côte International School for Depths

Secondary Highly Commended

Amy Wei, The British School of Beijing, Shunyi for The Painted Lady 

Freya MacKenzie, The British International School Shanghai, Puxi for The Bird on the Perch

Ben commented, "The chance to be published in the GC book and the fact that I won a competition, judged by a published author, will be invaluable for my ambitions to become a writer. The theme was interesting, engaging and challenging.”

Our winning stories and those of all our finalists have been published in this year’s Global Classroom Short Story Anthology – you can read it online.

As part of this year’s competition, we also launched an art competition for the young illustrators in our schools. Students were challenged to create a piece of original artwork which illustrated the theme of Changes, and Secondary students were also asked to reflect the Gothic style. 

We were again extremely impressed by the quality of the entries which clearly showed the talent and hard work of our students. Congratulations to our winning students whose work has beautifully illustrated this year’s Short Story Anthology.

Cover Artwork

Noemi Pajak, Compass International School Doha, Madinat Khalifa


Saffron Goggins, The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun


Ally Yu, The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun


Grace Danon, British American School of Charlotte


Jae Hee Yoo, The British International School Shanghai, Puxi


Claudia Fan, The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun


Bryony Schnell, British School of Houston


Rebecca Eggeling, British School of Houston


Amy Wei, The British School of Beijing, Shunyi


Toosje Prins, British School of Houston


Emmie Drummond, British School of Houston



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