Cancer counselling charity We Hear You (WHY) have teamed up with Hunting Raven Books Books and award-winning children’s author Michelle Robinson to host a short story competition for children aged five to 14.

Entries must be submitted by Friday 1st May. Stories can be on any topic, up to 500 words and will be judged in two age categories: five to nine and 10 to 14. The competition winners will receive a book/book token kindly donated by Winstone’s Books, the parent company of Frome bookshop Hunting Raven Books, recent winner of The Bookseller’s Independent Bookseller of the Year award.

Michelle Robinson is the author of acclaimed children’s books including Goodnight Spaceman (featured on CBeebies Bedtime Stories, read by Tim Peake from the International Space Station), The Day the Banana Went Bad and Ten Fat Sausages, winner of the 2020 Lollies Laugh Out Loud Award by Scholastic. A longstanding supporter of We Hear You, Michelle also co-authored Only One of Me, a book for children facing bereavement, with local mum and campaigner Lisa Wells, who died in 2019.

Tina Gaisford-Waller has been the manager of Hunting Raven Books since 2018 and previously worked for children’s publisher Chicken House Books.

Michelle says “Writing really helps me to relax and shut the real world out for a bit. Right now, so much is happening that’s beyond our control — but when we write, we get to choose exactly what happens, and we get to decide how things work out in the end. There’s no better place to go right now than your imagination, so why not give the competition a go? I can’t wait to read your story.”

Communications Officer Lucy McMahon says “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Tina and Michelle for giving up their time and sharing their expertise to judge the short story competition, especially as they’re juggling work and young families themselves. We’re really excited to read everyone’s stories and we hope it’ll be a way for young people to get creative and combat some of the boredom and cabin fever that many must be feeling at this very strange time. Please send your stories by email to (a photo or scan of a handwritten story is fine if you can’t type it). You can also post to the WHY office at Frome Town Hall if you prefer. Thanks for taking part and good luck!”

The short story competition closing date is Friday 1st May. Submission should be emailed to or posted to WHY at Frome Town Hall, Christchurch St West, Frome BA11 1EB.

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