The competition invited entrants from learners across the region in Years 5-8 to compose an original winter or Christmas story of 1000 words or less. Winners were invited to record themselves reading their story, and the recordings were shared with local care homes for residents to listen to and enjoy during this year’s socially distanced festive season.
Milly (Year 7) won her age category with her hilarious festive story of two penguins who missed the boat to their holiday destination and decided instead to catch an iceberg. Her classmate, Chloe, was named runner-up for her heart-warming tale involving about Father Christmas’ aged and lesser-known sister, Marjorie. English teacher, Claire Nuttall, said, “The girls’ stories were enchanting and will no doubt have given the residents much cheer during the winter and Christmas period.”
Milly and Chloe both attended The Mount Junior School. Peggy, who is currently in Year 6 at The Mount Junior School, also won her age category and recorded her story, A Prickly Christmas about a family of hedgehogs’ rescuing their Christmas day.
The girls’ achievements in the competition upholds a tradition of creative writing excellence at The Mount. Mount girls often feature among winners of local writing competitions for their thoughtful, vivid and entertaining original pieces.
Rachel Capper, Head of The Mount Junior School, said, “We are all incredibly proud of Peggy’s achievement in the competition, well as Milly and Chloe who are now in Senior School . At The Mount Junior School, we encourage the girls’ creativity; it helps our pupils learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas, and to develop their imagination and self-expression.”
Milly, Chloe and Peggy follow in the footsteps of 2020 Leaver, Hannah Walton-Hughes, who during her years at The Mount won multiple regional creative writing competitions was named as one of only six writers to earn a coveted place with the 2021 Northern Short Story Festival Academy, a development programme promoting writing excellence for short story writers in Yorkshire.
Principal Adrienne Richmond said, “The Mount empowers girls to challenge themselves and to have the confidence to achieve.”
Excerpt from Penguin Holiday: Gone Wrong!
Ice Pop just stared at Blizzard. “The first thing that you think of is food? Really? Of course you do! Not the fact that we are stuck here, on our own, for at least two weeks?”
Blizzard walked to the edge of the iceberg, which was now about five metres away from them. He looked up the river and saw the boat. “It’s not that far. We could probably fly after it.”
“Really. Fly?” Ice pop asked. Blizzard just nodded and looked very proud of his plan.
“Penguins cannot fly. Have you not noticed that is your ten years of living that you, me, your parents, or in fact any penguin ever, has never flown?” On every word in the last sentence Ice Pop stepped forward very viciously. Blizzard was still nodding and he changed it to a shake. Ice Pop just sat down and tutted, “Honestly. I have to be stuck with you for two weeks…. Why couldn’t it be someone cool, like Goose Springsteen?”
Blizzard looked hurt and began to walk home. “Ok Ice Pop, I’ll see you around.”
Ice Pop realised he’d hurt Blizzard’s feelings but didn’t want to run after him like an idiot. He decided he’d go back later.
Blizzard was lying on his bed in his igloo listening to Kanye Nest when a knock came at the door. “Come in,” he said sorrowfully. The pitter-patter of penguin flippers came. It was Ice Pop.
“Hi Blizzard,” he said-he was trying to sound cheerful but he was frowning. “I like this music.” He said doing a strange, bopping dance move.
“You hate all music, especially Kanye Nest.”
Ice Pop sighed. “Well, I thought that I might as well come for a chat because we’d both be lonely.”
Blizzard just thought for a few seconds and shrugged. “Free country.”
“Antarctica’s not a country.” Ice Pop said bluntly. “I thought of a plan. To go on holiday.”
Blizzard just stared but you could tell he really wanted to hear it.
Excerpt from Marjorie Claus
By Chloe, Year 7
The next morning, I got up at 5:30 am to help Marjorie hoover her garden and to find out why she detests Christmas so much. I walked over and called out to Marjorie, “Do you need help?”
She replied with a nod. She passed me a hoover without a smile. I helped her all week and got to know her, and finally she told me the intriguing story of why she loathes Christmas.
Marjorie was born in Lapland, the oldest child, and was the heir to the Christmas magic! However, she had a younger brother who ‘nicked’ Christmas from her. The very day that she was going to be awarded the Mother Christmas franchise, the Christmas Committee of Elves decided that Marjorie was not good enough, because she did not have a white beard and a red nose. Instead, they chose her undeserving little brother, Nicholas: the boy who ‘nicked’ Christmas.
Ever since then, Marjorie has never worn the colour red or white, never opened an advent calendar, never sang a carol, never eaten a mince pie and has never got over it.
Excerpt from A Prickly Christmas
By Peggy, Year 6
It all started on Christmas Eve. The beautiful Christmas tree was full of baubles, tinsels and chocolate Santas. The little hedgehogs had hung up their stockings, one for each pup, with their names embroidered on in red, blue, purple and yellow, above the fireplace.
The fire was crackling away, happily, in the grate. The pups were playing on the colourful mat in the centre of the room and Dad was sitting on his armchair but Mum was nowhere to be seen. She was still slaving away over the hot stove, making the Christmas pudding.
It was morning! The pups had got the train set they wanted and Papa the new power tool he wanted, but Mum was in bed with a fever. The terrible truth dawned on them: no Mum, no Christmas dinner!