We are excited to announce the winners of our very first Writing Competition for ages 11-14!

We had so many amazing entries that it was very difficult for our judges to pick their favourites, however, after much deliberation they feel they have found the stories most deserving of the amazing prizes generously supplied by ZSL London Zoo!

"Judging a competition is worthwhile when it is difficult to choose a winner because of the high standard of entries. That was definitely the case this time. These short stories gave us plenty to think about and discuss and I hope the writers keep at it. The more they write the more they will improve." Ken Wilson-Max

Writing Competition Winners!

Winner: Uthman Ahmed

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Click here to read the winning story by Uthman! 

Uthman will receive a 'Junior Keeper for the Day' experience at ZSL London Zoo!

 

Judges Comments:

"What a powerful piece of writing. Haunting and strong. A worthy winner! This stayed with me a long time after I'd finished reading the last word"

Jane Elson

"Our choice for first prize was a writer who clearly has a deep connection with animals and for protecting endangered species. I loved the description of the reef and the strong action verbs. The struggle to free the whale was believable, haunting and heartbreaking. That the writer caused us to care so deeply for this creature shows what fantastic writing this is. Well done!"

Becky Cherriman 

"Loved the vision of this piece. The writer took us straight to the story, visual and brilliant. I felt the whale, the girl and the knot. The relationship between human and whale shared beautifully. Fluid exciting story telling"

Michelle Scally Clarke

Runner Up: Elizabeth Davis

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Click here to read Elizabeth's Story!

Judges Comments: 

"What a rich piece of writing. This is like a wonderful beginning to a dystopian novel and I would encourage you to develop it and write the whole story and see where it takes you. Really quite magical, unexpected and intriguing."

Jane Elson

"I enjoyed this piece for its magical atmosphere, sense of mystery and great storytelling. The dialogue was realistic, the language precise and there was some advanced use of writing techniques such as the Saharan silver ant simile."

Becky Cherriman 

"Wow just wow! Engaging from the start, really love the friendship between fox and human and the complexities. Real storytelling power here. The concept and thought and strength of characters"

Michelle Scally Clarke

Runners up receive free entry to ZSL London Zoo and a private tour by the Dr Simon Spiro, Head Veterinary Pathologist!

Runner Up: Annabel Helena Bailey

Runners up receive free entry to ZSL London Zoo and a private tour by the Dr Simon Spiro, Head Veterinary Pathologist!

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Click here to read Annabel's Story!

Judges Comments: 

"The description is quite beautiful and really makes the reader see it like a film in their head. The idea of a friendly Stingray is quirky and lovely, and I love the strong end about not dropping rubbish in the ocean."

Jane Elson

"This story was very much in the spirit of the competition. It wasn’t a requirement to produce a full and satisfying story but, impressively, this writer did just that. As the girls learn from their attempt to save the stingray, we understand that environmental activism may not be easy but it is worth persevering with."

Becky Cherriman 

"Love the descriptive language used, can almost taste the salty water! Really aware of the parable and the lesson to the story, well thought out and empathic"

Michelle Scally Clarke

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Highly Commended:
As we recieved such an abundance of amazing submissions we wanted to share a few more stories that stood out for the judges.
Keep writing and we hope to see more incredible things from you soon!


Aaliyah Allert-Storey: 
       Click here to read Aaliyah's Story!
Olivia Areeya Harvey
       Click here to read Olivia's Story!
Zonera Ibrahim
       Click here to read Zonera's Story!
Mariam Karim
       Click here to read Mariam's Story!
Reef Hendrix Brady Stacey
       Click here to read Reef's Story!