Writing Competition 2022 - 2023

Animal Aspirations is hosting its second National Children's Writing Competition! We are reaching out to creative-minded, animal-loving young students through this competition. We hope to encourage you to think about animals and their related issues through creative perspectives, thus gaining writing skills and hopefully inspiring you to consider animals in your future professions! The writing competition is open for children aged 11-14 across the UK, and there will be a prize for first place and runners-up. We encourage children from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to apply!

Competition Rules and Guidelines

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  • You must be between 11-14 years of age at the time of submission

  • Submissions must be:

    • In size 12 Times New Roman or Arial font with double spaced lines

    • A maximum of 250 words excluding the story starters and title 

  • All submissions must be original works 

  • All entries must be in English  

  • By entering into this competition, you are agreeing to the Terms & Conditions of this competition.

  • Your story should follow on from one of the 'story starter' sentences below (please see "Story Starters" section at the bottom of this page).

  • It does not have to be a full story with a beginning, middle and end

  • You should: 

    • Use your imagination to choose species that interest you and develop characters that excite you ​

    • Think about conservation and welfare issues facing the animal and come up with creative solutions 

    • These do not need to be accurate depictions of conservation or veterinary medicine, so have some fun!

Submission Information 

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Click on the button called "Submission Area" to check out how to submit your entry to us!

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Click their images to find out more about each of our judges!

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Damien Hine
Damien Hine is an author, a graduate of Faber Academy, based in Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. For as long as he can remember, he has had a passion for writing. He is an experienced author and public speaker with a particular talent for engaging with young people. He is known to leave audiences electrified with a love for reading and a new passion for writing. He encourages people to chase their dreams and believe that greatness is within their grasp...

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Jane Elson 
Award-winning author including two times winner of the Peters Book of the Year. She has been named one of the top 50 Neurodivergent Women by Women Beyond the Box and mentors Neurodiverse young people. She is an advocate for charities including Nacoa and All Dogs Matter...

Aisha Bushby
Aisha now is an accomplished author. She was a contributing author in the Stripes anthology for BAME writers, A Change is Gonna Come, which was awarded a YA Book Prize Special Achievement Award. Since then she has been taking part in panels, interviews and events across the UK, from Bristol Waterstones to Manchester Academy, Birmingham Literature Festival to Southbank YALW, BBC Radio 3 to Buzzfeed. 

Story Starters

Story Starter 1 (by Damien Hine):

Max is the best dog you could ever ask for. Not only is he so lovely and fluffy and the most affectionate, bestest boy I have ever met but... OK, you're probably not going to believe this... Well, my dog has superpowers.

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Story Starter 2 ( by Jane Elson):

I huddle in my armchair next to my bedroom window, watching. Will he come tonight? All is silent under the stars. I wait and wait and wait. Crash a clutter as the dustbin at the bottom of the garden topples on to the path. I creep downstairs, throwing on an old coat over my P’J’s and squelching my feet into dad’s old wellingtons. Opening the backdoor, I hurry over the wet grass and kneel in front of the bin and peep inside. A pair of frightened eyes stare back…..

Story Starter 3 (by Aisha Bushby):

The owl appeared at every full moon, hoot hoot hooting into the night. She was beautiful: gingery-brown feathers and a white heart-shaped face. Every time I spotted her something miraculous happened, like Mum winning on her scratch card or me getting chosen for the lead in the play. But this time, when I searched for the owl on her usual branch on the old oak tree in our garden, she wasn’t there.