It’s September, we’re all getting ready for that back to school feeling, but what if it’s not quite how you remember it?
You turn up at school one day and all the teachers’ brains seem to have been taken over by mischievous aliens. They’re behaving very strangely and causing all kinds of problems. It’s mayhem! Tell us about The Day The Teachers Went Bananas… (and remember you can draw us a picture, too!)
This month, we’re doing things a bit differently. So that we get all the information that we need straight away, you’ll need to submit your child’s story via the form at the bottom of this page. Tell us if you’re happy to receive our newsletter, and we’ll email you to announce the winner. Happy writing!
The WordHound Children's Writing Competition
Every month, we’ll be offering prompts and suggestions for creative writing for kids. We’re looking for under 300 words of funny, weird or otherwise unique writing, based on the suggestion. There’s no minimum number of words, although four would be considered a bit light.
There will be a prize on offer each month, but winners (and probably all participants, unless we get 9 million entries) will certainly get some kind of encouragement and recognition. We’d like to publish winning entries on our blog page, so let us know if you’re happy for that to happen. You can change your mind later if you want to.
We hope you find the suggestions inspiring – we’ve had some superb entries. Most of all, have fun!
Who is this competition for?
We created these writing prompts with younger children in mind, but it’s open to kids aged 12 years and under. We’d love to have entries from anywhere in the world, but prizes will be posted from the UK, so they might take a while to reach Outer Mongolia, for example.
Is the writing competition open to schools?
Yes, we’re happy for schools to get involved. Please judge the first round yourselves and send us your top 5 stories.
How are winners chosen?
We’ll read them all and pick our favourite; it’s as simple as that. If we’re struggling to choose, we might run a poll on our Facebook page, so follow that for updates.
Where will you announce the competition winners?
We’ll announce it in our newsletter, on our Facebook page, and update the winners’ section below. Sometimes we even tell your local paper.
My kid LOVES being made a fuss of – what else have you got?
Why are you running a writing competition?
The WCWC (ha ha) was born in May 2020, as Britain struggled to keep the nation’s children entertained during lockdown. For some reason, we at WordHound weren’t quite as busy as we were used to being, and we were slightly desperate for something to read. By July, things were starting to happen again, so we changed it from a weekly to a monthly competition.
How do I enter the competition?
Copy and paste the story into the form at the bottom of this page. We’re no longer accepting email entries.
Entries can be up to 300 words. We’d like to be able to post prizes to the winner and share some of our favourites on our social channels. If you’re happy for us to do that, please let us know and include your postal address with the entry.
I’m a children’s author, can I get involved?
Can I see the previous challenges?
Why yes, of course. Just scroll down.
If there’s one thing the Quite Astonishingly Good WordHound Children’s Writing Competition has taught us, it’s that winning isn’t everything, but it is pretty good ‘cos you get prizes.
And on top of that, you get your hair-raising yarn, fabulous fantasy or gripping anecdote published on our blog. Right here, in fact!
Here are the winning entries so far – we’ll update this page as more winners take their place on the WordHound Podium of Destiny.
If you’d like to see your story on our website, keep an eye on this page for monthly writing prompts.
Hello, my name is WordHound and I’m not an ordinary dog as you might expect. I have a dirty dog bone that turns into a pen that writes in rainbow coloured led and I came from the man who invented whoopie cushions. My friend is WordOwl, my hobby is writing stories and I love to use good grammar.
I live in an ordinary kennel but inside it is a house. The owners don’t know that I have writing powers. They name me Mr. Doodles. They take me on walks and I write about them. One time, I wrote a story when a pigeon who was a super hero farted! I showed it to WordOwl and he laughed in hysterics.
In the middle of winter, an undetected suspect named AntiWriting Cat snuck onto the road and tried to steal all of the road signs but the police caught him. The cat suspects that I am an enemy, but I suspect he is…
One day, WordOwl and I were at the park and see the cat by the scary swings and chased it all the way to the kennel, all the way up the stairs and out of the window. We threw it to the ground so the cat had to go to extreme medical jail. We had a colourful, happy disco party after the cat was gone.
Some years later, the cat got out of jail and didn’t remember anything so he became a train driver. Toot toot! Now all of the animals know my secret identity and ability and I am writing about this adventure right now in front of all of them.
By Mattie, aged 8
The Secret Room
When Ellie’s parents had to quarantine because of Covid, Ellie went to stay with her grandmother in her ten bedroom mansion.
Ellie hadn’t been to her grandmother’s before and was surprised to find how many expensive things she had. Jewellery, limo, and a helicopter. She had a large wardrobe in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs, which Ellie’s grandmother said, “Never ever open the door to the wardrobe.”
One night Ellie got up for a drink. She tiptoed downstairs, hoping not to wake her grandmother. Passing the wardrobe, she saw the door was slightly open. There was something glowing from within. She opened the door and saw a PURPLE PORTAL.
Am I dreaming, she wondered. She thought to call her grandmother, but remembered she wasn’t supposed to open the door. She stepped inside.
Ellie found herself in a small room with a sign saying Granny’s Secret Bank Robbing Room. Ellie thought, WHY IS MY GRANDMOTHER ROBBING BANKS? IS THIS A PRANK?
Ellie looked around the room and saw bombs, guns, and other evil things. Suddenly, there was the sound of someone coming down the stairs. IT’S GRANDMOTHER!
Ellie ran out of the portal and closed the wardrobe. She hurried into the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water.
Her grandmother stepped into the kitchen doorway and said, “What are you doing?”
“I was getting a drink of water,” Ellie replied.
“You should go back to bed now.” Grandmother said sternly.
Ellie went upstairs and grabbed her phone. She called the police and told them everything.
The next day Ellie heard a knock at the door. It was the police. She hurried downstairs and quickly let them in. She showed them the portal and all of her grandmother’s weapons. They arrested Ellie’s grandmother and sent her straight to prison.
By Holly, aged 10
WHEN THE PENGUIN CAME TO TOWN
One sunny day, Peter was reading in the school gazebo when suddenly, THUMP! Balls sprayed everywhere as a mysterious figure crash landed in the ballpit! This my friends, was no man, it wasn’t even a human. It was a runaway penguin from the circus! It had fired itself out of the big red cannon.
Now, Peter did not know this so he hid behind the nearest thing he could see which
unfortunately was a damp wooden post. The mysterious blob threw of it’s helmet hitting unfortunate Peter in the face and climbed out. It was a penguin! And it was a dust covered ragtag one too.
This black and white blob went up to Peter and shook his surprised hand and not letting go, pulled him back into the school building. I think it was the smell of fish that led the penguin to do his next stunt. Now coincidentally on that day was the only day in the whole week for fish and chips so when the blob’s nose guided him to the lunch hall, the penguin was more than excited. Everyone knew what he would do. There was no stopping it. The (less) dusty penguin jumped onto the worn out table and slid down it like it was some sort of waterslide! Knocking over dozens of plates as he did it. In total he stole three fish and a couple smacked him in the face.
Peter knew what would happen next. The kitchen! The boy sprinted to the backdoor as it was the closest exit. When running he would hear the occasional ‘AGGHH! IT’S A PENGUIN!’ and the odd CLANG of the penguin knocking over pans.
Peter eventually found the door only to see a food/banana skin covered penguin. It waited for Peter to clear it up and then waddled outside the school to outstretch it’s arm as if it was trying to grab something. A black and white Taxi pulled beside him. After a brief meep meep goodbye, It was off.
Louis, aged 10
Look To The Sky
I looked to the sky and saw opportunities. I looked to the sky and saw reassurance. I looked to the sky and saw infinite circles of possibility. However, the possibility of a penguin prancing a one-penguin parade in the purple sky was a rather extreme possibility.
The warm, summer sea breeze gently rippled around me. I heard a distant noise of gulls that seemed to be in another world. I was in the world of the deep realms of my imagination.
A distressed cry from the sky hauled me back into reality and out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. It had an elongated body and a wedge-shaped tail. Some may say it was grotesque – I say it was a wonder of the world. The shining white scale-like feathers on his tummy glinted in the beams of the smiling sun. The rest of its body was as dark as a deep shadow.
It’s beady eyes blinked just like mine before it was gone.
Maybe one day, look to the sky. Look for the wonders because one day they may come flying at you.
Daisy, aged 12
“And… Done! Ready for the next test, Mr Assistant?” I asked.
“Yes, Sir.” He replied.
“I made minor adjustments to the power supply so that it can handle more energy! It should be able to withstand more energy being put into it. OK, do the thing!” I commanded.
I sounded not as happy as I actually was, we would make history if this worked.
We put a McDonald’s burger on top and Mr Assistant clicked a few buttons. Seconds passed… nothing. Then out came a churning and from that tiny hole… came the Big Mac. We had managed to replicate a physical object! This is going to change the world we live in forever!
We no longer have to worry about buying food, running out of chargers, batteries and so much more. They’ll be laws in place of course. Like no replicating money or other things.
I can’t wait to announce this to the public!
Danso, aged 10
Harry’s Hairy Pet
On bring a pet to school day
I will never forget
When Harry said come this way
And see my brand-new pet
Harry pulled on a long lead
And the ground began to rumble
Four hairy legs running at speed
And my brain became a jumble
A nose as long as a hose
And two huge tusks on its face
My eyes grew wide as he got close
You brought a mammoth to this place!
Yeah, I found him in my Granny’s shed
All frozen in ice and looking quite dead
I used a hair dryer to thaw him out
Who brought this beast I heard the teacher shout
It was me said Harry to the teacher
Isn’t he the coolest creature?
No said the teacher he’s eating my lunch
Yum thought the mammoth crunch munch scrunch
Just then the head teacher arrived in the room
What’s going on he said with a boom
Harry’s brought his pet the children said
The head teacher looked up and shook his head
He’ll have to go home said the teacher
Just then the mammoth used his trunk to reach her
And put her on his hairy back
Put me down right now she said giving him a whack
The mammoth ran off as fast as lightning
Ahhh screamed the teacher this is frightening
All of sudden he came to a stop
Teacher whizzed off his back into a pile of mammoth plop
Covered in poop the teacher cried
Harry take your pet back outside!
And that was a day the teacher would always regret
Letting Harry bring in his prehistoric pet
Max, aged 9
I am an astronaut and one day, whilst researching on planet Mercury, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Hovering through the white blanket of atmosphere a neon yellow ship emerged like a turtle from its shell. Out of it came a flourescent green creature.
It jumped down and landed beside me, offering me a slimy, gnarled hand. I stared out of my space vizor, fiery ash popped and buzzed around me like glowing fireflies leaving sunspots on my vision.
Petrified, I accepted the mysterious alien’s offer and held onto a squelching, slippery hand. “Wwhere are we going?” I stammered with confusion and feelings of dudgeon.
”To a place that a human eye has never seen before.” It answered matter of factly as I was strapped into the ship. I soon spotted faint buildings, all different shapes and sizes dancing on the horizon.
When we got closer ships started to emerge like dorsal fins poking through the wispy clouds. Scores of colourful aliens, identical to the one in the ship, were meadering through curved and spikey space trees.
Spotty luminous looking toadstools were gathered in several clumps. I even noticed a space cow: a slimy, green creature lumping along contentedly. The alien took me to a peculiar home where the alien family lived.
The house was the strangest house I’ve ever seen: the furniture was upside down. Rollo, their space dog had one eye, three tails, and two noses!
The alien offered me dinner. There were space cookies, cosmic bites, astro mallows and an exquisite fountain of chocolava. I was ravenous so I devoured the lot.
The alien showed me where I would sleep that night, it was a big room with furniture made of moonstone and the most enormous bed of the softest, warped fungi.
As I lay in bed, I felt pleasantly surprised at how delightful and generous the aliens were, I would never judge anything by how it looked again.
The next day, after a hearty breakfast of moon jelly and space sausages my new, unique friend took me back to Earth and the memories of my alien buddy and his fascinating world would stick with me for ever.
Theo, aged 10
WHAT ON EARTH
Have you been doing since birth?!
Every time you come around
You just go back
to your white freezing home safe and sound.
“Here’s your presents, and bye!”
And that’s basically all
before you’re gone
in the blink of an eye!
Where do you go after every December?
Does anybody remember?
Do you go and ski?
And how does nobody see?
Nobody can miss you in your big red coat!
And you never responded to any letter we wrote!
You’re just a fat, lazy, old goat!
Don’t just say “I’m so sorry”
And then turn your red-cloaked back with a lame story.
In fact, I think I’ve seen you once or twice
In Japan eating some strange-looking spice
Or maybe tanning on the beach
Having what looked like a peach?
Perhaps spending your time in overcrowded Morocco
Made you forget to say “HO HO HO”?
And if you care about your Santa-like royalty
You will have to earn my loyalty.
And so all I can say is you’d better
Answer my letter.
But you still deserve some thanks
Otherwise the presents would be paid by our banks.
(I still want to know where you go before and after
But that’s for another time
When I come up with some sort of rhyme)
So live in fear
For I’ll be watching you every year
Waiting for you and your reindeer
A child who will make things rough
Starting by asking for a lot of stuff
Viviane, aged 9
Short Story Inspired by Anti-Bullying Week
Drink it! Drink it! Drink it!
My ears buzzed with the echo. I tried to pull myself together but the muddy concoction was being forced down my throat. I started choking and had to kneel down on the grass. My head was spinning.
My name is Sam. I moved to Drakenham High about a month ago…and…well…I didn’t really fit in very well. Jordan Jacobs is the most perfectly popular kid in our year and when he decided to turn my life into hell, that was it. Today, he made me drink this sticky mixture of mud and dirt and God knows what else. I feel weird and dizzy. I don’t know what to do. I can’t keep living like this anymore.
I woke up the next morning feeling surprisingly energetic and leaped out of bed. Then, the memories of the day before, flooded back into me – refusing to let me be happy. I sulked down the stairs and gradually made my way to the kitchen. A clumsy tune drifted towards me along with the smell of homemade waffles. My mum walked over to the table I where I was sitting and put the waffles down in front of me.
“SSSSSSaaaaaaaammmmmmmm!”she yelled out, “come and have your breakfast.”
“I-I-I’m here mum,” I replied, confused and slightly nervous.
I waved my hand in front of my mum’s face who was now tucking into her own plate of waffles, no response. That was weird. A thought came to my mind instantly. Was I invisible? I’d always dreamed about it, but never expected it to actually happen. I pinched myself just in case. I was ecstatic to find that I was not actually dreaming.
Now, what would I do with this superpower?
Instantly, an evil plan formed in my brain. Before the good side of my brain could convince the bad side, I was rushing off to Jordan’s house.
I’ve never spied on anyone before and it gave me a tingling feeling in my tummy. Holding my breath and trying to suppress the rapid beating of my heart, I walked in through the, surprisingly, open door.
My heart dropped. What I saw in there, I wished I never had done. Like me, Jordan was living a life of camouflage and lies. Inside that dreadful room, was Jordan trying to console his mum, who was rolled up on the floor crying with not just one but many empty bottles of alcohol next to her.
Not everyone’s perfect. Not even Jordan Jacobs…
Madiha, aged 12
The un-pruned trees whispered secretively in the wind. The overgrown and dying rose bush tilted in the breeze. Unruly green grass, hidden by a thick blanket of brown crisp leaves crunched underfoot. The knotted vines were out of control, constricting the door handle so no one could get in or get out.
He found a small hole through the vines, he knew he would fit through it. James had always been bullied for his height. He had a disproportionately small body with long legs and short arms. He was the cleverest in his class, maybe even the school, but that didn’t mean anything. His hair was as matted as the vines which stood in the way of the door. His clothes were a ripped tragedy. Now he had somewhere to get away.
It was the kind of house that made you dream of ghosts and ghouls who want to kill you. The kind you would be dared to sleep in. If you just laid a finger on the rotting wood, the timbers would shake with rage. The panels which had once built the house up were now falling down and spitting out splinters. The eerie darkness filled the room with a spooky awe.
James could feel shadows looming around the walls. A sudden sense of fear overwhelmed him. He frantically tugged at the door but it was shut, vines had crept over it and locked him in.
Then without warning a knock came from within the walls….then another one. Shaking with terror he crept to the corner, another knock then sounded, James curled up hugging his knees, hoping he would awaken from this terrible living nightmare. He had to brave it out, he had to stay the night ! If he did, he may never be bullied again.
Maya, aged 10
The Tale of the Bird Who Changed My Life
Christmas. Our lounge had been smothered with Lego. My parents encouraged me to tidy-up. I needed a container. Luckily, searching beneath my bed I found an ancient brass-braced box.
I pulled the box from beneath the spider-infested bedposts. I shook the box. Nothing rattled or moved.
It appeared empty…
This box had lived in the darkest deepest corners beneath my bed. What horrors would I find if I dared to lift the lid, my imagination raced…
I took a closer look. Its patterned braces seemed, Victorian. They were as cold as ice and as dark as coal. Underneath the cobwebs and dead bluebottles were dark streams of polished wood that gave the box a greasy yet stylish look. It smelt like age. A rusty catch on the front proved that the box had been closed for a long time.
I flicked the catch; the box was open…
Fuelled by paranoia, caution oozing out of me, I took a look inside. There was nothing, literally nothing. It was like staring into a pit. I peered at it.
I was sure this box had a history of its own? Shrugging my shoulders, I persuaded myself it was an ordinary box. I ran downstairs, the box in my clutches and scooped up the Lego and poured.
I didn’t hear it hit the box…
I wearily put my head into the box. I saw the Lego disappear. I heard a creek of wood, the lid of the box was closing, then I heard a click, it all went black…
They’d searched everywhere. The boy’s parents had spent all their money desperately searching. They sold the house…
The house was in ruins, the mystery repelled buyers. The box remained shut.
“Click” the catch opened and a pale hand reached for daylight…
Ted, aged 12
What would happen if the internet suddenly disappeared?
It was a tedious day. Mum was shopping online. Dad was calling a colleague. My brother was on a Zoom call with his friend. I was trying to type my homework onto a computer. And then it happened. Our screens went black. Dead. Dead as a dinosaur. I confess we all had a bit of a nervous breakdown. Mum’s face was a smooth white crockery plate. I went ruddy with annoyance. I thought of Miss Baker with her dogged hands on her hips saying over and over again, “If you don’t submit it in tomorrow there will be consequences.” To be brutally frank with you, this is the worst day of my life. So, I set about trying to finish my homework…on paper. My pencil was uncomfortable to hold and the paper was too rough to write on. I sighed and looked around. Mum was going to the supermarket. Dad was trying to write a letter by hand and was clearly as impatient as me. My brother? Well he was going out to his friend’s house. Grandma was knitting on her threadbare armchair. She giggled like a naive young schoolgirl. “Just like the old days!” she whispered, smiling like a mischievous imp.
Eden-Rose, aged 10
I came back from school and my dog was there like always. His name was Max and he was the most loving dog in the world. But when I came back from school – he was not at the door – he was not in the sitting room. I said to myself, ‘he must be upstairs.’ So I went up and I saw him talking in my room on my tablet. There was my dog talking to other dogs!
He saw me and he tried to act dumb but I knew he was talking so I said ‘Why are you talking’ he said ‘woof’. So I thought I must have been wrong as I was tired after school (I mean jail) so I went to sleep.
Next morning, I saw my dog was downstairs and my tablet was gone so I want downstairs and he was talking on my tablet again so I went and said ‘I know you are talking’
Max said ‘woof’ and I said ‘I know you can talk so why not?’
Max said ‘Fine I will – There are you happy?’ I said ‘Why do you never talk to my kind’.
Max said ‘Because I am a special. I am a dog that can talk. There are like ten more of my kind’
‘Can you talk in dog language?’
Max said ‘only for ten minutes’ ‘ok – but what if you stop talking in dog language’ ‘People will take me away and you won’t play with me ever again’.
Max only talks to me now and his friends on the internet.
Edward, aged 9
Something I’ve Been Putting Off For Ages And I’ll Probably Never Do
I have been putting off a thing I wish to do for ages, I have never done it and probably will never do. That is making a bucket list! I have never made a bucket list for myself and maybe I will never do. A bucket list is a list of things you or I wish to do. I have been inspired to make one
after seeing many celebrities making one and creating goals for themselves and they motivate everyone to create one. They have made a bucket list for themselves and this inspires me to make one for myself. I have never been to make a bucket list and I cannot achieve anything now on my bucket list as the current situation won’t allow me. An epidemic called Coronavirus has spread all around the world and affected many places. Everyone is staying at home to stay safe. So, I cannot travel anywhere. There are many other things I would like to do. This also helps me to explore and do new things. Surfing, meeting new people, cooking, etc. are some things I would like to add. I like doing all these things. Travelling from cold mountains to hot deserts, would be very cool! Cooking new things and creating recipes would be very fun. Surfing in the waves of the seas on a hot day would be the best thing I have ever done. I look forward to make an adventurous, fun bucket list! I really hope, I could make one in the future!
Meenakshi, aged 11
When would you go in a time machine?
I really could use a time machine right now. I’d hop aboard and fast forward into the future. June 5th 2021 to be exact. Where hopefully I would find some escape from lockdown. What would the world be like then I wonder. Will everything have returned to the way it was before? Or will it be this new world where everyone is frantically washing their hands every two minutes while singing Happy Birthday? Will we forever have to draw chalk lines on the floor to make sure we don’t get any closer than 2 meters to another human being?
I hope to find a new ‘normal’, where I can step outside the front door again, without having to cross the road as if my neighbours have the plague. A world where I can see my friends again, cuddle my grandparents and have playdates with my cousins. A world that’s found a cure for Coronavirus.
I want that sense of being free again. I even want to go back to school! I want to be able to feel the warmth of the sand beneath my toes once more, and sense the waves lapping around my ankles as I squeal at its coldness. Without a care in the world. Finishing the day with an eruption of laughter at my little brother as he demolishes another teddy bear ice cream from the Hockings van, with a chocolate covered face to show for it!
The planet will have learnt lessons from Covid19. We’ll all be mindful and care for each other and help others when needed. We’ll continue to appreciate the NHS and key workers who help us every single day. We’ll cherish our family and friends more and have learnt to enjoy the every day little things that we have all missed so much.
Heidi, aged 9
What I’m Scared Of
GURGLE, GURGLE, GROAN, BURP!
I imagine what’s inside these winding pipes that stretch and turn around every room in my house. It’s the longest and skinniest monster, he lives in these pipes and every day makes noises to scare us, hoping that one day we’ll leave and he will take over our house with his spider legs and stick arms. Slowly but surely he’ll wiggle out of each pipe in the kitchen, bathroom and even through my bedroom radiator… then he will take control.
GURGLE, GURGLE, GROAN, BURP!
There he is again, not again! I’m lying in bed and he’s waking me. Letting me know he’s still here. Then again when I wake up in the morning, when I get home from school, when I’m eating my tea and then here I am a whole 24 hours later lying in bed with the same water monster noises reminding me of the control that he thinks he will eventually get. He’s louder this time. So loud that I can hear his spider legs pushing and sliding his sausage shaped body up the pipe from the bathroom up to the tank in the attic where he sits and relaxes when no one is home. I KNOW … tomorrow morning I will wake up early, I will wake up early. I will tip toe to the sink and I will get rid of him once and for all. I’ll do just that. My fingers slowly turn the tap clockwise. I hear GURGLE. Hahaha, here he is sliding down the pipe falling for my trap. Now I quickly turn the tap on and… Whoosh! The water shoots out and down the drain but wait! What!? There are no spider-like legs. No twig like arms. No sausage shaped body. Just water with tummy ache.
Freya, aged 8
My Weirdest Dream
My weirdest dream was when we were out in the the garden with our yummy picnic. Then some ants came and ate up our picnic but we had enough to make another picnic. The the pesky ants came back and then they ate it all up again. We did not have enough food to make any more and we were very sad. So we got ice cream instead, we were happy.
Isabella, aged 6