Mumsnet and Walker Books Animal Stories competition shortlist

Animal_StoriesIn November 2013 Walker Books, Mumsnet and Gransnet launched our second writing competition to find 10 animal stories for a new children's book which will be published later this year.

Last year, we ran an incredibly successful writing competition to find 10 inspiring and original bedtime stories. Hundreds of people entered and the 10 winning stories were chosen by former Children's Laureate, Michael Rosen, and published in The Book of Bedtime Stories. The book was recently listed first in The Independent's top children's books for 2013, described as "beautifully produced ... could be a collector's item".

All the stories have been read by Walker Books, Mumsnet and Gransnet and today the judging panel, led by former Children's Laureate Anthony Browne, have announced the shortlist of 20 stories, drawn from a record 635 entries. There are stories about a bat who was scared of the dark, a group of meerkats who make a great escape, a hamster on a space mission, and a panda who isn't quite as cute and cuddly as anticipated. All the wonderfully imaginative shortlisted entries are full of warmth, wit and humour. We were thrilled to receive so many entries with such a variety of animals and settings. The standard was extremely high, which meant choosing the shortlist wasn't an easy task. 

walker_logoThe top 10 entrants will be selected by the panel and announced on 10 February 2014. They will each win a £500 prize and see their stories published by Walker Books in a beautifully illustrated gift book for 4-7 year olds. 


Justine Roberts, Mumsnet Founder, said:

"We are delighted to be hosting this competition for the second time, giving a platform to the many talented writers on Mumsnet and Gransnet. Parents and grandparents have coal-face experience of which stories capture their children’s imagination and, like our Book of Bedtime Stories, we think this book will become a firm favourite and the stories read many times over."

Denise Johnstone-Burt, Publisher at Walker Books, said:

"We are thrilled to once again be publishing the work of the very talented Mumsnetters and Gransnetters and are looking forward to discovering more fresh and original voices. I really enjoyed reading all the entries and was amazed at the high standard of the writing and the originality of the ideas. We are very excited about the shortlist and think the entries are all very strong in their own different ways."

Anthony Browne, former Children's Laureate and author of over 40 children's books, said:

"I am really pleased to be judging this worthwhile competition. Many of my stories feature animals, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what the entries are like."

The shortlist (in no particular order)  

1. The Tale of the Winged Lion, Eilidh Mackay
2. The Great Meerkat Escape, Nina Hoole
3. Otto’s Colours, Lois A. Johnson
4. The Monster in the Laundry, Zoe Barnes
5. The Dragon’s Wish, Sally Hodges
6. Wagger the Wonderful, Jean Farrell
7. Tortoise’s Late Breakfast, Rachel Rowlands
8. The Elephant Carnival, Kate Robinson
9. Juliet and the Snow Swan, Tuey Mac
10. Little Miss Wolfy Good, Jenny Davis
11. Atuki and Serai, Jo Tiddy
12. B is for Bone, Georgina Sewell
13. Colin and the Cat and the Farm of a Thousand Rats, Jeremy Sallis 
14. Basil the Brave, Alice Westlake
15. Captain Yuri and the Space Mission, Susannah O’Brien
16. The Hedgehog Who Wouldn’t Sleep, Alison Webb
17.  A Pile of Panda, Julie Innes
18. Bigfoot and Littletoes, David Smith
19. Misty and Mina, Monisha Bhaumik
20. Up In the Trees is Not For Me!, Lindsay Littleson

The judging panel

  • miriam_anthony_judgesAnthony Browne (former Children's Laureate)
  • Miriam Gonzalez Durantez (Partner at Dechert LLP)
  • Lucy Mangan (Guardian and Stylist columnist)
  • Justine Roberts (CEO, Mumsnet)
  • Cari Rosen (Editor, Gransnet)
  • Denise Johnstone-Burt (Publisher, Walker Books)


Last updated: 5 months ago