WILD N FREE FOREVER
Years 5 and 6
(JOINT 1st PLACE)
An Old Galápagos
Shelly – A Turtle's
The Fig Tree
Survival Beyond Belief
Life is Different in the
Murky Depths of the Sea
The Little African Elephant
It’s a Rat’s Life
The Lethal Royal Bengal
comments: Children’s Writer,Kate Tenbeth
I read all of the shortlisted stories four times and
can honestly say that I love each and every one of them – choosing just two was
I was very impressed by the standard of writing and
the level of knowledge that each child showed about the animal they had chosen
to write a story about. They should all be very proud of their work.
Kate's comments on her winning stories:
WINNER: Dolphin Encounter
Thisis an adventurous and exciting story of a child who falls over the
side of a boat into the sea and is rescued by a dolphin. Tristan’s writing
is very descriptive, e.g. “The sun shone like a pale golden coin suspended in
the sky and the sea was a deep inky blue”, and, “I opened my eyes and the salt
water stung them like lemon juice.” His love and knowledge of marine life
is obvious and he shows understanding that wild creatures belong in the
wild. The story is well constructed, i.e. it has a solid introduction which
leads to an exciting adventure and then progresses to a well thought out
JOINT WINNER An Old Galápagos Tortoise's Thoughts
I fell in love with the character
of Boris, the cranky old tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. Boris reflects on
the way the relationship between tortoise and human has changed over the years. It’s
story that is observant and humorous but it’s also very poignant because
although Boris is pragmatic and tolerates humans he would like, “the world back
to the stories my grandparents told me, when there were so many of us and
nothing to hurt us.” Xander has obviously researched the history of the
Galapagos Islands and tortoises and has an understanding of the impact that
humans can have, both good and bad, on wildlife.
SECOND PLACE Shelly – A Turtle's
Shelly is a tenacious (and very
hungry!) turtle who goes on a journey that is packed with adventure, she’s
captured by fishermen, gets into a fight with a crab. Daisy knows a lot
about turtles, how they hunt for food and why they go on difficult and
dangerous journeys, and she has managed to convey a lot of information in a fun
way – you have to keep reading to find out what happens to Shelly!
Years 7 and 8
Howl to Save a Life
A Monkey’s Tale
The Creature and the
A Mud Bath
The Elusive Panthera
The Story of a Real
An Elephant’s Journey
comments: Writer,Sally Spedding
the standard of writing amazing for 11—13 year-olds and had to re-readseveral times to decide on the winners. A really
hard job! But so enjoyable!
Sally's comments on her winning stories:
WINNER Howl to Save a
opening and drama a-plenty. The young wolf made a change from those more
familiar animals. Pathos too, and a strong narrative drive.
SECOND PLACE Saving
story of a young cow elephant, including that of Mike, the ranger. I was there
every step of the way. Visual and moving.
COMMENDED A Monkey's Tale
liked the first person point of view, and the drama swept me along to a great
ending. Again, a more unusual animal was featured.
Wriggling away from
Goshawk – Life in the trees
comments: TV Presenter and Writer,Michaela Strachan
I was absolutely bowled over by the standard of writing in this
category. All five finalists wrote compelling, original and quite brilliant
short stories. I was hugely impressed with the standard, which made my job of
choosing a winner pretty tricky! It was a close call between 1st and 2nd place!
Michaela's comments on her winning stories:
Wriggling away from
I went for this in the end because it
was so quirky and original. It's a great animal to choose, one that most people
have never heard of, and I loved it immediately from its wacky title to its
poignant end. It starts off with a wonderful description of the undergrowth
which I could smell in my imagination as I read it! I love the term the
'twolegs' and the quirkiness of the 'Congress of purebred wolves'. The writer
shows enormous promise of being quite a brilliant future novelist with a
subject that certainly is not obvious, taking us on an unexpected journey. I
love the 'celebration of privacy'. I, too, think that sometimes, in the quest
to know everything about every wild animal, we ruin it for the few mysteries
that are left. The story goes very quirky in the middle and I enjoyed the
absurdity of it and loved the confusion of the wombat on the ledge. Well done
for coming up with something so original and unique.
This is an incredible and quite
beautiful, but sad story of the last tigress left. A huntress, survivor, a fighter.
The descriptions of her are stunning and beautifully written. I loved the
occasional rhyme in story 'ebony paws and ivory claws', 'the slash of claw
the clamp or jaw',' of still days and harsh nights, of tiny cubs and large appetites'.
I loved some of the phrases 'worriedly, warily, wearily'. This is an
exquisitely written tragic tale. An incredibly moving, poetic and mature
short story. I loved it.
Morgan Joy Ashby
Mother and Baby Giraffe
Giraffe Mother and Baby
Copyright Morgan Joy Ashby aged 13 (just!)
DRAWINGS FOR THE BOOK (and some for the BACK COVER)
Morgan Joy Ashby
Dolphins, Tiger, Zebras
comments: Artists,Colin and Justin Wyatt
We were impressed
with the drawings – the children had clearly taken a lot of time and paid
attention to detail to really capture the animals. However, it was an easy
decision when it came to the cover. We both whole-heatedly agreed that Morgan’s
giraffes would make a wonderful cover! Well done.
Very well done to everyone on the list and who entered! And a HUGE thanks to all the judges!
Wild n Free Forever! Will be released in November. Royalties to Born Free.