It's not just a book thing!
We recently brought you news of the worthy winners of our competition, The Write Stuff. Here, we are proud to print the first-prize-winning entries in full, along with the lowdown on what inspired our budding writers. We would have loved to include all the winners’ stories but this would have been a verrrry long blog post! We hope you enjoy reading their different interpretations of THE BASEMENT as much as we did.
Tia Timms – La Mare de Carteret Primary School – 1st Prize Winner, Year 4/5/6 Category
Tia, can you sum up in one sentence what your story is about? Have you ever wondered where all your missing socks go, maybe it’s the sock monster?
What gave you the idea for your story? Mummy always finds odd socks when she does the washing and we joke about the sock monster eating them. I’m also scared of spiders and there are usually lots in places like basements.
How do you feel about winning the Write Stuff? I was really amazed when I was told I’d won first prize. My Headteacher was really chuffed. It is the first trophy that I have ever had.
Who are your favourite authors? Roald Dahl and Roger Hargreaves.
THE BASEMENT by Tia Timms
It’s funny you know I can never find a matching pair of socks when I’m getting dressed in the mornings. Mum blames it on the sock eating monster which lives in the basement and steals the socks out of the washing baskets. I don’t believe her but I am still scared of going down into the basement.
One day I was playing hide and seek with my sister. I looked under the bed, behind the curtains, under the table and in the garden shed. I couldn’t find her, but I found some old socks. “Could she be in the basement?” I went to look in the basement even if I am scared. I opened the door slowly, the door creaked open, I could hear my sister chatting to someone. So I walked down the stairs slowly and I creeped behind her and shouted “BOO.” She said “Ssh, you will scare him.”
“Who, there isn’t anyone there,” I said. My sister opened her hand and on it was a big, black spider you have ever seen. I fell right back onto the floor. I didn’t like spiders. I got up quickly off the floor and ran around the basement with my sister following me.
Mum shrieked I ran up quickly. It was my sister she had drawn all over the lounge walls. Mum asked where my sister was, I giggled to myself. “Yes, she’s hiding in the basement, but be careful: she’s not alone.”
Kariss Craig – Blanchelande College – 1st Prize Winner, Year 7/8/9 Category
Kariss, can you sum up in one sentence what your story is about? My story is about a girl who is fantastic at telling stories. She tells a lot of horror stories which eventually come back to haunt her.
What gave you the idea for your story? I didn’t really think about ideas. I just thought of things that could be in basements and my main character Melanie’s story just sort of tumbled out of my pen.
How do you feel about winning the Write Stuff? I felt pretty good about winning, obviously, one of my teachers told me and I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.
Who are your favourite authors? JK Rowling and Tanya Byrne.
THE BASEMENT by Kariss Craig
I’d known Melanie Redding since I was seven years old. She was annoyingly good at everything but so nice, so unselectively nice, it was impossible to hate her.
A few years ago she discovered her talent for story telling. Horror stories. She’d tell these ghostly stories in chilling voices, just scary enough for you to remember them in the middle of the night. There would be stories of wailing nuns in bloody gowns, forgotten children whimpering in towers. She’d learn true stories to scare us even more.
One day, they ruined her. She gave herself nightmares about ghosts and white women. She came to school one day with her blonde bouncy hair flat, her blue eyes dull. She told us her stories, her characters, they were all real.
After a while she just stopped coming into classes. She stopped coming to school altogether, we were worried and frightened. Perfect little Melanie? Haunted? Our teachers told us she had some kind of illness. Not one of us believed them. Definitely a haunting.
No one would go to her house to deliver homework or check if she’s OK. That’s why I’m here now, banging the knocker on her door. Her mother answers. “Can I help you Ruby?” she asks. “I was just looking for Melanie. May I see her?” I say, trembling. “Yes, she’s hiding in the basement, but be careful: she’s not alone.”
Scott Cleveland – The Grammar School – 1st Prize Winner, Year 10+ Category
Scott, can you sum up in one sentence what your story is about? My story is a small moment in time from a larger space adventure.
What gave you the idea for your story? I have a lot of ideas for things to write, this scene seemed to fit well within the constraints of the competition.
How do you feel about winning the Write Stuff? Very flattered that the judges thought my idea was any good.
Who are your favourite authors? My favorite author is Derek Landy who writes the Skulduggery Pleasant series.
RAGNAROK INVASION DAY 156 by Scott Cleveland
In a ruined fortress on a ruined planet Captain Brooks walked up to a collapsed alien.
“You ok Taivian?” Captain Brooks asked. Taivian raised one of his four arms, showing blood splattered across his thick environment suit.
“Exhausted… ” Taivian’s voice rasped through his respirator. “Spent 5 hours in medical tents… used electro-kinesis to keep other’s brain activity going…” he gasped. “Had to… threaten medics into treating Changelings… You believe that? Actually … Do you know where the Changeling Queen is?”
“Changelings!” Brooks snorted derisively, “You shouldn’t have bothered saving them in the first place. Queen Chrysalis can’t be trusted.”
“That’s not fair,” Taivian growled pulling himself to his feet, “I know what happened 4 years ago, everyone walked away from that alive. And right now we need all the help we can get regardless of past animosity.”
“You said yourself that they had been working with the Kronos until Queen Chrysalis ‘realised what their true plans were’. You should have left their hives to burn… ”
Taivian’s fist smacked into Brook’s head. Before he knew it Taivian had him pinned against a wall, lightening crackling from one hand. “I know you’re angry,” Taivian snarled. “I know you’re scared. But you spoke like the Kronos Commander just then. You can’t become like them. If you do… we’ve already lost. ” Brooks suddenly realised the hurt in his friend’s voice.
“What happened between you and Chrysalis?” Brooks asked softly. “She didn’t choose to be born a monster. When I was captured, the Kronos had broken me. I was going to blow containment on my suit, kill myself before I revealed anything important. Chrysalis was in there with me, she saved me, pulled me back. We broke out that night.”
“Sorry, you’re right” Brooks whispered gently. “She’s hiding in the basement. But be careful, she’s not alone.”