Silentnight Sleepy Stories with Anne Fine

Silentnight have launched a really exciting competition for aspiring authors to have their very own bedtime story about Hippo & Duck illustrated and published!  The short story competition welcomes entries from 6 – 12 year olds and will be judged by the legendary children’s author, Anne Fine OBE. 

As well as having their story printed, the winner will receive a brand new Silentnight bed, £1000 worth of books for their school and a giant Hippo and Duck cuddly toy!  Anne Fine will visit the winner’s school to present them with their printed book in a special celebration ceremony!  (How flipping exciting would that be?!  A former Children’s Laureate in your child’s school!)

Nick Booth, Marketing Director at Silentnight has explained the thinking behind the campaign by saying: “We believe passionately in the power of a bed-time story, not only is it proven to better literacy skills but it strengthens the bond between parent and child.  Most of us have fond memories of being read a bedtime story and we want to encourage families to keep the reading and storytelling tradition alive . . . ”  

Quite frankly I couldn’t agree more!  We have read a bedtime story almost every single night since Ben was just 5 weeks old and I am quite sure this has had a significant impact on his vocabulary and understanding of our language.  Despite being perfectly capable of reading his own bedtime story now he will still make sure he snuggles up with the girls each night and thoroughly enjoys being read to.  

Anne Fine OBE, leading children’s author said: “Many children adore writing stories, so every chance they get to write whatever they fancy, in their own way, is liberating for them.  I’m always fascinated by young people’s imaginations so am very much looking forward to reading the entries.”

To help your child to get started, Silentnight have created some printable prompts which will encourage your child to think about the plot, setting and characters which will be in their story.  Submissions should be between 250 and 500 words and can be submitted online or via post using the downloadable entry form.  (Entries close on Friday 20th May – making it a lovely post SATs activity for Year 6 classes!)

It’s no secret that our Ben is something of a reluctant writer.  It has always been the case and I fear it probably always will be.  He’s full of bright ideas and fantastic vocabulary but he just isn’t bothered about getting it down on paper – apparently it’s boring.  When I asked him to have a go at writing a story about Hippo & Duck he manage to write his whole “story” into just one paragraph (45 words to be precise) which demonstrated that he really wasn’t in the mood for it!  The basic premise was that an evil giraffe tried to set Hippo on fire but Duck stopped the evil giraffe and they all lived happily ever after . . .   

Fingers crossed you will have more luck inspiring your little ones to enter this fabulous competition! 

*Disclaimer – This post was commissioned as part of my Silentnight Ambassador role*

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