YEP story writing winners announced

Alannah Marsden, 11, from Clapgate Primary School in Leeds  has won the primary school category of the Yorkshire Evening Post's Spring Story Competition.

Alannah Marsden, 11, from Clapgate Primary School in Leeds has won the primary school category of the Yorkshire Evening Post's Spring Story Competition.

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They should have a spring in their step today - as the winners of the Yorkshire Evening Post story competition can now be revealed.

Entries by talented young authors Alannah Marsden, 11, and Kate Wareing, 15, were selected by a panel of judges and will now be read at a special event at Leeds Central Library. We teamed up with Leeds Library and Information Service for the Spring Story Competition and judges said they were impressed by the high quality of all the entries.

Debbie Moody, young people’s librarian, said: “We’ve really enjoyed reading so many diverse entries. The range and quality has amazed us. To write a story in under 200 words is quite a challenge and we’re delighted that so many young people gave it a go.”

To enter, children had to write a story starting with the following intro:

“It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling on the grass.” Clapgate pupil Alannah won the primary school category and Kate, a pupil at Crawshaw Academy, won in the secondary school section.

Runners-up were 10-year-old Fathema, from Beeston St Francis of Assisi School, and Scarlet Rowe, 13, who lives in Roundhay and goes to Cardinal Heenan School. Alannah said: ‘I was ecstatic when I found out I had won the competition. I was so happy. Writing is something I love doing so I really enjoyed writing this short story. “

The stories will be read out by children’s author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst, who is behind the Mariella Mystery Investigates series, at the Children’s Library on April 10.The winners will also have the chance to meet the writer at the special event.

The competition is part of the YEP’s Get Leeds Reading campaign to help children to enjoy books. The YEP revealed earlier this year that almost 1,000 pupils left primary schools in Leeds last year without learning to read properly.

The Yorkshire Evening Post Spring Story Competition received entries from youngsters across the city.

Judges, who included librarians from Leeds Library and Information Service, were impressed with the high quality and great ideas.

Here we showcase some of the entries.

Evie Estelle Linstrum, 9.

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling in the grass...

It was a ultra-rare sparkling butterfly. I was astonished because I’m the only “perfect” person who ever saw this beautiful butterfly. Suddenly the sparkling butterfly flapped her wings and changed patterns from sparkly to diamonds! I always wanted to be famous, so I told all of my fabulous friends and family. But they didn’t believe me, however I had evidence, I took a selfie .with the pattern changing butterfly.My fans have entered me for the World Guiness Book of Records. The fame has just begun...

Rowan White, 9.

Marilla Mystery investigates the mysterious finding

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops i saw something sparkling on the grass. It shone like a diamond as it glistened in the beaming sun. I looked at it suspiciously andthen i realised i was the best investigater this town had ever seen. I had investigated the ghostly guinea pig so this was not going to be a problem. Curiously i took it up to my bedroom to be examined. It turns out it was the rariest most valuable thing i had ever seen in my nine years of living. These diamonds were the queen’s jewels and they had somehow got into my garden. I researched it on the internet and they had a profit of approximately 4 million pound per jewel. This gave the ammount of twelve million pounds. Wow that’s a lot i gasped. Suddenly my mum knocked on my mahogony door. Quickly i hid the diamonds under my bed knowing we could make a lot of money. Can i keep the secret and can you!

Orgeta Mornia, Allerton C of E Primary School

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling on the

grass. “What could it be I thought?” I kneeled down and witnessed a small and strange looking

creature it glanced up and beamed closely. I wondered what to do with it. I took it home and

I urgently sent a message to Olivia, lily and daisy (my friends) and said “come over to mine.” As fast

as possible they appeared. I showed them the weird, green, gooey yet adorable creature. We didn’t know what to do with it so Olivia insisted that we put it back were it belongs but theirs a problem... where does it belong? Suddenly there was a flash just out of the window we all looked but nothing was there.

We all turned and saw a huge red bloody hand dripping red blobs on the door so what did we do?

SCCCREAM!!! We dashed out but the door was cemented so instead we headed for a corner near the wardrobe and desk. The sky grew dimmer and dimmer while the seconds pasts. The dark converted from a dark dim sky to a bright peaceful sky. And everything changed back to normal except the creepy goo baby had disappeared

We travelled through the house to the garden and noticed the creepy goo baby, which is now

officially called Andrew like my name so we took him inside and played with her but then Olivia

accidentally through Andrew out of the window

(oops). Lily, me and daisy ran out to go and get him but he was no longer there…

Sophie Hall, Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley

It’s coming for me and it’s close, the ground is shaking even more than before. This beast is catching up with me, but not from behind. I know this because when I turn, I can see for miles, in front I cannot. ‘Where could it be? What will happen’ these questions keep racing through my mind. I can hear it and now it is closer than before. Then it’s time for me to make the decision, how to escape... I can’t run because it will outrun me, I know these things take their time, but honestly, have you even seen me run? And I can’t hide, despite the fact that my training gear is dark green, and I’m in a ‘jungle’, these things are known to have very good eyesight. Jumping is obviously out of the question, I can’t do it, I know I can’t, but what other choice do I have? I’m going to have to do it. Climb. Climb higher than the wind it’s self, not looking back, questioning every step I take, I begin. The trek seems to go on for a while, so I decide to finally to have a rest, hydrate, and that’s when it takes a glimpse of my pale, ghostly skin. I hear the buzz, the buzz which tells me I only have to last 5 more minutes, that’s when it decides to pounce.

Like a bird with a broken wing, I bounce back harmlessly. Luckily I grab on to the thin branch close to where I almost got defeated. I then decide I’m not going down without a fight, and the chase begins. I completely forget about the 3 minutes remaining and jump from tree to tree like my life is in danger, because as we all know, it is. Now I know, that the chase is on.

Before I know it, I’m freed from the dungeon cell which I now apparently call my ‘life’.

For once I just wish my life was normal, I just wish I knew where my parents are and this moment and what these people did to them. I just wish I knew how I got here, who is to blame. I never got told who or what my parents were, but I did get told to just keep going, just keep training because everything will work out in the end. They also tell me that if I listen to them and do what they instruct, I will be set free and i will meet these ‘parents’ of mine. But right now, I’m starting to have doubts, serious doubts.

Johanna Jermy, 11, Beeston St Francis of Assisi School

It really felt like the first day of Spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling on the

grass. At first, I couldn’t tell what it was however, as I stepped closer, I was dazzled to find a pair of

gleaming glass slippers with heels as sharp as knives. The magnificent objects glistened in the

scorching sunlight, revealing a petite note. I grabbed it, reading what it said with surprise:

‘Only the foot that fits EXACTLY into these may discover a world beyond their dreams! Anyone who

fails may set sail!’

A sudden urge forced me to place my feet into the mirror-like shoes without caring about the

consequences. At that moment, the world started rotating; darkness fell!

Following hours of lying motionless, I found myself relaxing on a cloud of jewels. Though an amazing

sight, it was extremely uncomfortable! Suddenly, a woman of fine riches appeared who introduced

herself as queen Emerald. Although she appeared very nice, her true self was unleashed when she

announced that I wasn’t welcome…ever! Her following words made me regret trying on her fine


Weza Mendes, 11, Beeston St Francis of Assisi School

It really felt like the first day of Spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling on the


Something instantly caught my eye. A glimmering, shimmering object glistened in the sunlight. What

could this object be? Eagerly, I stepped closer to the item letting my fear turn into excitement.

Finally with a glimpse I saw a crimson ruby jewel, it was like a wave of radiant light. Ecstatic as I was I

opened the reflected object what seemed like mini fake piece of sliver was in fact a priceless

laminated nugget of gold.

“Wow that’s amazing what a splendid jewel!” muttered Star also beaming in delight. Gazing at my

prize possession suddenly a figure emerged from the silhouette tree. What will happen next? Who will help Star? Most importantly who is the figure?

Lauren Coulthurst, 10, Kingsway, Garforth

An ordinary day in spring

It really felt like the first day of spring as I saw something sparkle in the grass among the snow drops.

What is it? Exited, I ran home but at home I could not keep it quite! “MUM!”I shouted “Guess

What, there was something sparklesssssssbjbgnmcjdcgdncjk in tgrass!” “Ok, I mean, there was something sparkling in the grass amongst the snow drops!”

Anyway, I went to bed and slept all night dreaming about what it could be

8:00am I woke up, I skipped breakfast and opened the door. It’s there, it’s there I ran straight to it!

But when I got there, it’s not what I expected, not a diamond or fairy or a butterfly it was wait for it…, wait for it… 2 sparkly boarding passes! I searched all over them for dates and places to go, but no information on it at all!! Grasping the passes tightly, I ran in the house to show my mum this amazing find. at the first glimpse, mum walked out and got in her car so I followed. She drove us to the place the airport. We ran inside and stopped at the first desk and handed the tickets over and the lady told us that the tickets are for Phuket and we got on the first plane there. It truly was the very best day ever!!!!

Armaan, 11, Beeston St Francis of Assisi School

It really felt like the first day of spring .Amongst the snow drops I saw something sparkling on the grass . It’s golden hinges illuminated as the sun shone upon them and the specks of diamond glistened on the hinges. As I reached out for it, I realised I had been transported to Ancient China.. I walked to the dojo (palace) where Naruto, Kakashe and Sage of six path were.

We had been training really hard and could use the power of fuse, what would combine us (me and Naruto) into one person who others called, Sasuto. If we went into sage mode, it would make us so powerful, we would be indestructible. Kakashe had told me that Madara had stolen the box. I searched until I found him.

I was near Madara. Now, the battle began. Madara used his jutsu to weaken me. I used lightning blade and threw a kunai. He was defeated. I tried to retrieve the box but Obito destroyed it.

In a flash Kakashe and Sage of six path came and destroyed Obito. The pieces were thrown away. I began my journey to return home. This was going to be difficult seeing as the pieces were tiny.

Chanel Hooton, 9, Clapgate Primary School

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling in the grass. Suddenly I tiptoed a bit closer and the sunlight bounced off the sparkling thing on the grass and shot me in the eye. I got up and it was a magic coin. I was shaking with excitement because I had never had a magic coin before.

Later that day, I had a very good look. Then I lost the coin when I was asleep and from then onwards I had bad luck. I was thinking about all the bad things in the world and not all the good things, it was very strange that this was happening but I bared with it and left it to happen.

Later, I found the coin under my pillow. It was a very lucky moment. Then I kept having good luck all the time. But, every time I lost the magic coin I still got good luck. So that was good but it was still very strange. All of the times that I got good luck my mind told me that there will never be bad luck ever again in all life and I will always get good luck all of the time.

Ellie-Mai Jackson, 8, Clapgate Primary school

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something sparkling on the grass. So my dog (Poppy) went up to it and sniffed it. Suddenly

huge sparks went flying all over and Poppy disappeared! For a few minutes I just stopped and stared …….. Until without thinking I went through the sparks too! I was

almost blinded but saved myself in time. Then I realised I wasn’t anywhere horrible I

was in fields filled with lambs and chicks. I also saw a scarecrow who looked kind of

creepy but I didn’t mind I needed to find Poppy and quickly. Suddenly a lamb came

to me with a chick so I had a closer look at them. “AAHHHHHH” I screamed in horror

the lamb had red eyes and the chick had devilish horns I screamed again but nobody

heard me. I looked back at the scarecrow he smirked at me and began to run.

Suddenly I saw Poppy next to the scarecrow so I decided to be brave and run up to

her and grab her. As I picked her up I realised I was been chased struggling I

managed to fight them all and jump back through the sparks and get home just in

time for tea!

George Rayner, 8, Clapgate Primary School

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw something

sparkling on the grass. It was silver and the shiny. That was really shiny it nearly

blinded me. I picked it up – really heavy-it looked like a coin but it looked like a 3

pound coin, I thought you never get a 3 pound coin. I pressed the coin the hardest I

ever did but it did nothing so I throw it away. Then I heard screeching the coin

started growing into a box “WOW ITS A GREY BOX” I said. Then it said “I’m a time

machine not a grey box” the box said. I stepped in the machine it took me to 2012.I had big

massive brown curly hair. My mum was shouting at me because I was being cheeky

“GEORGE” said my mum “what mum” I said “tea is ready” said mum “coming mum”. I sat down and had some chicken and wedges. I watched my tele and then went to bed. The next

the day I got up and went in my car and my dad took me to my football training but then a

dummy got stuck on our car.

Isobel Symonds, 8, Clapgate Primary School

It really felt like the first day of spring. Amongst the snowdrops I saw

something sparkling in the grass. A beautiful easter egg shone in my

face and into my eyes. It took me somewhere different. There were

fancy patterned cars and beautiful orange gates opening every white

house. I found the egg in my hand and it beeped. A lady grabbed my

hand and put me in a long pink car.Then the egg shone again and I

was back where I started.When I ran home and told my mum and

dad about my adventure they did not belive me.Then my brother

said maybe you just day dreamed.

Date: 23rd March 2017.
Picture James Hardisty
The Leeds Fund, has once again distributed more grants to local community projects to help people across the city of Leeds, with support from John Lewis Leeds. 
Pictured Kate Hainsworth, from Leeds Community Foundation, James Prince, from John Lewis Leeds, (Centre) members of three local charites that have benefited from the grants (left to right) Jessica Kennan, from Kidz Club, Francessa Joy, from Imagine If Theatre Company, Scarlett Kelly, Sharon kennedy, and Simon Johnson, from Luv2meet.

#SpeakYourMind: Funding boost for vital projects at heart of Leeds