We are delighted to announce the winners of our Tall Tales, Short Stories competition for 14-18 year olds. Young writers were invited to complete the end of a V.S. Pritchett Prize winner or judge’s short story.

Click the links below to read the winning stories:

  • First Prize – Lisa Elliot, 17 years old, Queens’ School, Hertfordshire 
  • Second Prize – Amelia Jones, 15 years old, Olchfa Comprehensive School, Swansea
  • Third Prize – Manon Heard, 14 years old, Colyton Grammar School, Devon

Please read the press release for further information.

Lisa Elliott says:
‘At first, when I began writing, it felt wrong to adapt someone else’s work. Going through the anthology of the V.S Pritchett Prize’s winning entries and of stories written by its judges gave me a lot of inspiration but also a sort of fear. I didn’t want to ruin any of the originals. However, soon I was thinking more about the way a story begins, and how it’s put together. I’m surprised but very excited that my ending for “The Street of Baths” by Fiona Vigo Marshall was received well. Now I feel like I understand the make-up of a good short story better. Hearing from Fiona Vigo Marshall has meant a lot to me as well as I loved “The Street of Baths” when I read it. The librarians at my school have recently cleared out some old books that hadn’t been borrowed for years so I know they’ll be very excited to get a few new ones in too.’

‘To me, creating this story was a brilliant opportunity to showcase my writing. As an aspiring author, I’m constantly looking for competitions to showcase my work, so I thank you for providing young writers across the UK a chance to do just that. Writing this piece was way for me to express my passion for fiction and literature. I truly enjoyed the competition as I was given the chance to put my own twist on the original story, experimenting with characters already crafted by Martina, testing my ability to creatively add to a story already written. I’m humbled to win second place because I know there must have been masses of amazing work, and it was surely a difficult decision to narrow down the entries to the winning stories. It excites me knowing my writing will be published online and announced in the RSL newsletter as I hope lots of people will see my story. It’s been my dream since I was seven to have others appreciate my work, and the Royal Society of Literature is an organisation I deeply admire, so winning an award under your name is truly remarkable.’

Manon Heard says:
‘I love reading and when I read the short story by Irensoen Okojie I knew that I had to pick it in order to continue the tale of mystery and magic. I find that writing is a form of escapism and this is what it meant to me when I was writing it. I am so pleased that I won 3rd place and this has made me feel that, even as someone who doesn’t write much, everyone should read and write more.’

We are also pleased to announce 11 Highly Commended entries:

Laiq Ahmed, 15, City of London School, London
Mileh Ahote, 15, City of London School, London
Anoushka Baluja, 15, Chelmsford Country High School, Essex
William Berkshire, 15, City of London School, London
Peter Bird, 15, Lurgan College, Northern Ireland
Jian Hui Mo, 14, City of London School, London
Hazel Morpurgo, 14, Colyton Grammar School, Devon
Daniele Ricotta, 14, Wetherby School, London
Karina Trifonova, 15, Whitefield School, London
Holly White, 14, Chelmsford Country High School, Essex
Ben Woodward, 14, King Edward’s School, Birmingham

We are hugely grateful to ALCS and the Thistle Trust for supporting Tall Tales, Short Stories.