Earlier this year, we launched a very special story writing competition. The main aim was to lift our spirits after a most extraordinary year and that was certainly achieved. We received over 130 entries in total, which is incredible!

A special thanks to our reading panel Sara Rosser, Pamela Harris, Mary Shaw, Kerstin Fitzpatrick, Lucy Ellerton, Abbie Barton and Charlotte Bingley. They really did have a difficult job on their hands to read and score each story. We know that they enjoyed taking part. 

Our head judge, award winning novelist Lucy Dillon had an even bigger task! Lucy had to make decisions on winners in both category and the overall winner. After much deliberation, the winners can now be revealed.

Huge CONGRATULATIONS to you both.

Under 10s Teagan Headford

Here is what Lucy had to say about Teagan's entry: 

'Really vivid descriptions, emotional and physical, made this immediately engaging, with some great foreshadowing in the first paragraph - very sophisticated! I was very impressed by the use of language: cwtched is such a good word, and the vocabulary was varied and interesting, creating a strong mental image of the action. Well balanced, well structured, well described, it ticked ALL the boxes!'

Over 10s William Drew

Lucy thoughts on William's story: 

'This was slightly different from the other finalists, in that it felt more like autobiographical writing than a narrative account. It was really well written, blending research facts with vivid, moving description (yes, I sat here crying while scrolling through stories of the 9-11 rescue dogs online). Like all the stories, it explored the relationship between humans and dogs, and I liked the way it started small and personal, with Patch’s weary head on his owner’s slippers, and then moved into something much bigger - the life-changing, life-saving contributions of dogs who work as a team with the vets and fire crew, risking themselves for humans - and how grateful we are' 

and the overall winner... Teagan Headford! 

We would love to welcome you to read their stories here.

Based on the success of this year's competition, we are pleased to let you know that it will be an annual event for us at Hope Rescue so please look out for news in early 2022.

We are also excited to let you know that we will be producing a book later this year featuring more of the stories from this years entries. Look out for more details in the autumn.