Winner of the 4-7 Age Group:
The Secret of the Well by Daithi Bury
Prince Nathan, of Sartan, was out walking with his minder, Griselda, near his castle. He wanted to pick flowers for his mother, Queen Celia. After a while, Griselda pointed out an unusual blue flower with purple pollen. Nathan picked it and found himself falling downwards. He landed with a bang in the dark. Somehow, when he picked the flower, the ground had opened under him. He looked up and saw Griselda above. She was smiling down and closing the hole. It was dark and Nathan was very scared.
Nathan felt around and could feel cold walls. He searched his pockets. He found his lego man, his rubber spider and his torch. He put on his torch and could see a passage. He followed it and ended up in a dried up well. He looked up and could see the sky. He called for help.
A long time later, Nathan heard someone calling his name. It was his big brother Jack. Nathan shouted “Jack”. Then Jack was looking down the well. Jack left but came back soon with a rope. He tied it to a tree near the well and threw the other end down to Nathan. Nathan climbed up the well using the rope. He told Jack what had happened. Jack told Nathan that Griselda had come back from their walk, shouting that Nathan had just vanished.
King Paul and Queen Celia then got a letter saying Nathan had been kidnapped. To get him back, they would have to leave €100 under the stone at the grave yard gate before midnight. They were worried.
Jack went home with Nathan to their castle. Griselda was shocked to see Nathan and tried to run away. The guards were waiting for her outside and she was taken away.
About the Author: Daithí Bury is 6 years old and lives in Tuam Co. Galway. Daithí is going into Senior Infants this September in St. Conleith’s NS, Kilconly, Tuam. He loves writing, reading, drawing, art and Superheroes.
Winner of the 8-11Age Group
Unicorn Land by Lauren Geary
Once upon a time in unicorn land the leader of the unicorns fell very ill. All the other unicorns were very worried because once a leader of the unicorns dies all of the unicorns start fighting and then an entrance appears from unicorn land to human land. No unicorn wants that!
The unicorn leader’s wife said that he had passed away. She put a sword in a large stone and told everyone that whoever pulled the sword from the stone would be the new king but every unicorn failed. One unicorn got so mad that he shoved the ice cream rainbow truck out of the way! All hope was lost until an unknown unicorn came and pulled the sword from the stone.
That special unicorn was now the leader of the whole unicorn kingdom. The unicorn was so happy that it danced around it’s palace! Days later a nosy unicorn found out that the new leader was a young female unicorn. The nosy unicorn spread this news through the kingdom and everyone was angry. They didn’t think that a young female unicorn could be a strong leader. They thought girls were weak!
The leader was so upset that she cried in her room for an hour but then she pulled herself together. She decided to pull out the unicorn rule book. She called every unicorn to the palace courtyard to tell them that in the rule book the new leader could be male or female.
The young unicorn stayed as leader for 500 years. She proved to the other unicorns that girl leaders can be just as strong and bold as any other unicorn. During her time as leader the other unicorns started to adore and worship her.
Everyone lived happily ever after.
About the Author: Lauren Geary is 9 years old and lives in Galway City. She is returning to 4th class Scoile Íde, Salthill in September and has two younger sisters Eliza and Alice. Lauren loves ballet and swimming and started writing stories during the Covid lockdown. After winning this competition Lauren says she plans to write many more.
Winner of the 12-14 Age Group
Bees By Amber Jordan Cunningham Moorat
In my ears, and my head. That’s all I can hear.
I try to cover my ears but it doesn’t help at all. In fact, it makes it worse. I pull my hands from my ears and curl up in a ball, trying to protect myself from the screams I can’t hear, and the buzzing that seems to overtake my mind. I wake up and inhale sharply. Pushing my body up onto my forearms, I take a slower, deeper breath.
“It was only a dream, Lily.” I whisper to myself, even though I know it wasn’t.
My mind flashes back to a week ago. I sat in the playroom with my sisters, Primrose and Briar, watching our favourite TV show, Best Friends Whenever.
Crash. I sit up straight away, and then I hear the yelling.
“OUR KIDS ARE AFRAID OF YOU JAMES!” I hear my mother scream. I get up, walk slowly through the doorway, and shut the door.
“THAT’S NOT MY FAULT NATALIE!” I hear my father scream at her.
That’s when the buzzing begins. Slumping down behind the kitchen door, I wrap my arms around my body, trying to stop the shaking. It won’t stop.
“Will they ever stop arguing?” I say to myself.
The arguing goes on for a while, though I can’t hear anything besides the buzzing. I hear one last comment before I run upstairs. It’s my mother.
“I want a divorce! And I’m taking the girls with us!”
I shake myself from the flashback, and realise that my face is wet with tears. I wipe the tears away, and crawl under my duvet covers. It’s the same nightmare, every night since the argument. My sisters, my mom and I are moving out next week.
This is it. The end of it all.
About the Author: Amber Jordan Cunningham Moorat is 14 and lives in Oranmore. She goes to school in the new Galway Educate Together Secondary School in Merlin Park. She is going into 2nd year. Amber loves reading, writing, horse riding, dancing and watching movies. She is a big Harry Potter fan and loves the Hunger Games and the Divergent Series. She was born in Australia and moved to South Africa until she was 12 and then moved to Galway and her family love living here.