GLARE Story Competition 2019

Can you write a female villain? We all like a good baddie... and women can be as wicked as men!

Queen of Hearts pointing to her left

From Cruella De Vil to Snow White's evil stepmother queen; from Bellatrix Lestrange to Narnia's White Witch, stories are full of powerful and interesting female villains. 

Our challenge to you is to write a story featuring at least one female villain - she doesn't have to be the main character, she just has to be completely original. 

There are three age categories:

  • 6-8 years. A maximum of 400 words and an accompanying illustration is allowed
  • 9-12 years. A maximum of 600 words.
  • 13-15 years. A maximum of 1,000 words.

It's completely free to enter. Just bring your imagination and ideas!

How to enter

1. The competition deadline is 12am on Monday April 29, 2019.

2. Please read ‘GLARE Story Competition 2019 rules’ below.

3. Submit your entry online.

GLARE Story Competition 2019 rules

  1. The competition is organised jointly by the Busy Parents Network and the University of Birmingham.
  2. All entries must be in English.
  3. Entry to this competition is open to persons who will be aged 6 to 15 years on Monday April 29, 2019. Entries must be submitted by an adult (parent or guardian) on behalf of the child. This adult must be able to give parental consent.
  4. Entries are in three age categories: a) 6-8 year olds, b) 9-12 year olds and c) 13-15 year olds.
  5. To enter the competition, participants will write a fictional short story. In category a) (6-8 year olds) the story length must not exceed 400 words and may be accompanied by an original illustration, in category b) (9-12 year olds) the story length must not exceed 600 words, and in category c) (15 to 15 year olds) the story must not exceed 1000 words.
  6. The entries will be submitted via an online submission system. The format of the entries needs to be a text document, in category a) the entries may be scanned copies of handwritten stories (jpg).
  7. The parent / guardian submitting the story on behalf of the entrant will be asked to provide the entrant’s gender and age. The parent /guardian will also provide contact details for the purpose of contacting the winner.
  8. The parent/guardian submitting the entrant’s story will be required to approve the entry and agree to these competition rules on behalf of the entrant. The parent / guardian must also provide their own contact details.
  9. Entries can be submitted via the submission system until 12pm on Monday April 29, 2019.
  10. Only one entry per child is permitted. The story must be an original piece of work and be wholly written by the child. It must reflect the theme of the competition as stated in the competition challenge. The stories must be single-authored.
  11. Entries must not contain obscene, defamatory, offensive or otherwise unsuitable material. The organisers reserve the right to disqualify such entries.
  12. Entrants retain the copyright in their entries. Entrants will be asked to grant a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to store the entry in a university research database for research purposes. Any research conducted and subsequently published will use anonymized data with only gender and age identifying the stories. Entrants will be further asked to grant permission to publish the winning story in each category online. This licence will be deemed to include all the necessary rights and permissions to enable use as described above, to fulfil the prizes and to complete the administration of this competition.
  13. Entries can be withdrawn within 7 days of submission by contacting
  14. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
    1. Originality
    2. Relation to the challenge theme
    3. Characterisation
    4. Plot
    5. Language
    6. Overall artistic impression and enjoyment
  15. The first round will be judged by the competition panel as specified in the challenge. The shortlisted stories will be judged by Robin Stevens, an award winning children’s author.
  16. Prizes, as specified in the challenge, will be awarded to winners in all three categories. Winners will be contacted by June 15, 2019.
  17. The organisers reserve the right to amend these rules or cancel the competition at any stage.

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