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Our little fella came home yesterday pleased as punch. He was clutching a large envelope containing a gold certificate, with a copy of a short story he had written at school. The story had been chosen to be published in an edition of Young Writers, along with quite a few others from his class. Oh, did I forget to mention that there was an order form also enclosed? I’ll get onto that.

We are no strangers to this process, as daughter number 2 bounded home with something similar a couple of  years ago. The situation is a little muddied because, on the one had, you feel very proud at the achievement, but at the same time, horrified by the astronomical cost. It can’t be denied that £15.99 for a paperback is a bit steep. And then of course the cynic in me kicked in, whispering into my ear that this is no more than a money making ploy, taking advantage of doting/naive parents.


Hhmm…what to do? Master Frog is hopping around excitedly because his name will be in print, but in my heart I suspect that the ‘competition’ is perhaps not following the rules of fair play. There’s been local grumblings on Facebook from disgruntled parents and I completely understand their point of view, although I have mixed feelings on the matter. At the end of the day, this competition encourages children to write for a purpose and that can’t be a bad thing can it?

P question

We have been set a challenge by some of the parents and it is this:

 ‘would it not be possible to arrange a writing competition for all the schools in Brentwood and print a book that is available for parents to buy in aid of a local charity or good cause?’

It is potentially a huge project, but we don’t like an easy life, so we if we can get the backing from all relevant parties, we’ll take it on.

This is what we will need before we can embark on the project:

  • willing schools, who will guarantee their participation

  • a local, reliable printing service

  • a small amount of funding for publicity and printing costs

If you would like to get involved, or know someone who would, let us know! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could produce a book every year which celebrates children’s writing?


The independent children's bookshop and tuition centre in the heart of Brentwood, Essex. Owned and run by Mr Frog & Mrs Chicken (happily married book-nerds), with the sole aim of bringing high quality books and tuition to our community.