2013 First Story writing competition results

Walkopedia is proud to announce the results of its 2013 First Story writing competition, for the best pieces about or involving a walk written by children participating in the fantastic First Story project.

The excellent First Story charity was set up to nurture and inspire creativity, literacy and talent in British schools. See www.firststory.org.uk.

Walkopedia is dedicated to the hagiography of the world’s best walks: we believe in great writing, and are proud to support First Story.

This was a difficult decision as a result of the high quality of our shortlist: it took many readings to decide the winning entry. We congratulate all the shortlisted writers for their achievements.


The winner of our £200 First Prize is Gianni Fortes (King Solomon Academy) for his clever, imaginative, poetic The Shadow that Walks.

The Second Prize (£100) was won by Juliette Hills (Oaklands School) for Time of Day, also a clever and imaginative piece.

An additional Third Prize (£50) has been awarded to Theo Modell (Oaklands School) for Monsters, to reflect the quality of his entry.


Special Mentions: we also want to specially mention the following for particularly impressive pieces:

Tarzina Khatun (Oxford Spires Academy)
Skye Kimber (Queens Park Community School)
Rianna Patel (Wembley High Technology College)

Finally, our congratulations to the other shortlisted entrants:

Taya Alferoff (Acland Burghley School)
Connor Brimelow (Acland Burghley School)
Latiff Parkinson (Woodside High School)
Mariela Krasteva (Woodside High School)

The winning entries are set out below.


The Shadow that Walks, by Gianni Fortes

I am your shadow, stuck to you and I walk behind you. Walking and walking.
My movements restricted for I am part of you
a part of you that you constantly ignore.
You know I am there, but you take no notice.
Your eyes never willing to swipe a glance at the darker you. The true you.
I am your shadow, but I am a poor you.
I do not contain the brilliance of your smile, or the hunger of your eyes.
I do not possess your nose, nor the freckles that pepper your face.
I am canvas of the night, the painting the artist chose to ignore.
But I am still a painting, still a work of art. And I have value.
During the day, you do not think of me. I am small, but I grow larger
As the day goes by.

I walk and I walk.

I’m a flicker of your thoughts and I rise, growing lighter and lighter more defined, more prominent, more me and not you.
My limbs stretched until the boundaries that exist between me and you are worn and elastic.

I walk and I walk.
During the night, as the day gets tired, and the sky yawns a spectrum of brilliance
that flicker in you.
That me fade, and fades and

Fades. But still I walk and walk.

Darker and darker, blanker and blanker, until; I am a shadow of you
the thing that you ignore.
The true me.
The one that walks.


Time of Day, by Juliette Hills

There is a dreary canvas
Swathed in muted blue;
Desaturated colours.
Everything is still.
And the smattering of people: all
Stressed, rushing, rushing to work.
They are dribbles of paint
Slithering down, bound by gravity,
Not sure where they are going.

Later, noon, and I am very late for school.
But not rushing at all,
Because I am basking in the rays.
The strokes of yellow overlay the grey.
Around me people amble, accompanied by dogs: all
Shapes and sizes.
We are dribbles of paint
Left to our own devices, free to roam,
Our destinations loosely marked.


Monsters, by Theo Modell

Walking in the woods
The deep dark woods
Always looking behind me.
Walking round the trees,

Walking through the leaves,
Who is going to find me?
'Where shall we go?' my big brother says.
'As deep as we can?'

The sky is a great sea of peach,
The sun a glowing orange,
Ripe and juicy, ready to eat.
Huge white boats navigate their way

Over our heads and far away—
'Stop!' my brother commands. 'Listen.'
Leaves rustle like chattering fairies
Giggling away at our blindness.

Trees howl at the sky above
They grumble complaints as they slap each other's face.
Water rushes down the stream beside.
Birds sing, squirrels hide.

A toad burps, a twig cracks.
'Stand very still.
'Don't move, don't say a word.'

The fairies have stopped chattering
The trees have quietened down.
We are the only things making a sound.
Our breath shatters the silence.

Our eyes are wide.
We look around
No matter how hard we look
There's nothing to be found.

Something moved just up ahead.
A shadow - behind a tree.
For a moment there is nothing
But the fear in our eyes.

Every living creature somehow hides.
A twig cracks, followed by a deafening scream.
It came from my brother, now miles away.
He ran off down the hill. This is no longer play.

A scream escapes my mouth
As I follow his pace.
I bolt down the hill.
Now starts the chase.

Our hearts pound together
The pace of our feet
Two brilliant blurs
Our bodies move at incredible speed.

We travel until we can run no more.
We come to a dead stop
And collapse to the floor.
'You think we lost him?' my brother says.

'They're a sneaky lot, those monsters of the night.
'You think you've lost them, then comes the fright.
Pick up a stick, get ready to fight.'
We wait and we wait for the monster to come.
He steps out from behind a deformed and twisted tree.
The fight has begun. Sticks fly everywhere
We get knocked to the ground.
Up we rise again, and with a strength that's profound

We hit and we kick
We scream and we fight.
The monster howls with pain
And we with delight.

That's right, monster, back you go.
Back to your lair
Where no-one will know
How hard we fought.

The battle has been won.
Hooray! Hooray!
We are the victors of this day.
But what is this now?

A voice is calling,
Beckoning us back.
Into the world:
'Boys! Time to go home now!'

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