Amazon Christmas bedtime story writing competition

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Christmas Carol Writing Competition
Following the success of 2016’s search for a new Christmas bedtime story, Amazon has today launched the 2017 search for a new 1,000 words or less children’s festive tale that is a reimagined and modern take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The winning children’s book will be illustrated and published in time for this Christmas season.

Last year author Lucy Banks (pictured above) won with her ‘Sol The Slug’s Night Before Christmas‘ story and she will be on the judging panel this year.

The competition is now open to all adult UK residents, with the winning story to be professionally illustrated by award-winning children’s book illustrator, Ian Beck. The winning author will receive a £2,000 Amazon Gift Card and a top-of-the-range Fire tablet. Published through Kindle Direct Publishing, the winning Christmas bedtime story will be available in both print and digital formats in the run up to Christmas and made available to an audience of millions of readers around the world with the Kindle app for iOS and Android or using any Kindle or Fire tablet.

Authors can submit their stories from today by emailing their entries to [email protected] to be judged by a team of Amazon books editors and last year’s competition winner Lucy Banks.

“We are excited to see what brilliant writers across Britain come up with this year. A Christmas Carol embodies the spirit of Christmas, and in seeking out a modern-day interpretation, we hope to spread these positive messages while helping to elevate the career of a talented author.”
– Alessio Santarelli, Director of Kindle Content EU, Amazon

Celebrated illustrator Ian Beck said: “I look forward to bringing the winning story to life through my illustrations. A Christmas Carol’s simple message of Christmas generosity has been such an inspiration in many forms for generations and it will surely continue to inspire through this competition. My family and I have always loved reading together, a special ritual at Christmas time along with the carols from King’s College chapel and dressing the tree. Illustrating this new tale for families to read together this coming festive season will be a pleasure.”

To be in with the chance of winning, authors should submit up to a 1,000 word story in English by the 7th of November. The winning story will be made available on the Kindle store around the world in the run up to Christmas.

The story will be published through KDP, Amazon’s independent publishing programme, which enables authors to retain their copyrights, keep control, distribute globally, and earn royalties of up to 70%. The author will be enrolled into KDP Select and as a result, the book will be available through Kindle Unlimited.

2 Responses

  1. The Goodwill Pigeon
    It was the week before Christmas. Rowena Robinson huddled on the cold branches of the lilac tree, feathers puffed up like a seeding dandelion while Roy filled the garden with a selection of his latest songs.
    “I don’t know why you’re bothering with that rubbish!” Rowena nagged. “It won’t get us any nearer to the peanuts; not with that Starling rabble hogging the bird feeders.”
    Hunger was making her bad tempered
    “They are hungry too, my love. Perhaps we should call them the Starving family! And if they drop scraps it’s easier for small birds like Jenny Wren to pick it up.
    The Starlings rose up like a cloud and swooped away over the fence. As the Robinsons prepared to fly over to the bird table a door slid open and a girl chick stepped out. In her hand she held a bag which she shook over the stones, peppering the ground with delicious seeds, nuts and mealworms.
    Roy called to Rowena, “Come on, dear. There’s enough food here to feed a flock!” But she shrank back into the tree, trembling.
    “Roy! Get back here! It isn’t safe.”
    He looked up at her. “The humans won’t hurt us. They put all this food out. We must show them we like them too.”
    He coaxed her from the tree and on to the patio where the girl was standing.
    Later, in their cosy roost, Roy explained about the humans. “That one you saw, the one who served us the meal; that was a girl. I don’t think she lives there but she visits often.”
    “Girl” Rowena murmured.
    “Then there’s an old hen. She lives there all the time.”
    Rowena yawned. “How do you know she’s old?”
    “Well her feathers are white and straggly. The poor things only have feathers on their heads and they can’t even fly.” He turned to his wife but she was asleep.
    The next morning, they peered out to see Mark and Mandy Magpie strutting around making their usual racket. The other birds hung around at a distance listening to what sounded like pistol shots. Rowena sighed.
    “Not much chance of breakfast, Roy.”
    “No-but they keep Squirrel at bay! What do you think that is?” Roy indicated a bedraggled, grey mound of feathers by the door. Rowena stared, aghast. “Oh Roy! Do you think that dreadful cat’s been here again?”
    “I’m going to take a closer look.”
    “You can’t! It isn’t safe!”
    But he’d already taken off. He perched on a window ledge, chirped and was astonished to see a bedraggled head appear.
    The door opened and Millie stepped out. Mark and Mandy rose up screeching but Roy stayed where he was, watching. When the girl-chick spotted the heap of feathers and got down to look at it Rowena gasped, for it did not get up and fly away or even try to move. Roy glided back to her.
    “It’s a pigeon, Rowena. His name is Preston. I know pigeons are common but I think his wing is injured. A car hit him. Look, Millie is coming back out.”
    Millie held the peanut bag they all knew so well and a saucer of water. She knelt to place the water and some peanuts next to Preston, who raised his head to stare over at Roy.
    “It’s alright” chirped the robin. “The girl-chick won’t hurt you.”
    Rowena clucked. “You know we don’t talk to pigeons! They come from miles away and take our food and water!”
    Roy cocked his head. “My love, we are lucky to be well looked after here. Does it matter where this poor bird is from? He may not be like us but he is a bird all the same. There is enough to go around, isn’t there?”
    “I suppose so. But he won’t stand much of a chance if he stays there. Fox will get him.”
    The next morning Preston wasn’t there and in his place was a box. Millie stepped outside to pour some nuts into it. “Is it some new kind of bird feeder?” Rowena asked and Roy went to look. “Preston is in the box, Row!”
    “Don’t be daft, Roy. Have you been eating those rotten apples again?”
    “It’s true-go and see for yourself.”
    She made a cautious circuit over the patio. “He seems better today-more perky and he’s tidied himself up a bit.”
    Two days later Preston was standing up on the slabs. Roy called to him. “How’s it going? You’re looking much better.”
    He took a few wobbly steps. “My wing is feeling less painful. I might try a few exercises after breakfast.”
    “Take care, friend,” warned Roy, “We sometimes get Fox here!”
    Preston hopped around the garden, propelling himself half a metre into the air in a series of leaps before flopping on to the lawn for a rest.
    “He’s persistent. I’ll give him that.” Rowena said.
    On Christmas Eve they woke to see him flying around the garden, making experimental landings on branches. He stopped below them and squinted up with one beady eye.
    “I’m off this morning. I’ll say Cheerio. Thanks for all your help.”
    Roy flicked his tail. “Take care friend.”
    Preston made an ungainly ascent, heading west. They watched in silence until he became a tiny speck. The patio door slid open and Millie stepped out, looking about her and into the empty box. The short, old hen-person came out to stand by her.
    Roy took off. “Come on!”
    Rowena spluttered but flew to join him on the patio.
    The Robinsons perched together on the edge of the bird bath, serenading the hen and girl-chick as they stood smiling outside the door. Millie clapped her hands. “That was beautiful. Thank you. I expect you’re hungry after all that singing!”
    She sprinkled a helping of peanuts on to the slabs in front of them.
    “There-you see?” Roy nodded at his wife. “We are so lucky. We live in the best garden in the world. Happy Christmas and Goodwill to all pigeons!”


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