Mike Doodson, a new dad and marketing manager from Cheshire, has won Amazon’s A New Christmas Carol writing competition for a children’s bed time story with his story A Christmas Squirrel. This is the second year that Amazon have run the writing competition won last year by Lucy Banks.
Mike’s story, written for his six-month-old daughter, Anais, is about a squirrel who refuses to share his hoard of food, while the other woodland creatures have scarcely anything to eat. After a visit from three wise trees, the squirrel learns a valuable lesson of generosity in time for Christmas.
Selected from hundreds of entries, A Christmas Squirrel is a modern and uplifting take on Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. With the themes of generosity and redemption, it’s a story for families across the world to enjoy in the run up to Christmas.
Mike’s story, now wonderfully hand-illustrated by Ian Beck, has been independently published through Kindle Direct Publishing and is available to readers this Christmas. The hope is that the tale will become a Christmas classic for this first-time author.
In addition to having his book illustrated, Mike wins a £2,000 Amazon Gift Card, a new Fire tablet and an Amazon marketing campaign to support the launch of his book. As a Kindle Direct Publishing author, he will earn royalties of up to 70% from sales of the book which retails at £2.79 in digital and £4.49 in print and is available to buy right now. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription you can read the story for free.
“Mike’s story is magical and will delight families this Christmas, and I particularly like the food-sharing element of Mike’s re-telling. The tale’s link to the natural world is lovely. It is a great story of rhyme and reason.”
– Taffy Thomas MBE, storytelling expert and competition judge
A digital marketing manager for a technology solutions business from Mobberley by day and an aspiring author by night, Mike, 30, a first-time dad who had never before spoken about his dreams of writing, beat hundreds of entries in the search to find a modern equivalent to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. His story about compassion and forgiveness strengthens the narrative’s spirit of community and diversity, capturing the hearts of the expert judging panel, which in addition to MBE storyteller Taffy Thomas included children’s author Cerrie Burnell, Ian Beck, last year’s winner Lucy Banks, and members of the Amazon UK books team.
“I’m delighted that my interpretation of such an inspiring Christmas classic has won the competition, and I hope readers will enjoy my re-invented tale reminding us about the true meaning of Christmas. The themes of redemption, repentance and forgiveness underpin the magic of this time of year and regardless of whether I won or not, I thought an uplifting take on the classic would be the perfect Christmas present for my daughter.”
– Mike Doodson, Author