03 April 2018
100 Word Competition winner

First Story and Vintage are delighted to announce the winner of the 2017-18 First Story 100 Word Competition.

First Story is a literacy charity that runs creative writing residencies in schools serving low-income communities, with the aim of fostering creativity and communication skills. 

Now in its fourth year, the competition, judged by Vintage, is open to all First Story students aged 11-18. The competition comes part way through the school residencies and gives our young writers the experience of crafting something to a specific brief, meeting a deadline, going through a selection process and potentially achieving the first taste of publication success. Entries can be prose or poetry and can be on any theme. Twenty four schools from across the UK submitted a shortlist of three entries and a winner was chosen from each, with one overall winner and one overall runner up. 

The overall winner is Rebecca Obadina-Adebowale from Platanos College, London and the runner up is Nicole Fontes from Nottingham Academy, Ransom Road, with an honourable mention for Sophia Chrysanthou from Chelsea Academy, London. Rebecca, Nicola and Sophia will all receive a pile of prize books from Vintage and will have their 100-word stories printed on postcards. 

100 Word Competition winner

In addition, the best entries from each school that entered the competition will also be printed on postcards and will each receive two prize books. In alphabetical order, this year’s school winners are:

Abi Jay, John Cabot Academy

Aliyah Begum, Feversham College

Andrea Martins, Saint Gabriel’s College

Faatimah Ilyas, Pimlico Academy

Freya Doyle, St. Mary’s College, Hull

George Dring, Radley College

Iqra Shahzad, Southfield Grange Campus

Jaineet Gulabzada, Cranford Community College

Jamie Offen, Sirius Academy North

Jaydon Wilkinson, Hull Trinity House Academy

Joseph Solomon, Woodside High School

Maham Rehman, Wembley High Technology College

Muhammad Hashir, Beckfoot Upper Heaton

Nabilah Yasmin, Heartlands High School

Naerah Chaudhry, Fulham Cross Girls School

Oliver Buck, Willowfield School

Rebecca Adams, Appleton Academy

Rose Halward, Lincoln Castle Academy

Ruby Shrehorn, Risedale Sports and Community College

Sarah-Louise Weston, Hans Price Academy

Suhail Mahomed, Judgemeadow Community College

Joe Pocknell, Raines Foundation School

Zarah Latif, Belle Vue Girls’ Academy

Nicki Shore, Head of Programmes at First Story, said: “The First Story young writers have cleverly used the restriction of 100 words to craft pithy works with powerful voices. The pieces exhibit a remarkable spectrum of writing styles and display thrilling invention. By donating both prizes and their time in judging the competition, Vintage enables First Story as a charity to acknowledge the remarkable talent of these young people and to encourage them to keep reading and writing in the future.”

Frances Macmillan, Senior Editor at Vintage Classics added: “We are always delighted and honoured to be involved with First Story and to be invited to judge this competition. The 100 word stories make for fantastic reading, full of surprise, invention and creativity. It was very hard to choose, but we felt the finalists made best use of the restricted form, conjuring up vivid images and showing their own distinctive voice within just a few words. We want to congratulate everyone who submitted stories and encourage them all to keep writing and reading.”

Read the winning entry

by Rebecca Obadina-Adebowale, Platanos College

You know the forbidden alleyway that lies dauntingly between the launderette and the hotel, the one that your parents told you never to go to, the one that links to the pub and the train station? And you remember the way you’d start running once you’d passed the hotel due to the many stories the kids in the neighbourhood made up about the twenty-four lady? Ironic isn’t it? It’s shocking how much one half of the same street can differ from the other. One half held the houses and the fish and chip shop and the hotel, and the other was consumed by the derelict flats and the scruffy corner shops. And the deeper you’d walk into the street the stranger things got.

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