My Twist on a Tale - a new international writing competition

Twist on a Tale banner


We're turning a new page on traditional stories with our international writing competition.

Launching on International Literacy Day (Sunday 8th September), we want to encourage 4-16 year-olds to tear up the rule book and give their own take on traditional fairy tales and stories to celebrate our diverse 21st-Century world.

Winners will see their story published as a collection of short stories.

Whether it’s Cinderella meeting her not-so-evil stepmother or stories involving magical smartphones and classroom kingdoms, the aim is for children and young people to create a tale that reflects their own personality, location, heritage, interests and experiences. They can even create a tale or fairy tale of their very own!


Want to get involved?

Inspire young writers to have their stories published by uploading their entry now!

NB: children and young people cannot register or enter themselves. This must be completed by their parent or school.

Download an eye-catching poster to display in your classroom to inspire your students.

Landscape (654KB) | Portrait (669 KB)


Why take part?

At Pearson, we support those working with children, young people and adult learners to explore the different aspects of literacy, improve outcomes and inspire a life-long love of reading and writing. 

Diversity, inclusion and relativity matter. They matter in the literature we consume and the books, poetry and plays we put in front of our children. We believe that at whatever age - from early stages to adulthood - people should feel represented in the literature they read and the stories they write. 

The My Twist on a Tale competition aims to empower children and young people to become the leading character of their own stories as they assert a modern-day stamp on classic tales. We want them to create stories that reflect their own personal interests, background and experiences.

While the winners will see their works published as a collection of short stories, we hope everyone who takes part enjoys finding their voice, expressing themselves freely and having fun along the way.

What are you waiting for? Upload their entry today!



Who can enter?

Children and young people between the ages of 4 and 16 can be entered. Entries should be made on behalf of the child or young person by a parent, school teacher or after-school group leader. 

Please ensure entries are within the 750 word count. While this is the maximum word count, your writers are welcome to create much shorter stories. 

The following can be used as a loose guide: 

  • Dribble - 20-50 words
  • Drabble - 50-100 words
  • Flash-Fiction - up to 350 words 
  • Short story for older children and young people - up to 750 words  

Entries need to be submitted by 17:00 (GMT) on Friday 29th November 2019. Entries received after this deadline will not be considered.

Please note: If you are a school in the UK, you will need to fill in this registration form.  

Read the competition Terms and Conditions.

Access the Frequently Asked Questions.


Books to inspire your budding writers

Beowulf and the Beast by Julia Golding (PDF | 34.16 MB)
The Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor by Rosalind Kerven (PDF | 123.95 MB)
Goldilocks and the Porridge Problem by Smriti Prasadam-Halls (PDF | 16.35 MB)
Ampata and the Scarlet Macaws by Benjamin Hulme-Cross (PDF | 42.85 MB)
Young Robin Hood by Tony Bradman (PDF | 30.51 MB)