Story of the Year Contest: From golden goats to bungling burglars: Princesses and witches are joined by some odd characters in the 20 top tales
Tuesday 24 May 1994
A Mouthful of Gold by Sean Taylor, London E1. A fable-type tale about a goat with golden teeth in which two evil brothers get their comeuppance.
Ned's Knits by Louise Timms, Tunbridge Wells. About an under-achieving boy who can knit amazingly.
Thousands and Thousands of Years by David Berner, Staines, Middlesex. A humorous fantasy about an ancient battle and tiny time-travelling warrior.
The Tale of the Bad Ship Torment by Sara Conkey, Birmingham. A princess falls in love with a pirate ship's cook, who concocts amazing recipes just for her.
Dear Norman by Robert Richard, Barham, Kent. A funny story, told in the form of letters to a boy who has decided to live in his tree house.
The Little Devil by John Holme, London NW6. A fantasy about a boy with healing hands and an evil little devil who is envious of his powers.
The Neighbourhood Witch by John Bank, Highgate, London. Inefficient burglars raid the house of a witch.
The Knight Who Lost His Marbles by Charles Lowndes, Ealing, London. A traditional knight/dragon story.
The School Trip by Ann Crichton, Sheffield. A nonsense story about a school trip where children take pets.
We All Belong to Glasgow by Ann Burnett, Ayr. When a family of aliens move into a house on Jimmy's street, his parents and neighbours are horrified, but they learn to live together.
Making Friends by Norma Clarke, London N4. A child makes a friend on a holiday abroad.
Fish Kiss by Jolene Gear, Bahrain. A surreal story about a fish who grants wishes for favours.
Nick and Floyd by Graham Laurence, Marlow, Buckinghamshire. A chicken and a duck, best friends, don't understand what a tug of war is, until they realise that they must pull against each other.
The Black Hole by Maggie Butt, London N14. A space story about two brothers who go fishing in a black hole and come up with all sorts of things, including a dog who does everything that begins with 'g'.
The Princess in the Tower Block by Finbar O'Connor, Dublin. A spoof, featuring an alternative princess and debunking nursery characters.
Joseph and the Word Feather by Jonathan Stroud, St Albans. A humorous fantasy about the importance of creativity.
Scrawny Scroggins by Lee Cornes, Battle, East Sussex. A boy doesn't want to eat what his parents give him, until they cook up a special recipe.
The Howling Hills by Alan Stone, London NW3. A dark story about a princess who cannot talk and her suitor.
Slinka the Snake by David Hayes, Exeter. A fable about a good snake who manages to persuade villagers that he means them no harm.
Weird-o Wings by Hilary Brown, London SE22. A boy sprouts wings and learns to fly.
Last year's winning stories will be read at the Hay Children's Festival of the Arts, Hay- on-Wye (28-30 May), where they will also be on sale. Details on (0544) 328424.
A shortlist will appear in tomorrow's Living page
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