Coventry Inspires Writing Competition


In conjunction with the Coventry Telegraph we are once again running our Creative Writing competition linked to our Book Awards. Sarah Crossan won the Read It Or Else Award for her book The Weight of Water and she has donated this intriguing story starter:

Karen thumped the vending machine, but her can of Coke didn’t appear. The machine simply gurgled and asked for more money. Which she didn’t have.

“Stupid,” Karen hissed, and grabbing her bag from the floor, stomped off down the empty hallway. 

“Is this yours?” someone called after her.

Karen started and turned to see a boy next to the vending machine holding out a red can. He had long hair pulled into a ponytail and dark circles beneath his eyes. He smiled and stepped closer.

Karen hadn’t seen him before, but for some reason, she shuddered and wished she hadn’t bothered with the vending machine at all.

New writers have 250 words to complete the story!

There are 5 categories:

Under 10; 11-13; 14-18; adult and 60+

The Winners and Highly Commended in each category will be invited to the Book Awards Ceremony in St Mary’s Hall on June 13th 5.00 p.m. to receive their prizes from Sarah Crossan herself. The Winners will each receive a £20 book token sponsored by Hays Education and both Winners and Highly Commended will receive certificates.

Entries should be submitted by email to or by post to Catherine Vonledebur, Features. Coventry Telegraph House, Canal Basin, Leicester Row Canal Basin Coventry CV1 4LY

Closing date: 24th May

Nb electronic entries do make circulating entries to judges much easier and ensures entries are legible!


A successful strategy from last year, where the whole class was involved, is for the class to hear all the stories and judge for themselves the best 10 to submit from their class!


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