The Townies and Parkies Summer Story Writing Competition

Does your child love stories about animals?

Inspired by the recent BBC 500 Word children’s story competition, Horsham District Council has launched its own children’s writing competition.

Why not have some fun this summer holiday and get your children to write a short story about The Townies and The Parkies’ adventures in Horsham Town Centre or Horsham Park?

Based on the Albion Way subway original murals illustrated by local artist Katie Wells, the delightful animal characters featured on the murals have already become known to local children through a number of recent town and park trails.

Children in two age groups 5-9 years and 10-13 years are invited to submit stories of no more than 501 words via an online form with the help of a parent or guardian at With limited numbers of judges available, entries are limited to the first 100 received in each age category. Entries will be closed online from this point.

Winners will be announced on a live Facebook stream Tuesday 18 September at 6pm and contacted directly thereafter.

One winner and four runners up will be chosen in each age group. It is planned that the winning two stories will be made into a small book to be illustrated by Katie Wells and sold this Christmas though partners with profits going to local children’s charities – Chestnut Tree House, Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity and The Springboard Project.

Commenting on the competition Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Cllr Jonathan Chowen said:

“The Townies and Parkies trails have been a great success and I would encourage children across the District to take part in the next instalment of our summer activity programme.

“Get your children to use their free time over the school summer holidays to fire up their creativity to write some amazing stories.

“Getting children excited about reading and story writing has to be a good thing and it would be amazing for them to get their stories made into a book for such good local causes.”

Each winner will also receive a framed original illustration from their story in the book. Winners and runners up will receive signed copies of the book and Waterstones gift vouchers.

This activity promoting Horsham Town Centre and Horsham Park is organised by Horsham District Council with Horsham town’s branch of Waterstones, Maverick Publishing and West Sussex Library Service. Other judging partners include local authors, Gobsmack Comics, My Fair Kind Child, Cocoa Loco and Katie Wells Illustration.

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“I am so pleased to hear Horsham library is involved in this competition.

“It is a brilliant way of encouraging children’s creativity and I look forward to seeing some of the stories as they come in.”


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