A Lancaster schoolgirl has beaten thousands of other youngsters to win a prestigious BBC story writing competition.
Eve Molloy, nine, was crowned winner of the five to nine-year-olds category of the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show’s 500 Words children’s writing competition during a live broadcast from Windsor Castle.
Eve’s story, Snow Blood Window Frame, was a modern take on Snow White, and was read aloud at the ceremony by Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy in Harry Potter.
The story was praised by the judges.
Malorie Blackman said: “A clever, humorous retelling of a classic fairy tale. Great, original storytelling.”
Frank Cottrell-Boyce said: “A surprising number of writers looked to fairy stories for inspiration this year. Lots of them were really good. But this one had real swagger and confidence. A tale told by someone who really knows how to tell a story.”
Francesca Simon said: “A smart, sassy re-telling of Snow White. I loved the mash-up of fairy tale and modern, the witty, knowing author voice, and the outstanding writing. And, like all the best stories, a terrific unexpected ending.”
And Charlie Higson said: “This is such a sophisticated story, very funny, clever and really quite edgy. It sets up a strong idea and carries it all the way through without putting a foot wrong.
“What I love is that it’s very contemporary, written from the point of view of a very modern kid and could only have been written today.”
Eve’s mum Philippa said: “Her favourite parts of the day were meeting Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry series, and Helen Oxenberry, who created a one-off illustration of her story.
“She also met the Duchess of Cornwall who said her story made her laugh.
“She was also interviewed for BBC Newsround and that video is on their website.”
As one of the gold winners, Eve received Chris Evans’ height in books and was invited to see The Worst Witch being filmed for CBBC.
She was also presented with the original painting of her work by Helen Oxenbury.
Eve’s school, Ellel St John’s in Galgate, will also be sent 500 books for their library.
Following the final, the audience attended a reception in the castle’s historic state rooms which have played host to state occasions, wedding receptions and other official events for centuries.
The final was attended by the Duchess of Cornwall, who is an honorary judge and delivered a speech to the audience and met all the winners.
The bronze, silver and gold winning stories across the two age categories (5-9 years and 10-13 years) were read out by Hugh Bonneville, Konnie Huq, Helen McCrory, Michael Sheen, Sandi Toksvig and David Walliams.
The event was attended by Chris Evans, who created and launched 500 Words in 2011 and is chair of the judging panel.
There were performances by Busted, Tom Walker and The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda the Musical.
Now in its ninth year, 500 Words 2019 was launched in January by Zoe Ball on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
Since its launch more than 900 000 children have taken part.
With 112,986 entries this year, the competition aims to inspire and encourage thousands of children around the UK to think creatively and write their own stories.
Snow Blood Window Frame
By Eve Molloy
A queen pricked her finger while sewing and some blood dropped onto the cloth. She said to herself, if my baby is a girl, I want her skin to be as white as snow, with blood-red cheeks and hair as black as the window frame. I will call her Snow Blood Window Frame, or Snowy for short.
Sadly the mother died straight after childbirth as she said it hurt too much. The king got married again because in all of these tales, you need a second wife who is evil. The killing stepchildren before watching cat videos kind of evil.
The new queen had a Magic Instagram account who spoke magic words of logic like “Snowy has had more “likes” than you and your haterz are hating. The queen felt rage that she wasn’t as trending as usual and she decided that she would kill her stepdaughter then go and watch cat videos.
The queen got her only follower, well the only one she’d not paid to follow her, to take Snowy into the woods and kill her, which is why you should never meet with strangers off the internet. Snowy didn’t know this though and went. Fortunately when in the woods the Queen’s follower decided that he’d rather play MarioKart than actually kill someone so he let her escape. Phew!
Snowy realised she couldn’t go home, so she found a place on spareroom.com where there was a bed in return for housework for 7 miners. She hated tidying up, but liked being dead even less, so she made her choice.
When the queen found out Snowy was still alive she was furious, so decided to set up a fake charity challenge where you had to send and receive apples to raise awareness of Keeping Doctors Away. Snowy signed up immediately and when the first apple arrived, she thought, “Yes! I am doing well for the cause!” but when she bit into it, she fell over. Dead. Clue - the apple was poisoned. What did you expect?
When the miners got home they saw her dead body and thought, “that’s inconvenient”. They’d liked having someone tidy up after them and dead bodies are not good at cooking. They posted a picture of her in a glass coffin on a memorial page.
One day, a prince was browsing by and when he saw her picture, he immediately fell in love. We should not think too much about him falling in love with a dead girl as that will ruin the ending. “I must go and see her”, he said.
When he got there, he liked her so much that he kissed her on the lips. Snowy woke up straight away. The shock of being kissed by a stranger jolted her from her poisoned sleep.
“Ugh!” She said. “That’s creepy. I mean, really, really creepy.”
“But I love you!” said the Prince.
“You thought I was dead” screamed Snowy
She ran away from him, which was very sensible.