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Our Shropshire Stories

 Children's Writing Competition

the competition is now closed!

Our Shropshire Stories.jpg
Inspired by the extraordinary place-names of Shropshire, the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with Shrewsbury-based children's
book specialist, Button & Bear, invites the
children of the West Midlands to write a short
story of no more than 500 words, using one of
twelve Shropshire place-names as their
inspiration. Place-names are often hundreds of
years old, and they tell us all sorts of exciting
things about Shropshire's past. So, what will
you write about?

When was the competition open?

The competition was open between  Friday 3rd April 2020 and  Sunday 14th June 2020, and is now closed.

who were the winners?

5-9 Category

The prize-winners in this category were both inspired by Shropshire dragons! Our winner was Ariana Rowley, from Gobowen Primary School, with her wonderful story The Legend of Fey and Earl. And our  runner-up was Aidan Llewellyn, of St Thomas and St Anne's Primary School, in Hanwood, Shrewsbury. Aidan's story was called Aeddan the Little Dragon.

10-13 Category

The winner in this category was Charlie Flynn, from Market Drayton Junior School, who wrote a brilliant story called The Goblin of Pontesbury, and our runner-up was Elizabeth Bristow, from St John's School, Bridgnorth. Elizabeth's story, Never Be the One at the Back, was inspired by the archers of medieval Shrewsbury!

Huge congratulations to all our winners!


The winners received £50 worth of books, and their schools also received a further £75 each in books. Our two runners-up received £25 in books. Many thanks to Button and Bear for supplying the prizes.

Our prize draw winner was Emmeline Cluderay, from Norbury Primary School.

where can I read the stories?

Are there any rules?

All you have to do is write a story of no more than 500 words, using one of the twelve words listed below this panel as your main theme. Each word is based on a Shropshire place-name, and you should mention the particular place-name for your theme at least once in your story. Click on each word for more information on its associated place-name (below). That's it!  Happy writing! If you have any questions about the competition, please contact

what will you do with my data?

If you enter our competition, the University of Nottingham will hold the information you submit in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and may use it for the purpose of providing feedback on the project. Your personal data (your name and contact details) will be retained for a maximum of three years from the receipt of your entry. Your child's anonymized story may be retained indefinitely. If you wish to change or delete your details at any time, then please contact:

For more detailed information about what we're doing with your data, please click here.

The stories written by our winners and runners-up, alongside those from entrants who were highly commended by our judges are all listed here.

Find out more about place-names

Who were the judges?

Our panel of judges included:

Catherine Cooper

Catherine is a Shropshire-based  children's author. She taught for 29 years in primary education before writing her debut book -The Golden Acorn - in 2010, which won two Brit Writers' awards: 'Best Story for Children' and 'Writer of the Year'.

Genevieve Tudor

Genevieve is a popular presenter on BBC Radio Shropshire. She has also been involved with storytelling at  Shropshire's Festival at the Edge for the last 28 years.

For Families

If you'd like to find out more about any of the place-names on our site, please contact us by email at

For Teachers

If you'd like to find out more about our teaching resources, and how we can help you to incorporate place-names into the National Curriculum at your school, please contact Susan Kilby at You can also click here to see what other Shropshire teachers and educators had to say about working with place-names.

about Button & Bear

Find more resources

Click here for more place-name related educational resources.

Button & Bear is an award-winning children's specialist bookshop based in Shrewsbury. They are the 2020 winners of the Independent Bookshop of the Year for the Midlands.

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click on each of the words to find its place-name!

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