We're delighted that Caitlin, aged 10 from Leeds, won our second annual Summer Reading Challenge finish the story competition and gets a laptop!
During the summer holidays, as part of our UK-wide finish the story competition we asked children to finish short stories started by six top authors: Cressida Cowell, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Charlie Higson, Chris Riddell, Liz Pichon and Frank Lampard.
With over 5,800 entries, we've been kept very busy reading and shortlisting stories and each of the authors then chose the winner for their own story. We've been announcing the winners of each individual story over the past six weeks, and have published them on the Summer Reading Challenge website
Finally, our panel of judges met to select an overall winner from the six winning stories. It was a close competition, but after a lengthy discussion they chose Caitlin's story The Wrong Door, which had been started by Charlie Higson.
Our judges were children's author Helena Pielichaty, journalist and writer Damian Kelleher, Reading Agency programme manager Lynne Taylor and author Val Rutt. Here's what they had to say about Caitlin's story: "This story is deceptively simple and beautifully told. It reads like a perfect bedtime story, with the repetition of the colours throughout, carrying through from the opening. Although it covers the deep themes of grief, loss and redemption, it is written with warmth and humour. We liked your depiction of the thoughtful hero, Davey. Very well done, Caitlin!"
The judges also highly commended the story written by Abigail Burn, who finished The Visitor by Chris Riddell.
Charlie liked the colour theme
Charlie Higson, author of the bestselling The Enemy series of zombie books for children, says of Caitlin's winning ending to The Wrong Door : "Caitlin managed to pack a lot into a short piece. There was a proper story and it was rather moving. I also liked the way that colours were made part of the actual story and the theme was carried right through to the last sentence about pink lemonade and golden cake."
Caitlin received her prize, a laptop, at a special ceremony at Leeds Central Library. She said: "I saw the competition on the website. I really like reading books so I thought I would try writing one. I was surprised because I didn't expect to win, but I got inspiration from other books, and winning the competition has encouraged me to write more." (Left, Caitlin with Lynne Taylor and children's development librarian Lorraine Lee of Leeds City Council library and information service. Photo by Tina Tosney.)
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council's executive member for leisure and skills says: "The Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge was a big hit at Leeds Central Library and it is brilliant news that Caitlin has been named as the winner of the Finish The Story competition. This is a remarkable achievement by her, given that this competition was held right across the UK, and it will act as a great inspiration to other budding writers across the city."
Read the winning entries to all six stories on the Summer Reading Challenge website.
The website is available all year round and includes competitions, challenges, author interviews, news, and the book sorter which recommends what children might like to read next.
Tell us which story you like best on facebook or twitter.
If your child has enjoyed taking part in the 2013 Challenge please consider donating to our Summer Reading Challenge campaign and help us reach more children in 2014. It only costs £3 for three disadvantaged children to take part in the Challenge for free. Please donate £3 to our campaign by texting READ06 £3 to 70070 or by visiting justgiving.com/SummerReadingChallenge.