Results – Best Short Story 2022

Congratulations to the winner of our Best Short Story for Children or Young Adults competition 2021

Catherine Cawley


In the Silence, the Curlew Calls

Catherine Cawley

Catherine’s short story, “In the Silence, the Curlew Calls” was judged the winner by Chloe Seager after entries closed on 21st March 2022.

About the Author

Catherine Cawley is a Middle Grade writer of historical fantasy, and is currently working on a time-slip novel set in World War II. She has three degrees including a 1st in Creative Writing and History from The Open University, and a MA in Modern Art from the University of Southampton. She has won, been published and shortlisted for various short stories, micro-fiction and non-fiction articles. She also writes YA speculative fiction and adult historical fiction. A former nurse, Catherine lives in Hampshire with her husband, and has a keen interest in photography, nature, history and folklore.

Our Shortlistees

Olivia Wakeford

Olivia Wakeford with Blue

Olivia is a writer of page, stage and screen who writes a lot about grief, which really means she writes about love. Olivia wrote her first book aged 7. It was called ‘The Flight of The Bumble-Snouts’. She’s still very proud of it. Olivia will soon be completing her MA in Writing For Young People at Bath Spa University and is the winner of Skylark Literary’s Marvellous Middle Grade Competition and the Writers & Artists Short Story Competition 2022. She was born in Wales and now lives in London with her husband and their socially-awkward Labrador, Obi. You can find her on Twitter @livvywivvy.

Rob Keeley
Rob Keeley

Rob Keeley with Guess What?

Rob Keeley was born in Wirral, Merseyside, UK. Writing his first story aged seven, his first short play aged eleven and first being published at fifteen, he wrote for several magazines before his first book for children, The Alien in the Garage and Other Stories, was indie-published by Matador Books (Troubador Publishing Ltd) in 2011. He has now published eleven books for children and one novel for adults, all with Matador, and has had a previous win at the Georgina Hawtrey-Woore Awards as well as listings for the Bath Children’s Novel Award, the WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award and the International Rubery Book Award. He has also written the stage play Mr Everyone, itself listed for two prizes, and has BBC writing experience with Chain Gang and Newsjack for Radio 4 Extra. His books have been used in schools, libraries and at literary festivals and he is in demand for his author workshops, which one teacher even described as ‘inspirational’. After all of this experience, he is still seeking a literary agent and a traditional publisher for his work! For more information about Rob, visit or follow him on Twitter @RobKeeleyAuthor.

Will Dobson
Will Dobson

Will Dobson with Home

Will Dobson has been telling stories in court for many years as a barrister and is now seeking to replicate his success as a writer of novels, stage plays and screenplays. Several of his short plays have been produced. Born in Japan, he was educated in Tokyo and England, and his shortlisted story for the Searchlight Awards is based on the floods which devastated his family’s village in Nagano prefecture during the Rugby World Cup 2019. He contributes MG book reviews for PaperBound Magazine and is a member of a writing group he met via Curtis Brown Creative’s Writing YA and Children’s Fiction course. He was longlisted for Undiscovered Voices 2022 for a MG novel and WriteMentor’s Children’s Novel Award 2021.

Stephen Daly
Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly with How the Flowers Grow

Stephen Daly is a fiction and nonfiction writer who adopts a psychosocial method for creating his work; one that explores the relationship between the world and the individual. He blogs about social and cultural issues ( and finds ways to bring these topics into stories that, he hopes, will engage and interest younger and older readers alike. He enjoys experimenting with form and genre, and despite wanting to tackle the big issues in life he tries hard not to take himself too seriously! Originally from Belfast, Stephen now lives in Margate and can often be found photographing local wildlife.

Liz Heron

Liz Heron with My Little Box of Big Feelings

Liz lives with her family in the countryside, not too far from the sea. In a former life she was a drama teacher, a restaurant manager, and a murder mystery actress. Now, she enjoys writing as her main creative outlet. She is a member of SCBWI and enjoys doing writing courses and workshops. Liz fantasises about writing in peace and quiet, somewhere very tidy, and airy, with wafty curtains. However, Liz’s house is very busy. And loud. And her desk is actually very messy. There isn’t a wafty curtain in sight…

Jessamy Corob Cook

Jessamy Corob Cook with Pigeons

Jessamy is a passionate story-lover from London. Alongside writing, she is an actress and drama teacher. She has an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa. Her short stories for children have been published in Caterpillar magazine. She’s currently in the tinkering stages of her middle grade novel, The Iron Garden, a Victorian fantasy about breaking the rules and finding your power. She is also working on her first screenplay.

Marie Day
Marie Day

Marie Day with The Boggart and the Four Coins

Marie is a part-time teacher and full-time daydreamer. Originally from a mining town in Yorkshire, Marie now lives near Bristol with her family. She’s had stories published by @Flash500, PaperBound, Paper Lanterns and WriteMentor Magazine. Several of her short stories have won prizes and have been published in anthologies. Her middle grade novel won the Local Prize at the Wells Literary Festival in 2021. One day she hopes to see her stories in libraries, schools and bookshops.

Daisy Jervis

Daisy Jervis with The Path is Red

Daisy studied drama at university and loved facilitating drama workshops for children part-time. She took her love of puppets and drama games into the classroom and worked as a primary teacher up until last year when she swapped teaching for book selling to make more time for writing. Currently she is being mentored on the Write Mentor Summer Mentorship Programme and one day hopes to own a german shepherd. 

Ruth Stevenson
Ruth Stevenson

Ruth Stevenson with The Secret to Climbing Trees

Ruth Stevenson grew up in a storytelling family on the wild west coast of Ireland, where she spent a lot of time hunting for fairies, climbing trees and chasing waves with her brothers. She has been telling tales all her life and likes nothing better than a good book. When she is not writing in her little room with its wavy wallpaper, she can often be found out walking with her dog or on adventures with her family. Ruth has worked as a teacher for many years, but while taking a short break rediscovered her love of writing. She enjoys writing picture books, middle grade and the odd poem when she’s in the mood. She is currently studying with The Golden Egg Academy and has previously been shortlisted for the WriteMentor Magazine for Children’s Writers Short Story Competition.