September 2021 Story Contest

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Appelorium

The imaginary store that wordsmiths can visit to find, create and play with new and exciting words. Because we wordsmiths are just kids in a candy store!

Wordsmith

A skilled user of words.

If you love to play with words, you are a wordsmith.

Story Contest:

Now, here’s a challenge for you. Make up a new word! But don’t just mix a few syllables together randomly – use your life experiences or your own speech patterns to create something utterly unique, something meaningful to you. 

Confession:

I made up the word appelorium

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When Days Tilt

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By: Karen Ginnane

Magic, mystery and darkness – a gripping fantasy adventure for lovers of Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. In this page-turning debut, one girl must figure out why she is the key to two worlds, before time itself falls under the control of the powerful and the greedy.

A historical fantasy adventure for teens set between Victorian London and a darker parallel city.

It’s 1858, and there are two queens on the throne. Victoria reigns over London, the biggest city the world has ever known. But London has a secret shadow city, called Donlon, where another queen, the Green Witch, rules her own domain – time.

London is in turmoil. The Thames is at the height of the Great Stink; a blazing comet is searing the sky; technology is moving so fast it seems otherworldly; and the city is exploding with more people than it can hold. Darwin is about to publish his theory of evolution and humanity’s very place in the world is in question. On top of all this, people are disappearing into thin air. If they return, it is with empty eyes and torn souls, never to be the same again. Ava, a fourteen-year-old Londoner, feels trapped by the limited life of a young Victorian woman and by her watchmaking apprenticeship with her father. Her predictable world is turned upside down when she discovers that the body in her mother’s grave is not her mother, but a stranger.

When Ava goes in search of her real mother and her true identity, she is thrust into the dark world of Donlon and must fight a battle to save those she loves and the future of both worlds . . .

About the Author

Karen Ginnane is an Australian author for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut historical fantasy adventure novels When Days Tilt and its sequel When Souls Tear are part of the Time Catchers series published by Penguin Random House.

Karen has been variously employed as a freelance copywriter, a marketing director for Paramount Pictures in London, a grain weighbridge operator in rural WA, a swimming teacher, a life model, a deckhand in Chile and an English teacher in Japan. She’s also taught creative writing, published short stories and in 2020 received an Invited Residency to Varuna National Writers’ House for When Souls Tear.

Karen runs a tour operator business with her husband, who is a Londoner, and lives in Melbourne with him and their two children. And two cats.

The Upper World

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By: Femi Fadugba

A startling original thriller from major new talent Femi Fadugba, THE UPPER WORLD is as mind-blowing as a Christopher Nolan epic with the high-stakes drama of TOP BOY.

A game-changing thriller about two teenagers a generation apart, connected by one bullet with the power to devastate both of their lives. Get ready to reconsider everything you thought you knew about time . . .
Esso is a teenager running out of time and into trouble. Accidentally caught up in a gang war, he receives an unexpected gift- access to a world where he can see glimpses of the past and future. But now Esso has the devastating knowledge that the road he is on will eventually lead to the deaths of the people he loves most.
A generation later, football prodigy Rhia is about to lose everything. When a man comes into her life claiming to know the key to time travel and asking for her help, she becomes obsessed with finding a way back to the past to save the parents she never got to meet . . .

Two teenagers. Fifteen years. One chance to stop a bullet.

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Dragon

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By: Rhiannon FieldingChris Chatterton (Illustrator)

Join Flicker and Flash, two cheeky little dragons who don’t want to go to bed!

Written specifically with the aim of calming little ones before bedtime, this stunning adventure story sees two little playful dragons – Flicker and Flash – doing all they can to avoid bed!

About the Author

Rhiannon Fielding is a children’s picture book author whose work includes the Ten Minutes to Bed series (Ladybird Books).

About the Illustrator

Chris Chatterton is an illustrator from County Durham, England, with a background in graphic design and animation.

Mim and the Baffling Bully (The Travelling Bookshop, #1)

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By: Katrina NannestadCheryl Orsini (Illustrator)

The right book might just change your life …

Mim Cohen roams the world in a travelling bookshop, with her dad and brother and a horse called Flossy. Flossy leads them where she will, to the place where they’re needed most … the place where the perfect book will find its way home.

Now Mim has arrived in a pretty Dutch village where she meets Willemina, a kind and gentle child, who is being bullied by a girl named Gerda.

Mim knows they’re here to help Willemina. To change her life. To make her strong and brave and happy.

If only Dad would find her the right book. If only he would stop giving everyone else the wrong book!

From the beloved author of The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome and We Are Wolves comes an enchanting series for young readers.

The Death-Bite

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Written by Ella Pegrum

“Ahhhhhhhhhh!” I scream.

“Ma-m-mam-MAMA! HELP ME!!!”  Two doctors are holding me down, a third is trying desperately to jab a three inch needle into my arm. “MAMA! No, stop… PLEASE!!! MAMA-aahhhh…” The needle sinks its single, greedy fang into my arm, and the corners of my vision blur. “P-pp-pl-please…” 

Fog shrouds my vision. I slip through the doors of consciousness and into the uncharted land below.

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Silver Eyes

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This story was written by Kira McArdle, Age 17

Her stomach churned with the water beneath her, a sickly green tinge plastered across her cheeks. The sea spray coated her face, the only relief from the scorching heat. When the man told her to come with him; that he knew a safe haven for people like her, she never imagined it would be this difficult to reach. Pulling her shirt over her face as a shield from the midday sun, a rustling sound came from the other end of the boat. A pair of dark purple eyes peered through a fishing net, filled with curiosity. Lowering her shirt, Allis revealed her face to the girl. Her eyes widened with disbelief, scouring every inch of Allis’s face, lingering on the scars that’d long since healed but would never disappear. “What…are you?” The girl stumbled over the words as they came out. “I could ask you the same question.”

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