Lockdown Competition: A Creative Challenge from Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell

By Katherine Woodfine | 26 May, 2020


Looking for a creative challenge during lockdown? We’re giving you a very special chance to collaborate with Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell - by finishing a story she’s begun!

Here’s Cressida’s wonderful story-starter - as shared with us on our May 2020 episode:

Horizabel didn’t mean to do it. It was an accident. Well, maybe not an accident exactly but it was all Madam Perfectry’s fault. Madam Perfectry was Horizabel’s tutor in Wizardry, and she had been telling Horizabel off for something that really hadn’t been Horizabel’s fault either. Madam Perfectry had swept majestically out of the room, foolishly forgetting to lock the drawer with the Gorginblast Book of Spells in it. I mean, what was an eleven year old Wizard-in-Training with a healthy sense of curiosity supposed to do in such a situation?

Horizabel paused for a second. She would be in BIG TROUBLE if she was caught.  

Something rustled inside her pocket. A high little squeaky voice hissed, ‘Open the drawer, Horizabel…’

Horizabel stepped towards the drawer. She opened it. 


… What happens next? It’s up to you to decide!

Have a go at finishing Cressida Cowell’s story - and if you're aged 16 or under, you can then send your finished story to us to enter our special competition!

We’ll choose our favourite from all the stories we receive to win a signed copy of The Wizards of Once: Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell, plus an accompanying signed print. The winner will also have the glory of having their story published on our website and read aloud by our very own Imogen Russell Williams for everyone to enjoy on the Down the Rabbit Hole Instagram channel!

How to enter

- Send your finished story to us by email at downtherabbitholeradio@gmail.com with the subject line Cressida Cowell Competition by the closing date of Tuesday 16 June
- Stories should be a maximum of 1000 words, including the story-starter
- Please include your full name and age, as well as the name and email address of a parent/guardian/teacher

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. The competition is organised by Down the Rabbit Hole.
2. The competition will open for entries from Tuesday 26th May 2020 and end at midnight on Tuesday 16 June 2020. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
3. The competition is only open to entrants in the UK who are aged 16 or under.
4. Entrants should send their entries by email to downtherabbitholeradio@gmail.com with the subject line Cressida Cowell Competition. Please ensure the name and age of the entrant is included, and also include the name and email address of a parent, guardian or teacher.
5. Personal data provided will be used solely for the purpose of administering the competition.
6. Entries should be a piece of fiction of up to 1000 words in length (including the story-starter). All entries should be submitted in English.
7. Entries should be suitable to be broadcast or published online by Down the Rabbit Hole for audiences of all ages, but in particular for a young audience.
8. The entry must be the entrant’s own work (with the exception of the story-starter provided by Cressida Cowell) and must not infringe the rights of any other party.
9. Entrants retain the copyright to their entries but grant Down the Rabbit Hole a perpetual, non-exclusive royalty-free license to publish, broadcast (across all media) and post the entry online and to any other platforms yet to be envisaged.
10. There will be one winner who will receive a signed copy of The Wizards of Once: Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell, plus a signed print.
11. The winner will be notified by email by 23 June 2020.
12. The prize is non-transferable and non-negotiable. No cash alternative will be offered.
13. Down the Rabbit Hole’s decision will be final. No correspondence will be entered into.
14. By entering the competition you accept these terms and conditions.

With thanks to Hachette Children's Group

Image (c) David Bebber