Our 500 words short story competition is open! We have chosen to launch the short story competition during Independent Bookshop Week which runs from June 20 – 27th 2020 and hopes to make this an annual event in the company’s calendar.  We want to encourage the kids off their screens and electronic world and transport themselves into another world where they can explore their minds and be creative by writing their stories.


  • We want YOU to write 500 words or less about the theme “SEEING IS BELIEVING!” This gives so much scope for our kids to be creative – they could write about anything; even in believing in the power of chocolate cake!
  • Anyone can enter. The competition is aimed at kids age 7-13. 
  • On your entry Please put your age, name, and an email address so that we can get in touch with you.
  • You can illustrate your story too! Winning illustrations will be published too*
  • Submissions are now open and deadline for competition entries is 23:59 pm on Saturday July 4th, 2020
  • Visit our YouTube channel for writing tips by one of our guest judges at


The competition will run from June 20th for two weeks through to July 4th, 2020.  You can submit your entries by:

  • emailing to
  • if you are local – you can drop off either to Croft and Graves Optometrists on Hill Street, Corbridge or Forum Books at the Chapel, Market Place, Corbridge
  • posted to us at: SHORT STORY COMPETITION Croft and Graves Optometrists, Woodburn House, Hill Street, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5AA


We are super excited to have the support of the  AMAZING debut children’s author, Jenny Pearson, whose first book “The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates”, ‘a funny, yet heart-warming’ story, was released in April this year and has been Waterstones Book of the Month and Sunday Times Book of the week, and in June, Jenny’s Book has gone to #1 in the category “Humorous fiction for young adults”  Jenny is also a primary school teacher in Durham and was extremely excited to get involved with the Seeing is Believing competition for Independent Bookshop Week.  Jenny has also provided some writing tips.  See her here on our YouTube Channel at

Our very own local Corbridge independent bookseller, Helen Stanton, owner of Forum Books in Corbridge.  Forum Books has won the North East Regional Bookshop award and will be in the finals to win Independent Bookshop of the Year.


From the entries received we will choose the semi-finalist stories.  The judges along with Team C&G will determine the winning entries.  We will announce our winners on Friday 17th July.

There are lots of cool prizes for our winning entries:

  • Cebe kids’ sports eye wear
  • Forum Book vouchers with a top prize of £50, and other voucher prizes of £25 and £10
  • A short story competition could not be without signed copies along with some special surprises from our guest author, Jennifer Pearson, and so much more.
  • The winning short stories (and illustrations) will be compiled and published into an e-book so that kids can share with their families and friends.
  • Winning stories will also be shared on our website (with the author’s permission)


Team C&G are keenly aware of the increase in screen time for children due to home schooling, e-learning and more time being spent on electronic games because most of them are at home, and  the impact this can and will continue to have on their vision in early years.

We want to encourage you to keep being creative and use your time at home in imaginative ways, and not just on screens.  As experts who look after eyes, we are finding A LOT OF TIRED EYES from excessive screen use.  Jenny Pearson says “I think we are all looking for ways to engage our children in activities that do not involve screens. Whilst most of our children are still stuck at home, their imaginations are not. Through reading great books and writing stories, kids can transport themselves to other places and experience adventures. I am thrilled to be able to work with Croft and Graves Optometrists and Forum Books on this exciting initiative. Both Helen and Nicolle have been so enthusiastic!”

What is more, Jenny has done some writing tips to help kids along their way.  Visit our YouTube Channel at  or or those tips.

As Helen Stanton from Forum Books says “A bookshop would be nothing without stories and storytellers – writers are our rock stars! And we are always excited to read more.”  So … if you like a cool challenge – take this on and hit us!

We at Team C&G along with Jennifer and Helen are so much looking forward to receiving those entries and seeing the creativity and inspiration of our next generation of writers!