‘Killer Cat’ author Anne Fine asking children to write bedtime stories for a competition

Author Anne Fine (inset) promoting Silentnight writing competition

Author Anne Fine (inset) promoting Silentnight writing competition - Credit: Silentnight campaign

Children’s author Anne Fine is inviting youngsters to put pen to paper for a national Sleepy Stories writing competition.

The creator of The Return of the Killer Cat and Jamie and Angus Forever wants to encourage families to keep bedtime reading part of their night-time routine.

“Some of my happiest times have been reading bedtime stories to my children and grandchildren,” she says. “My daughters and all four grandsons are passionate readers as a result of having regular bedtime stories.”

Nearly a third of parents only read their children a bedtime story once a week or less, despite eight-out-of-10 children telling bed manufacture market-researchers they enjoy being read aloud as a special time with their mum and dad.

Children aged six to 12 can submit a short story between 250 and 500 words that features the Silentnight brand Hippo and Duck mascots.

Anne, the former Children’s Laureate, chooses the winning story, which will be illustrated and published then presented to the winning child with a new bed and a giant Hippo and Duck soft toy, as well as £1,000 of books for their school.

Entries can be made at Silentnight online by Friday, May 20. Teaching resources can also be downloaded for schools with exercises to help pupils develop and write their stories and explore characters and plot lines.