Amazon's competition for an aspiring writer to reinvent Clement Clarke Moore's "Twas the Night Before Christmas", has been won by freelance copywriter Lucy Banks for her story about a slug living under the floorboards at Christmas.
Banks' story - about a slug "who assumes Christmas is not for him, until he comes face to face with Father Christmas" - will be brought to life with professional illustrations from Brighton-based illustrator Aless Baylis, before it is made available for free on Kindle and Fire devices as well as the Kindle reading app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets. Print copies are also available to buy on the Amazon.co.uk store.
"Sol The Slug’s Night Before Christmas" by Banks, who hails from Devon, was chosen from more than 1,000 competition entries by a judging panel including Bayliss and children’s writer Baroness Floella Benjamin. The "refreshing take on the festive classic" tells the tale of a slug who "assumes Christmas is not for him" - "until he comes face to face with Father Christmas".
Banks also picks up a £2,000 Amazon gift card and new Fire tablet as part of the prize. She will also earn future royalties once she starts selling the story at the price of her choice from Christmas day following the initial five-day free period.
Banks said: “I am delighted that Sol the Slug has captured the hearts and imaginations of the judging panel. I tested the story on my two little boys and I just hope that the story will be as popular with children across the country as it was with them. I think there is a lot to be learnt from creatures like slugs; they are universally disliked, but offer something rather lovely to the world. It is a story about acceptance and inclusivity, and I hope it encourages readers to look at the world differently and realise that regardless of appearance, or in this case sliminess, everybody is remarkable.”
Amy Worth, UK Kindle content director at Amazon, said: “The saying goes that we all have a story within us, and the outpouring of creative Christmas tales we’ve received from aspiring writers across the UK proves this. Whilst there were a number of brilliant entries, Lucy’s story, 'Sol the Slug’s Night Before Christmas', is a refreshing take on the festive classic which we think parents and children alike will enjoy. We are delighted to be giving this story away for free in the five days before Christmas and we hope families across the country will make Sol the Slug a part of their Christmas Eve bedtime reading for years to come.”
Benjamin commented: “I’m thrilled that this Amazon competition inspired so many people across the UK to give story writing a try, we received many many fantastic entries. 'Sol the Slug’s Night Before Christmas' is without a doubt an unusual Christmas tale, but it is a funny and heart-warming story with the very important and timely message of inclusivity sitting at the heart. Sol is a unique protagonist, but one that we think will resonate with readers around the world.”
Baylis added: “As part of the judging panel I was lucky enough to read the shortlist of entries and despite the high calibre of entries, I knew as soon as I read Sol’s story, that I wanted to add some colour to this brilliantly different Christmas story. I am sure that children will love to imagine Christmas Eve through the eyes of a slug; I really enjoyed drawing what Sol’s story conjured up in my imagination.”
'Sol the Slug’s Night Before Christmas' (Kindle Direct Publishing) is available on the Kindle store where it will be available for free in the run up to Christmas.
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