WINNER OF THE CATERPILLAR STORY PRIZE 2019 IS HEATHER F. REID!
thanks to all of you who sent your wonderful stories for children in to our judge, Kelly McCaughrain. And
congratulations to this year's winners, Heather F. Reid and Jo Withers.
DAVID MCQUEEN'S GREEN MACHINE by HEATHER F. REID (1ST PRIZE) ‘Oh my word, I can
hardly believe it! It has been an ambition of mine to win either the poetry or
short story prize in The Caterpillar.’Heather F. Reid Heather
F. Reid lives near Perth, Scotland with her rescue dog Flo and her two crazy cats. Her poems for children have been commended in The
Caterpillar Poetry Prize on three occasions, and also in The Manchester Writing
for Children Prize and the Yorkmix Poetry Competition 2019. In 2009 her
poem ‘Chinese Whispers’ won the Plough Prize for Children. Her writing for
adults has featured in a number of anthologies and has been broadcast on BBC
Radio 4. She has swum with sharks and been chased by an elephant, but mostly
stays at home making up poems and stories.
Judge’s comment: ‘I loved this charming piece,’ says McCaughrain. ‘It works as a story and a poem and is a pleasure to read
aloud. A cascade of delightful images, language and rhythm, as well as
narrative and a relatable character, mean there’s something here for readers of
INBOX by JO WITHERS (2ND PRIZE) ‘I am completely
gobsmacked and utterly thrilled to hear that “Inbox” reached second
place! I’m so grateful to your wonderful judge Kelly McCaughrain for
choosing my story, and to Rebecca and Will at The Caterpillar. You do so much to champion children’s literature
and I’m honoured to be involved again.’ Jo
Jo Withers is from South
Australia. She writes stories and poetry for children and adults and has had
work published in print and websites around the world. She is also the author
of the middle-grade science fiction adventure 5 Simple Steps to Saving Planet Earth. She won The Caterpillar
Story Prize back in 2017.
comment: ‘Funny, snappy
and clever, this one was pure reading enjoyment.’
You can read about the winners and the winning stories in the Irish Times.
STORIES BY THE FOLLOWING WRITERS WERE ALSO COMMENDED Jessamy Corob Cook is
an actress and writer, currently studying an MA in writing for young people at
Bath Spa University. She has previously won second place in The Caterpillar
Story Prize. Her short story for adults, ‘Teeth’, inspired by the Russian
folk tale of Baba Yaga, is available in the anthology Skull and
Pestle, published by World Weaver Press, and has been nominated for the
Judy-Meg Kennedy, a radio producer from Dublin, enjoys writing radio drama and
stories for children. She is lucky to have an excellent nine year old editor
(who also happens to be her daughter …)
Sophie Lewis is a
writer, maker and creative director living in North London with her husband, two
daughters and a rather fat grey cat. She’s always been interested in concepts,
words and pictures. She spends her time writing for brands, and for herself.
Her other huge love is designing and making clothes. She has a teeny tiny brand
that combines her love of clothes and words called SIM3ALLENKEY and a
personal writing site, ‘A Wide Sort of Way’ where she experiments with ideas. Ciara O’Connor is a
lecturer in Dundalk Institute of Technology. She writes middle-grade fiction in
her spare time and she has had previous stories published in The Caterpillar. She lives by the sea
with her husband, her two sons and a dog who occasionally gets mistaken for a
Kate O’Neillives on the Northern Illawarra coast of New South Wales, between the mountains
and the sea – an inspiring place to write poetry and stories. She loves The Caterpillar magazine and is
delighted to have work recognised by it. Her collection of poems for
performance, Cool Poems, was published in 2018 by Triple D Press
ABOUT THE CATERPILLAR STORY PRIZE This annual award is given to the best story (of no more than 1,500 words) written by an adult for children aged 7–11. The author of the winning story receives €1,000. Second prize this year is a week’s retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Previous winners include Louise Greig, Jo Withers, Jessamy Corob Cook,
Richard J. Jones, Chris Preece, Rebecca Langton and Tom Kelly.