Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Golden Sponge-Stick Award

Do you think you could write Roman Mysteries like mine or like those of Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor? If so, you should know that the Royal High School in Bath has started a Golden Sponge-Stick competition*! It was inspired by a visit of mine a few years ago when I shared my writing tips and told the story of how a little girl in Year 3 thought my sponge-stick (Roman toilet paper) was 'an award for my books'. I joked that the Golden Sponge-stick would be a good award for the best Roman mystery... and this inspired teachers Lynda Bevan and Jeremy Pine of the Royal High School to start a competition. The prize? A prestigious golden sponge-stick! Euge!

Here are the rules:


1 Your story should be a Roman story and based in Roman times. It can be set in any part of the Roman world. It can be either a Roman short story or a Roman mystery/ detective story/thriller.

2 Your story should be an individual entry and written entirely by you. Please would a parent or guardian/carer sign your entry at the end or on the back to verify this.

3 Your story should not exceed 1500 words in length. Handwritten and typed entries are both welcome but please ensure that a handwritten entry is legible. Your entry should include your full name, school or college and date of birth.

4 Knowledge of Latin is certainly not essential but you should display some historical research and/or knowledge of Roman daily life in your story. If you do study Latin then it would be excellent to use some in your story or story dialogue.

5 Your story should have a clear, logical plot, a set of characters, possibly including a hero/heroine and ideally a series of twists and a striking ending!


1 A panel of judges will choose the winning entries for each age category.

2 The age categories will be split into four: ages 9 and below; ages 9-11; ages 11-13; ages 14 and above.

3 In each age category three prizes will be awarded; the best in each will receive the prestigious golden sponge-stick. Other classical prizes including books and vouchers will be awarded.

4 Entries are welcome now and the closing date for all entries is Friday November 21 2008.

5 The judges reserve the right to keep all entries unless a stamped addressed envelope is included for return of your entry.

6 All winners will be notified of the result by Friday December 19 2008.

Please send your entries by email or post to either :
Jerry Pine or Lynda Bevan,
The Royal High Senior School Bath,
Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 5SZ

email :

You can find more information HERE!

To find out exactly what a SPONGE-STICK is, go HERE.

And if you need some writing tips go to my WRITING TIPS PAGE or come hear me speak about 'How to Write a Roman Mystery'. I will be giving this talk at The Cheltenham Literary Festival, at the Sheffield Literary Festival and at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas. All these festivals are in October, giving you plenty of time to write your story before 21 November. For more details of my events, go HERE.

*Please note that this competition is open to students in UK schools only.

Bona fortuna! (Good luck!)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:09 PM

    this seems sooo fun, 2 bad it has already passed the date!!!!!!