Sunday, July 31, 2011

Golden Sponge-Stick Comp '11

A winner & a runner-up from 2010
Are you a budding young writer?

Could you create the next Flavia Gemina or Falco?

Well, here's your chance.

Burgess Hill School presents to you a national writing competition for all UK and international school and college students, The Golden Sponge-Stick Competition.

To enter the quest for this coveted prize, please read on:

The story itself:
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 the handwriting is legible.
4. Knowledge of Latin is certainly not essential but you should display some historical research and/or knowledge of Roman daily life in you story. If you do study Latin then it would be excellent to use some in your story or dialogue.
5. Your story should have a clear, logical point, a set of characters, possibly including a hero/heroine and ideally a series of twists and a striking ending!

Please send your entries by email or post to:

Jerry Pine
Burgess School for Girls
Keymer Road
Burgess Hill
West Sussex
RH15 0EG

email: j.pine610 [at]

Good luck in your quest for the golden sponge-stick!


1) A panel of judges will choose the winning entries for each age category.
2) The age categories will be split into four:
ages 8 and below; ages 9-11; ages 12-13; ages 14 and above.
3) In each 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 December 16 2011.
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 January 13 2012.

Caroline with sponge-stick
Note from Caroline: Although I am posting details of this competition here on my blog, it is run entirely by Jerry Burgess and is his invention. I can neither read submissions nor give advice, but I can point you to my WRITING TIPS page.

And three points of clarification:
1. The competition is open to children from all over the world, not just the UK. But the submission must be in English. 

2. The competition is open to home-educated children as well as those attending day or boarding schools.
3. The cut-off age is 18 (i.e. entrants should still be 18 years old on 31 Dec 2011)

I will be announcing the winners here on this blog in January 2012. 
Oh, and if you don't know what a sponge-stick is, go HERE.
Bona Fortuna! (Good luck!)

[The 17 books in the Roman Mysteries series are perfect for children aged 9+, especially those studying Romans, Greeks or Egyptians as a topic in Key Stage 2. There are DVDs of some of the books as well as an interactive game.]


  1. This is great my daughters are going to love this! Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Lisa! I hope your daughters have as much fun researching and writing as I do!

  3. Fabulous! I shall get my kids onto this later on today - something else for them to occupy themselves with these hols!

    Lisa Hafey (another Lisa!)

  4. Anonymous8:07 PM

    due to all the parents commenting on this... i say that you shall write it on your own, because kids dont like this!

    -anonymous students (#s 1 & 2)

  5. That's right, parents! Don't MAKE your kids do this. Just suggest it! ;-)

  6. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Epic!!! (It's Lirak from the Fan Mail) I always wanted a competition for this type of book. YAY!

  7. Bona fortuna, Lirak! (Good luck) :-)

  8. Anonymous5:48 AM

    a toilet sponge for a prize?

  9. Not just any toilet sponge... a GILDED toilet sponge! :-)