Winners of our creative writing competition announced

Today we are delighted to announce the winners of our first ever creative writing competition for school pupils at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4. Applicants were invited to write a short story describing life in a Victorian workhouse or an experience of the Poor Law and the three winning stories from each Key Stage are:


Outside by Florence Coen
The Darkest Day by Matthew Porter
Boy of the Workhouse by Rebecca Turner


The Kindness of their Hearts by Olivia Wyatt
The Life of a Workhouse Girl by Sandali Dharmarathna
Master’s Rule by Isaac Kim


Hope by Izzy Doyle
The Master’s Entertainment by Madison Connor
Danger in the Dark by Millie Logue

Based on real letters from our new themed collection, Workhouse Voices, the winning entries have now been published on our website, alongside some of the historical documents which inspired their work. Each winner also received a £25 book token and a selection of items from The National Archives Shop.

Clare Horrie, Education Web Manager at The National Archives, said: “We were thrilled by the response to our competition and enjoyed reading the hundreds of fantastic stories we received. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to our deserving winners.”

Entries were judged by a panel from the Education Service at The National Archives and special guest judge, acclaimed children’s author, Sharon Gosling. Judging criteria included realistic characters, good background details on the workhouse system, interesting use of language and dialogue which reflected the time in which stories were set.

To see our full range of free education resources, visit the Education and Outreach homepage.


Tags: creative writing, Education and Outreach, Workhouse Voices