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December–January winners 2024 – adult writers

In our December–January competition, we asked for stories featuring bells.

Gold bells rest among a pine tree and some sheet music

Congratulations to the winners of our December–January competition. Feeling inspired? Have a go at this month's prompt.

Adult writers winner

Kathryn Holme

Sam noticed his gran fidgeting. Despite being only three years old, he was an expert at deciphering her body language.

“Now?” he asked.

“Not yet. We’ve only just left the last stop.”


“No, not until we’re past the bakery.”


Sam’s heart beat increased as his gran nodded.


Gaelic winner

Rebecca Saunders

Trì ìomhaighean-fhiodha beaga nan seasamh le ùird nan làmhan, an impis clagan a sheirm, de dhathan eadar-dhealaichte: umhach, òr, airgead. Bidh na cleasaichean aighearach a’ dol cho rèidh ri uaireadair, a’ clagadh fear mu seach, a’ comharrachadh dol seachad na tìde. Fuirichidh na maoir-ama gu foighidneach ris an ath-thuras.

Translation by Gaelic Books Council

Three small wooden statues standing with hammers in hand, about to ring bells of different colours: bronze, gold, silver. The merry performers are as regular as clockwork, striking one after the other, marking the passage of time. The stewards of time will wait patiently until the next occasion.