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January 2022 winners

In December and January we asked for stories about a starry night.

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

Adult winner

Maggie Nerz Iribarne

Patti sat, riveted by The Bachelorette’s final rose ceremony. Her right hand held her screen, her left shoved SkinnyPop into her mouth. Behind her the screened door whined, slammed.

“Mamma, there are like a million stars!”

“I’m in the middle of something here!” Patti shouted, tightening her screen grip, refocusing.

Gaelic winner

Ann Bowes

“Oidhche rionnagach, rionnagach”

a-null ’s a-nall a-rithist,

bha an t-snàthad a’ sàs.

Sa mhochthrath, bha botail falamh agus bruisean-pheant dathail air an leabaidh,

bha smal cho dearg ris an fhuil air a’ chluasaig.

Thog e a làmhan critheanach -

bha dà chluais aige fhathast.

Rinn e cnead, “le gràs Dhè”.

Translation by Gaelic Books Council

“Starry, starry night”

back and forward again,

the needle was in place.

At dawn, there were empty bottles and colourful paintbrushes on the bed,

a stain as red as blood on the pillow.

He lifted his shaky hands -

he still had two ears.

He groaned, “by God’s grace”.

Young writers (12–18) winner

Andrew Morrice, age 16

He didn’t know it worked: one night he’d simply pointed at the sky, and a star had appeared, bright and new. It was a great party trick, of course, and it stimulated his inner artist, but he didn’t fully harness the potential of his god-like ability until he went commercial.

Young writers (5–11) winner

Beckett Kilber, age 11

Every night, I lay outside watching the sky. I've always wondered about those things up there. I've wished all my life to learn about them, but this country of mine is in love with war. School is far too dangerous and even if I was safe, I'm much too poor.