National Stationery Week 2016

National Stationery Week was launched in 2013 and is a celebration of the written word and all things stationery. The aim is to get more people putting pen to paper and writing by hand more often. This year National Stationery Week is running from 25 April – 1 May and we want to involve as many people as possible.

The truth is, technology has merely distracted us from the joy and importance of writing, it hasn’t replaced it. There is still something special about stationery and receiving a handwritten letter or card. According to YouGov research commissioned by National Stationery Week, 92% of adults think that writing by hand is important and 97% think it is important for children to be taught to write.

For 2016 at The Pen Shop we will be running an exclusive #PenAmnesty both online and in all our stores. Details for this exciting new venture will be launched first thing on Monday morning!

Last year in 2015 we ran an art competition with a theme of “Talking is for now, writing is forever” and asked for pen and paper interpretations of it. The diversity of ideas was astounding and it was amazing to see the creativity and thought given to each entry.

EntrantsCompilation

For a bit of fun we also ran a poetry competition on Twitter. We asked our Twitter followers to help us write a poem by coming up with a next line each day. Expectations were high, but undoubtedly exceeded; we never knew that the resulting poem would be so good! It was especially nice that so many of the entries were handwritten.

Poem

For National Stationery Week 2014 we had an amazing response to our Doodle Competition. The competition was to unleash your inner doodler to show how George managed to capture the dragon. We were absolutely blown away by the amazing variety of doodles and ideas.

George Doodle

KatieJones (2)

To celebrate the launch National Stationery Week in 2013 we invited people of all ages to indulge their creative streak by writing a short story. You can still view our winning entries by clicking the links below.

Winners Age 8 – 12 Category >

Winners Age 13-18 Category >

Winners Age 18+ Category >

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#PenShopArt2015 – The Winning Entries

We’ve been overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of entries that we received into our art competition. We set a theme of “Talking is for now, writing is forever” and asked for pen and paper interpretations of it. The diversity of ideas was astounding and it was amazing to see the creativity and thought given to each entry.

EntrantsCompilation

With the high standard of entries it proved incredibly difficult to decide on the top design from each category, but after much deliberation we can finally announce the winners!

Winner – Over 16’s

Tony Brady

Tony Brady over 16 WINNER

Tony really captured the essence of what it means to put thoughts to writing. For his outstanding artwork, Tony wins our Over 16’s prize bundle.

over 16s Numbered - small

1. Kingsley A5 Notepad – Blue, 2. Kingsley A6 Notepad – Blue, 3. Kingsley Slip Case – Blue, 4. Faber-Castell Design Pocket Twist Ball Pen Silver, 5. Sheaffer 300 Black Chrome Trim Ballpen and Pencil Set, 6. Ted Baker Travel Document Holder Coral, 7. Ted Baker Brown Leather Mens Pen

Winner – 11-16’s

Adeen

Adeen 11to16 WINNER

A really expressive piece from Adeen which stood out by evoking memories of sketching away in the back of a school exercise book. Definitely worthy of our 11-16’s prize bundle.

11-16s Numbered - small

1. Kingsley A5 Notepad – Red, 2. Kingsley A6 Notepad – Red, 3. Kingsley Slip Case – Red, 4. Faber-Castell Design Pocket Twist Ball Pen Orange, 5. Cross Century Chrome Ballpen, 6. Dex Compact Clear Fountain Pen, 7. Ted Baker Brogue Wallet with Pen, 8. Ted Baker Lemon Yellow Brogue Notebook

Winner – Under 11’s

April

April under 11 WINNER

April’s picture was chosen as the winner in this hard-fought category partly because of the interpretation of the theme, partly because of the aspiration of the character and partly because of the cute cat. Hopefully April can carry on with her drawing and writing as the winner of our Under 11’s bundle.

under 11s Numbered - small

1. Kingsley A5 Notepad – Yellow, 2. Kingsley A6 Notepad – Yellow, 3. Kingsley Slip Case – Yellow, 4. Faber Castell Felt tips, 5. Lamy Safari Red Fountain Pen, 6. Dex Compact Smooth Fountain Pen, 7. Dex Compact Smooth Inkliner, 8. Ted Baker Touchscreen Pen Lemon, 9. Ted Baker Mini Notebook Opulent Bloom

We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone that entered the competition. You really got into the spirit of National Stationery Week and every single artwork was appreciated. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed (@ThePenShop) for more activities and prize opportunities in the future!

#PenShopArt2015 Art Competition prize bundles announced

We’re happy to announce the contents of our three prize bundles for our National Stationery Week art competition.

We’re asking you to express the theme of “Talking is for now, writing is forever” via the medium of pen and paper. We’ve already had some excellent early entries with more coming in every day. Make sure you follow our twitter feed (@thepenshop) for ideas and inspiration and most importantly make sure you get your entry in before 3rd May 2015!

The prize bundles are as follows:

Under 11’s

under 11s Numbered

1              Kingsley A5 Notepad – Yellow
2              Kingsley A6 Notepad – Yellow
3              Kingsley Slip Case – Yellow
4              Faber Castell Felt tips
5              Lamy Safari Red Fountain Pen
6              Dex Compact Smooth Fountain Pen
7              Dex Compact Smooth Inkliner
8              Ted Baker Touchscreen Pen Lemon
9              Ted Baker Mini Notebook Opulent Bloom

11-16’s

11-16s Numbered

1             Kingsley A5 Notepad – Red
2              Kingsley A6 Notepad – Red
3              Kingsley Slip Case – Red
4              Faber-Castell Design Pocket Twist Ball Pen Orange
5              Cross Century Chrome Ballpen
6              Dex Compact Clear Fountain Pen
7              Ted Baker Brogue Wallet with Pen
8              Ted Baker Lemon Yellow Brogue Notebook

Over 16’s

over 16s Numbered

1              Kingsley A5 Notepad – Blue
2              Kingsley A6 Notepad – Blue
3              Kingsley Slip Case – Blue
4              Faber-Castell Design Pocket Twist Ball Pen Silver
5              Sheaffer 300 Black Chrome Trim Ballpen and Pencil Set
6              Ted Baker Travel Document Holder Coral
7              Ted Baker Brown Leather Mens Pen

That’s over £360 worth of prizes to be won! Special thanks to Ted Baker for supplying some beautiful stationery products and accessories for the prize bundles.

Remember that to enter, all you have to do is photograph or scan your art and email it to adam.main@penshop.co.uk with your name, age and contact details. Alternatively you can tweet your submission with the hashtag #PenShopArt2015 or hand a copy in to your local branch of The Pen Shop. Importantly, the competition is completely free to enter and we’re not putting a limit on how many different designs you can enter.

The Pen Shop Art Competition 2015

National Stationery Week runs from 27th April – 3rd May this year and to celebrate we’re launching the stationery world’s newest art competition! Building on the success of last year’s doodle competition we’re encouraging people to express their artistic side.

As an artistic medium, pen and paper is often overlooked, but it’s perhaps the most accessible and commonly used. Nearly every notebook owner has succumbed to the guilty pleasure of an idle doodle or sketch. With a little bit more time and effort this innate talent can be harnessed to create more sophisticated works of art.

We’re setting the theme of “Talking is for now, writing is forever” for this year’s competition. Show us your interpretation of this theme in any way you choose. From calligraphy and lettering to drawing and doodling as well as anything in-between. The only stipulation we have is that entries must be created with pen and paper.

There are three age groups (under 11’s, 11-16’s and over 16’s) and the winner of each group receives a special stationery prize bundle. We’re still adding to the prize bundles and will announce their contents soon!

Art Competition Example

Art Competition Example

To enter, all you have to do is photograph or scan your art and email it to adam.main@penshop.co.uk with your name, age and contact details. Alternatively you can tweet your submission with the hashtag #PenShopArt2015 or hand a copy in to your local branch of The Pen Shop. Importantly, the competition is completely free to enter and we’re not putting a limit on how many different designs you can enter.

Entries into the competition will be accepted up until 3rd May 2015. A judging panel from The Pen Shop will select a winner from each group after this date. Winners will be announced on The Pen Shop blog after 11th May 2015.

Terms and Conditions

  1. To enter the Competition, You should create an art piece using the medium of pen and paper. The piece will be based upon the theme of “Talking is for now, writing is forever”. Digital copies of the piece will be accepted as entries.
  2. Competition closes 3rd May 2015. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
  3. Winners will be announced on The Pen Shop Blog (http://blog.penshop.co.uk/) on 11th May 2015 unless delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
  4. Reasonable effort will be used to contact winners by no later than 12th May 2015.
  5. Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  6. The entries will be split into age categories – under-11’s, 11-16 and 16+ with one winner selected from each category.
  7. The winner’s prizes are as shown on The Pen Shop Blog. No cash alternative will be offered.
  8. We want the world to see your art! By entering, you agree that your work may be reproduced by The Pen Shop, including in promotional materials, with full credit given to the entrant.
  9. Regrettably, entries which are submitted via post cannot be returned.
  10. All entries must be the entrant’s own work; entries which include material from other artists will not be included in judging.
  11. Lewd/offensive entries or entries subject to copyright restriction will not be considered.

 

Win fantastic collection of Giorgio Fedon 1919 prizes!

We are thrilled to be running a competition with Giorgio Fedon 1919 to win a selection of luxury gifts. Enter for your chance to win a fantastic selection of Giorgio Fedon 1919 prizes, including a Giorgio Fedon business card holder, rollerball, single pen holder and a glasses case/double pen holder!

Fedon Comp

Giorgio Fedon 1919 is an Italian brand and distinguishes those who work and travel with elegant and practical solutions. The term “quiet beauty” represents the style that with its simple shapes and lines makes its strength.

Simply answer the question “Where was Giorgio Fedon 1919 founded?” for your chance to WIN! Good luck.

Terms and conditions apply. Winner announced after 28th February 2015.

Click here to enter >

National Stationery Week 2014: Doodle Competition Winners

We had an amazing response to our recent Doodle Competition to celebrate National Stationery Week. The competition was to unleash your inner doodler to show how George managed to capture the dragon. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the amazing variety of doodles and ideas.

The competition was split into three age categories with the winner of each category winning a prize bundle valued at over £100. The overall winner also received a limited edition Cross Year of the Dragon pen worth £199.99!

Winner of the Under 12’s category

Katie Jones

KatieJones (2)

The Under 12’s was really hard fought. It had everything from one-eyed, glum-faced, spiky dragons to technicolour, egg-laying, happy dragons with every option inbetween. One entry even had a spiky dog/giraffe/dragon hybrid!

Katie’s dragon really stood out as the cutest of the dragon swarm. It’s easy to see how George would have managed to capture this doe-eyed beast with a tummy rub and a treat.

Winner of the 12-17 category

Entry removed at the request of parent

Winner of the 18+ category and overall winner

Jack Knight

JackKnight (2)

The 18+ category caused lots of problems with judging; everything was so good! The true doodlers stood out for the sheer amount of detail they put into their doodles. Some of the puns (verbal and pictoral) were delightful and some of the dragons looked good enough to be on the cover of a story book.

Jack’s inky battle scene was chosen because of the clever use of the pre-existing lines, brilliant style and the dragon’s devious smirk. The appropriate surname was just a bonus.

We’d like to extend our thanks to all of the entrants into this year’s competition. We hope it was as much fun for you as it was for us and we’re looking forward to next time.

Win a Cross Special Edition Ball Pen – Worth £140

Here at The Pen Shop we are offering one lucky customer the chance to win a Cross Townsend Platinum Plated Special Edition Ball Pen worth £140. This Cross Townsend 20th Anniversary Special Edition Ball Pen features a brushed diamond cut pattern that imparts a unique texture to the elegant platinum plated finish.

Competition

Cross luxury writing instruments are renowned for their distinctive style and quality. With more than 160 years’ experience in design and manufacture, Cross lays strong claim to a leading role in defining, expanding and reinvigorating the way we look at writing instruments. While it has developed an increased focus on fashionable colours and stylish designs, fine craftsmanship coupled with pioneering design have long been the well-established hallmarks of the Cross brand.

Simply click on the below link to enter our competition on Facebook.

Enter Here

 

National Stationery Week Competition: Winners Age 18+ Category

National Stationery Week is a celebration of the written word and all things stationery. We want to get more people putting pen to paper and writing by hand more often, and spelling stationery correctly with an ‘e’!

The truth is, technology has merely distracted us from the joy and importance of writing, it hasn’t replaced it. There is still something special about stationery and receiving a handwritten letter or card.

To celebrate National Stationery Week, The Pen Shop invited people of all ages to indulge their creative streak by writing a short story. We are pleased to announce the winner and runners up of the age 18+ category.

Winner of the Age 18+ Category

Peter Gill

peter gill story edit3

Runner Up Entry:

Barbara Shaw

The Eternal Pen Friend

A hush fell over the room as the amazing voice of the female soprano drifted in from the wings of the stage. It was as sparkling as ice crystals cutting through the heat of a hot summer’s day.

After singing about three bars of the beautiful song she emerged from the wings of the stage gracefully, her long gown sweeping the floor. Not only was the song beautiful so was the singer – glamorously dressed in a low cut evening gown with a sparkling jewel sitting perfectly at the décolleté The single diamond moved up and down slightly as her voice rose to a crescendo.

The performance was superb, lifting the audience into the heights of fantasy. The choreographer had chosen wisely – with a concentration upon perfect acoustics and using lighting so subtle in the auditorium but so bright on stage that the orchestra’s instruments shone – the saxophones looked like pure gold, the conductor’s batten like a slim-line pen yielding power and control over the huge orchestra.

Her performance of the first tune was greeted rapturously by an appreciative audience and she then went on to introduce her colleague and fellow opera singer, sweeping off the stage and leaving it for him to transport the audience to the delights of his strong operatic performance.

Before the interval the audience were asked to write out any requests for songs they wished to hear and to have them dedicated to loved ones, perhaps for special occasions – choosing a favourite or meaningful song. They had to write these requests on stationery provided by the Opera Company. Writing legibly and concisely, giving the name of the request, their name and the name of the person they were requesting the song for and the reason for it.

The stationery was provided but not the pens. Julian aged 21 had accompanied his father to the Concert in celebration of his father’s 60th birthday – it had been Julian’s birthday present to his father. He wanted to make the evening even more special by sending in a request for his father’s favourite song.

He glanced at the young lady sitting next to him, she was young, brunette and handsome with a rosy glow to her translucent complexion. She appeared to be alone, but was writing a request. She was using a slim-line silver, antique pen. His first thoughts were to ask her if he could borrow this, but looking at the elegant instrument he was hesitant. He looked behind him to see if someone had a more humble looking implement. The girl saw Julian’s anxious look and generously offered him her pen. She smiled shyly at him. He gratefully accepted her offer and meticulously wrote down the name of the song, the reason for his request, his father’s name and he signed it Julian – his son. The requests were collected from the audience and duly presented to the singers.

The performers choose consensus requests for the most popular songs stated, reading out the requests.

The beautiful blonde soprano swept again onto the stage – this time wearing a pale blue and silver dress which clung to her sylph like figure. She walked up to the microphone and the conductor rose his batten. The orchestra struck up and again the beautiful voice rang out.

Only those members of the audience who were sitting close to the stage saw the conductor kick one of the spot lights. He had in fact detected that the light was on fire. The early flicker struggled and seemed to expire. The song continued – then suddenly like a bomb – a boom rang out –as the light exploded. The stage was engulfed in flames. Panic reigned – the musicians struggled to exit the stage. The flames fanned out – reaching the auditorium within minutes. Sprinklers sprung into action in the auditorium drenching the fleeing people, but still the flames ranged. There were people everywhere, in the isles, climbing over the seats, scrambling to leave the building as quickly as they could.

Julian dragged his father without preamble to the end of the row of seats – the charming girl sitting next to Julian was gone – on the floor lay her beautiful antique pen. In the chaos Julian struggled to retrieve it as it fell onto the next level of seats and people pushed by anxious to escape what could become a raging inferno.

Once outside the building – the sound of the sirens of the arriving fire engines were deafening – the crowd shocked and shaken. Julian searched anxiously for the brunette who had been sitting next to him. He held onto her pen. His father was anxious to leave the scene and escape the horrific blaze.

When they arrived home, Julian looked again at the pen and realised that on it was engraved a name, the name of the owner he assumed. He felt a real need to return this beautiful and perhaps valuable pen to it’s rightful owner. He looked in the telephone directory for the name, he searched the Internet and to his delight he found the name Amanda Sarsfield as a person living in North West Manchester. He telephoned her and there began their romance.

Now five years later it is Julian and Amanda’s wedding day– they will use the pen to sign the register.

Runner Up Entry

Kevin O´Donovan

Language, truth and more…fun

A hush Fell over the room as someone, a boy no doubt let out a short pert fart. Eys all rolled in various directions. Everyone gave out ” it was him, not me!” look. Fortunately it wasn’t a stinky one, just letting off air in frustration.

” and that’s that !” said the head to the inspector. It couldn’t have happened at a better moment. A week of being rushed off our feet, making sure most things were in order, and all we wanted was to relax. Well thanks that little person, the four year old, who made us laugh. Timing is important in comedy. They all blushed only one smiled though. I have my suspicions.

In these workshop classes, anyone is suspect as , in the name of group bonding and cohesion these are mixed age and ability classes, upper age 5 lower 3. Who were the suspects? It’s always the one who you least suspect. My bet goes with Andrew. Quiet as a mouse until Christmas. All smiles and nods, on the mat. Then as if someone had put extra protein in his underpants, he just goes around whizzing like there’s no tomorrow , speech and blurbs totally out of synch with the rest of his body, he goes around the yard at playtime flailing and blurting ” another goal!”. He´s happy, im happy, there’s no ball or goals in sight. Don´t ever lose your imagination, children.

Was it Rafaela? She’s very house proud or should I say, knows her personal space well. She gets very uppity and fidgety if someone sits 0.11111mmm within her range. She´ll get up, lurch forward arms stretched out and a grimace stretches her face downward and she starts to lose her breath, tears jerk. But no come on, Rafaela no need to scream and shout. Fart if you may and look down in dismay, that’s within acceptable behavior. Crying just because someone’s trying to get close to you in a friendly four your old way is just not on. I mean I´ve only got to look at the rewards and punishments chart and you know perfectly well what I’m talking about, ahem, Rafaela.

Was it leah? I mean recently she’s been looking very super mode-lish, no bows or ribbons, just kinda “disco Barbie” look or is it ” horsey Barbie” she has been showing off a lot and looks well too grown up for a four year ‘old. Then she came in wearing a diamante incrusted Hannah Montana pink, long sleeved top imprinted with ” who’s the boss? Hannah is!” all said though, she’s quick of the mark and knows her colours well (confuses blanco with black) and recites the alphabet beautifully. Could her polished look mask a conceited fart? The jury is out.

Why learn a language . Let’s face it we do it quite easily from 0 -6 years old. Do we remember how we learnt the past participle of the verb to do, or the importance of third person with an s on the end? Not that it matters these days when txt spk lts us omt lts o thgs spcly vwls.
We did it absorbing the things around us with play and some hard knocks. We needed to survive. For me at least it’s always been the sounds of language that have interested me. From at least when we start sprouting hormones.

French was like a ray of light on first thing Tuesday morning amongst the grey gritty weather, the teacher she wasn’t far off. But when she started to roll out the words. I was in a trance and nothing else mattered. I took a soft spot for her despite her wailing and screeching of class control. The sounds were enough for me to swat under my bedcovers late at night with funky little flash cards bough from WH smiths that had phrases like “je veux un lit pour deux personnes pour trois jours síl vous plait” then those eventually took me off to Disneyland Paris where I learnt to say cheesy stuff like “have a nice day” and learning all the names of the 7 dwarves in French. We were always running out of key rings, fluffy toys, mugs, pencils of simplet et joyeux . ( dopey and happy). Prof( doc) you’d see him on sale a lot discounted. Snow white would pass through the shop on times shed come over the plastic bridge hand in hand with- dopey.

Pretty girls like to have fun, And that’s another thing about learning don’t be too serious about keeping it serious.

Language makes us human, accents keep us humane… we can share, give, lend borrow and sometimes we tell lies, I wonder if lies exist in all human languages. There’s about 6,000.
The economic reasons in the changing global climate for studying a language are useful and valid, but it’s a fading one. Communication is changing like language.
Kids inspire me again, like the internet; they jitter and have moments of fine and silly gobbeldy gook. But they live and breathe they are organic and human and 3 dimensional; they grow naturally
There’s no soul on the internet it’s just bits of information.

I just don’t get these people. So how can they be so fun loving and slap happy then bring it all down with a nagging “ the problem here in our country is that..” are they still adjusting to new ways of thinking , do they know how to think. I’ll always be the foreigner. I’ve stopped trying to adjust. Too many people with moustaches, male and female thinking that they’re more important than what’s before them. All hot air, arm flailing in the sun, get over it, the kids do, the real ones they don’t act, they break wind and its acceptable, unregimented and ahem, free.

Runner Up Entry

Martin Richmond

Dennis’ Demons

A hush fell over the room as Dennis Pringle, entirely missing his beer mat; clattered an empty glass down on the bar! A geriatric group in the corner booth paused briefly between the wild click of their dominoes to huff in chorus. The barman briefly lifted a disgruntled brow from his newspaper propped between the ‘Dark Dungeon’ and ‘Darkest Dungeon’ beer pumps.
Dennis waved a hand meekly in apology.

He was having problems with a “lazy eye” that gave him pronounced double-vision when he was overtired, like now.

The alcohol that coasted through his system relaxed the muscles to his right eye even further, making things visually, quite challenging.
He gazed down at the two, empty glasses in front of him on the bar and decided, since he had definitely put down only one, it was time to call it a day. Although calling it a night would have been more accurate given the distinct lack of daylight lingering outside the two bay windows adjoining the two matching, etched-glass front doors.
When Dennis finally managed to navigate through the correct door of “THE WICKED PIG” public house and into the street he paused to take a deep breath. The empty street swayed very slightly over vanishing patches of rain and a double row of streetlights spiked their beady, yellow eyes in reflection. Dennis fiddled with the multiple sets of buttons on his jacket and admitted defeat, deciding open was good, as it was a mild night anyway. He stepped gingerly out into the centre of the road between two sets of wavy, white lines, pausing beneath numerous streetlight halos to check his watch. Luckily it sharply beeped the hour, which helped him decide which one of the two on his wrist to focus on and realised it was midnight.

He nodded to himself as if agreeing with the time and looked up to find a pair of brightly coloured figures approaching him. Both were dressed in dark red, silken costumes with floor-length, flowing capes. Large curled horns sprouted like melted stalagmites out from bushy, flowing red hair that cascaded about their skeletal shoulders. They both carried gleaming pitchforks and twitched serpent-like tails on the ground behind them.
Dennis seemed quite unfazed at the strange duo.
“Damn fine costume pal,” said Dennis, managing not to slur. “Was thinkin’ of hiring somethin’ like it for the Halloween do down at ‘The Wicked Pig’ next week? It was a toss-up between that or a Zombie and ‘avin’ seen yours I think I’ll plump for the demon look, or is it a devil one?
“DEMON,” howled the figures in unison, in Darth Vader-like growls, that echoed fitfully down the street.
“Right,” said Dennis, planting his feet even wider apart to counter the sway, “but can I sh-uggesht you lose the dodgy ginger wig, it’s a bit, Spag Bol-ish?”
“IT IS MY OWN HAIR,” they screamed in anger!

“Sorry pal, no offence, didn’t realise. I can see it now,” he lied, leaning forward and squinting. “Suits ya, it really does, but, can I ask, are you brothers?”
“DRUNKEN, IMBECILIC FOOL, I AM THE ONLY ONE HERE!”
“You sure pal, ‘cos yer mate looks an awful lot like ya?”
The demonic duo rose gradually up in the air, levitating to about two feet above the road.
“Nice trick,” said Dennis, obviously quite unimpressed, “but I’ve seen that David Blaine guy do it on the telly quite a few times now.”
Dennis wasn’t accounting for the fact that he’d watched repeats of the same programme.
“PAH, I never use mere parlour tricks,” said the demons, as they began belching out smoke and flames. The orange tongues of fire licked savagely over their faces and a column of purple smoke billowed out into the night air.
“Y’know pal, said Dennis, wagging a finger, “that’s just how my indigestion gets after a curry, it fair burns me up.”
“DOLT,” they squealed, and plunged their tridents simultaneously into the tarmac of the road!

A crack began to split the road in two between them like a small earthquake, widening and stretching to eventually halt at the kerbs on either side.
“The council won’t be too pleased with you pal! They get enough complaints as it is about the ruddy potholes and ‘ow they ‘aven’t got the money to fix ‘em.”
“THE COUNCIL,” they both yelled? “Why should I be concerned over a mere council?”
“You should be sunshine,” spat Dennis, “they think they’re Gods anyway and they’ll crucify you for this!”
The demons, returning to the ground from their floating vantage point, seemed somewhat taken aback?
“The Council of – the Gods you say? I am unafraid of mere Gods and their puny threats of punishment,” they stated, in a much more subdued, hushed tone.
“I must now depart,” they said, turning swiftly. ”You mortal, are beneath my consideration!”
“Ang about pal,” snapped Dennis angrily, gesturing at the crack, “what about this lot then?”
The demons each raised the same eyebrow over the torn tarmac and expelled candy floss plumes of smoke from their nostrils.

“An easy matter to rectify and to demonstrate to you the awesome power that I wield…”
The demons gently tapped the road with their tridents and the crack suddenly came together, sealed as if by an invisible zipper.
When Dennis looked up they had both vanished!

“I should damn well think so,” he growled, “bloody vandals!”

Dennis resumed his stagger homeward bound, but took to the brace of paths beneath the rows of street lights, being careful to avoid the double litter bins and multiple post boxes along the way. He pondered as he walked, wondering which bed he would sleep in tonight and which of his two wives would be awake to give him an earful? But first he would have to see which bus he could find to get him there?

A double, double Decker perhaps?

National Stationery Week Competition: Winners Age 8-12 Category

National Stationery Week is a celebration of the written word and all things stationery. We want to get more people putting pen to paper and writing by hand more often, and spelling stationery correctly with an ‘e’!

The truth is, technology has merely distracted us from the joy and importance of writing, it hasn’t replaced it. There is still something special about stationery and receiving a handwritten letter or card.

To celebrate National Stationery Week, The Pen Shop invited people of all ages to indulge their creative streak by writing a short story. We are pleased to announce the winner and runners up of the age 8-12 category.

Winner of the Age 8-12 Category

Aiden Layug (Age 10)

The Beast

A hush fell over the room: as I stepped outside of the ruin. My headache only grew worse by the second. I stumbled through the forest. The air was dense, the towering trees were closing in on me like a Venus fly trap. My eyes were stinging, my body trembled. I noticed a swift figure moving across the swamped grassland; I drew my sword in caution.

Suddenly, the figure produced a shrieking noise – plants arched down like a stick collapsing. I realised there was a shadow of a beast, overpowering another. Glancing down at my body, drenched in the swamp, I captured my eye onto an oversized eel, which was tearing small chunks out of my side; blood turned the murky swamp water red. In panic, I ripped the creature off my skin and I plunged my dagger into it’s temple. It fell, lifelessly into the swamp. The sun no longer gazed upon the sight; I saw black everywhere.

When I woke I was in a cave with red banners that had dark blue swirls. As I looked curiously, out of the cave, I saw: blunt swords and spears; men that wore clothes with leaves on; small wooden houses and my body was in bandages. Still puzzled, I sat up and yawned. My actions had brought silence and confusion. The men I saw earlier had focused their attention on me. Their beady eyes pierced my soul. When I heard a deafening screech I covered my ears and scrambled for cover. A red fiery wind blew over the mountain settlement and into the cave, which smelted the iron swords to spill and run across the floor of the cave. Cowardly, I walked backwards, attempting to avoid the smelted iron river. I was trembling in fear. Smoke had now filled the cave, causing my eyes to water; my lungs were filled with ash.

When the smoke cleared and the iron river settled, a scaled monster’s tail whipped just out of view. The scales were red and black, so detailed you could see the particles meet. Meat hooks like claws were sitting on the arch of it’s tail. Whilst people sobbed over the dead, I tried to figure out why the scaled beast attacked; I wondered if it was after something or someone: I feared it would come back.

As I went out of the cave I saw the havoc that the monster left behind. I felt guilty. Did I lead the beast here? Should I have been the hero instead of cowering in the cave? Was I responsible for these deaths?

The bodies were horrifically burnt and one was carrying a rather unusual potion. I recognised this potion and so I discreately picked it up and hid it in my sleeve. I ventured through the settlement. I was astonished to see the bodies. The once living wildlife and trees were now perished. The banners had disappeared. No one noticed my presence. Avoiding being seen, I scurried past the strangers who were aiding the injured. With a sigh, I hid out of sight beside a ruined house.

After sundown, I ventured out from the darkness, and began spreading the potion over the lifeless. I glanced at the deserted houses; flickers of the fires were still alight. I could see the walls painted with blood in the darkness. Startled, I saw the dead rise! Their eyes were repulsive enough to make someone faint.

I slowly walked backwards in disbelief wishing I had never taken the cursed potion. Would I survive? My body stiffened; my face was full of sweat; my sword was melted from the beast’s flames. I was damned…

Soon they gained upon me, my heart was pounding out of my chest, their hands were straightened in front of them and their fingers were moving rapidly, attempting to grasp my flesh. They began to groan. They moved as a sequel, everyone moving together.

Within seconds I could feel them digging their nails into my limbs. I was paralysed by the pain they inflicted. Now my eyesight was fading, the zombies horrible faces were blurry. I could tell I was going to die, because of the blood that was spilt.

In defeat I closed my eyes and waited for the fatal bite to my neck. Startled, I started to hear a faint crackle by the near post which held up the roof. The straw was burning and the mud based substance was acting like a petrol liquid, as the fire sprinted across the roof. Suddenly, a roof collapsed on to the blood thirsty zombies.

I was astonished that the roof had crushed the zombies to death, forgetting that I was severely wounded I jumped with joy. I collapsed. My body became lifeless. My body was punctured with holes where the zombies fingers ventured. I lay beside the chunks that were torn out of my side. The deafening screech returned. With no energy left in my body, I had no other choice than to wait for the beast to draw near. Its eyes were blazing red with rage, the fearlessly sharp claws on its tail straitened. I was terrified of the sight. I hoped my life would end. Painlessly. The beast started swooping down onto me. His colossal claws missed every time.

I decided to crawl slowly towards a fallen vandalised house. It was crafted by stones and they were layered precisely so the structure would not collapse. I stumbled across the stones, entering the fireproof house. The screeches of the beast were constantly heard. My ears were bleeding. The beast ventured towards the premises.

Now, the beast was using its best weapon – fire. It was bellowing flames everywhere. There was no place left to hide. I was vulnerable. The flames consumed my wounded body. I saw my own flesh turning into ash. No longer did I feel any pain. I gave my life away to the beast: my death was pitiful.

 

Runner Up Entry:

Emma Mewes (Age 11)

‘Quick, there’s no time to explain’ Jess said as she pulled me down the corridor. We had just been in science, doing measuring; we were measuring our stationery, while the teacher did an experiment. But it went wrong. We needed somewhere to hide we needed to get away. The thing is we had a maths test and we weren’t going to get a good score.

The day before…

‘Alice, Jess is here’ I ran down the stairs. Jess had come over to do revising, very little revising we did. We spent the whole time on the computer playing games. My mum did not find out but she will soon.

So we were running, running round the school. Everyone was in the classroom. The ‘beast’ was only after us. We ran and ran until we saw the door to the field. We ran faster and opened the door. We turned around just in time to see a giant blob dive through the door.

We closed the door and heard a sizzling noise. We thought the monster had disintegrated but we opened the door we found our class in a blob of jelly. BRRRRRRRINGGGGGGGGGG. There went the last bell. We had been running for the last two hours. We had run through the maths test. Just as the bell went we looked at the blob and it disappeared. All the class ran to their house jess ran to mine because it was closer. We did a lot of thinking and not much talking, then some eating, then some sleeping.

We woke up to a rumble. A giant rumble.  We went to the window to find green goo outside we knew what it was. We had a plan but we didn’t know if it would work…

We had made a powder, a green powder. We opened the window. The goo started to ooze in. quickly we chucked the powder at the ooze. It started to shrink. Shrink. Shrink. We looked out it was the size of a normal jelly. JJB walked past. JJB my dog. He looked at the blob and… He ate it.

All the trouble had gone.

 

Runner Up Entry

Marcus Layug (Age 11)

The Shadow

 A hush fell over the room as the octogenarian told his story.

“Nine years ago… A child only ten years old, was playing happily with his friends. The island was in the Pacific Ocean – a lawless country. The grass swayed in the breeze, whilst the exotic wildlife observed the children playing. The child’s name was never known, but his friends were named: Gerald, John , Zoë and Max . Whilst they played a game of hide and seek their village was invaded by a cultural tribe, which swept through the towns protecting their people. The child (who was never recovered) was a professional at the game ‘hide and seek’. He always ended the game by frightening his opposition by victoriously bellowing his catchphrase “did you miss me?”

After this particular game, a large hysterical scream of excruciating pain was heard echoing through the island. The tribe sprinted to the civilian, Max, who was pretending to be injured with a broken leg. Max accused the ten year old child of assaulting him. Max explained that the child was jealous of his popularity with their other friends and that was why he had hurt him, leaving Max by himself to mourn alone. The tribe raised their spears and hurled them at the fleeing child. The child fled instantly, avoiding the spears which were thrown. The next day Max was found dead with a blade pierced in his neck.”

Many years later … Butterflies fluttered their elegant wings contentedly. The deer- which was eating grass – retreated to her tree domain. Even though it was warm, Zoe was wearing a thick fleece which caused sweat to drip slowly down her cheek. The thick dew stuck to her trainers from the grass as if magnets. The fiery sun beat down on her with bellowing force. Even though it was morning, Zoë enjoyed watching the birds tweet loudly.

Zoë decided to head inside for a glass of water. It went cold now. Shivering cold. Pop. Blood leaked from her wound. She wanted to scream but she couldn’t as a steel blade was forced through her spine. She lay there numb, seeing a shadowy figure enter her garden and hop over the fence. Off the shadow went silently. Zoë reached for her phone but her vision went blurry. Unexpectedly, she saw Satan himself.

Meanwhile, back in the north of the island the news spread like wild fire. The shadow was never found…

Gerald had just finished his work. He had smelled a disgusting scent of gasoline which polluted his car. Gerald (who was about to vomit) unrealistically sprayed an enormous quantity of Febreeze (air freshener) until the can was empty! Snap. Unexpectedly a branch snapped. Snap. “Who’s there?” Gerald whimpered. Snap. “This isn’t funny guys”. Snap. Gerald lunged in to the car in an attempt to escape his fate. Or had he? The car broke down miles away from his house . “No, no no” he yelled furiously; the car was out of petrol. Gerald was stranded on his own highway.

“Don’t move.” Gerald’s heart pumped blood around his body. The hammer in his body was about to smash out of his ribs. Gerald dropped. A furious burn pierced straight through leather, wool ,flesh and bone. Gerald was unconscious. Help arrived minutes later. But was it soon enough?

Soon Gerald awoke with doctors swarming around him as if a pack of deer was being hunted ruthlessly. He was safe now, surely.

Night eventually came as he had been unconscious for a day and a few hours. His family refused to leave until midnight and fresh roses were placed (attractively) beside him constantly.

Minutes later the door creaked open. The leopard was back threatening him. “Did you miss me?” Blood stained the wallpaper and the bed turned blood red. Literally blood red. Seconds later security sprinted up the stairs only to find blades smashing their skulls and punishing blows in their ribs. More swarmed the stairs only to find The Shadow gone.

Specialist inspectors were there in hours, dialling army veterans to the battle field where a man slaughterer had once been. They found a small pocket knife and located The Shadow at Old Blue Cottage.

The battle happened a day later; Agent Barrel was there a new younger recruit. He was equipped with a high calibur sniper rifle. He took position and peered through his scope on the gun. A large swat team engaged the target, firing multiple rounds non meeting neither hitting their final destination. Agent Barrel engaged the house; more followed worriedly. One agent hurled frag grenades and set explosives around the house instantly. Agent Barrel saw the target and fired. All missed except one. It forced the enemy to scream in rage. Agent Barrel felt a thin blade trim his head and land in his comrades temple. The dangerous killer retreated. Finally Agent Barrel injured with splinters of wood in his thighs travelled away calmly after sobbing about his comrades.

Agent Barrel reached his house noticing his wife wasn‘t home. He shut the car door and headed inside. He decided to flick through the TV channels. Agent Barrel (real name John) was about flick through the final channel, then his blood stained the couch. “Did you miss me?”

The Shadow swung his blade; ferociously. Agent Barrel ducked and was about to attack, until The Shadow was gone. Agent Barrel reached for the gun. Nervously sweat dribbled from his chin. He saw a blur and fired. Again another blur with another bullet with another miss. For a moment he felt safe until multiple blows rammed his chest, winding him with no mercy. But everybody has a limit as to how much pain they can handle, right? John felt no pain after a while. Until consciousness swallowed him whole and spat him out as if the foul creature was disgusted that he didn’t taste nice. John awoke feeling the pain rising in waves which crashed down on him, drowning him. Every wave was stronger than the next. There was The Shadow – the monstrous nightmare which murdered undercover agents.

With the gun inches away he moved. Drowning himself again. He forced himself to grasp the gun and finally adding the last killer blow.

The shadow still kept running, still escaping, still wanting revenge. The Shadow was gone. John never fully recovered though, as every night he felt endangered, almost waiting to die. Nothing could make John forget anything, remembering one thing in particular: did you miss me?

Win a BAFTA Nominee Gift Bag

Celebrating Talent with Style

Cross announced as an Official Gift Supplier to the EE British Film Academy Awards in 2013

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The EE British Academy Film Awards in 2013 take place on 10th February. BAFTA congratulates its nominees by giving them an exclusive goody bag full of coveted items on the ight of the awards. To get your hands on your very own Official BAFTA Nominee Gift Bag just answer the following question in no more than 10 words:

• On what date will the BAFTA Film Awards take place this year?
• Then complete the following tie break in no more than 20 words: I nominate myself to win the BAFTA Goody Bag because…

Please send your entry via post to Nicola Shepherd, Cross, Cross House, Unit 14 Windmill Trading Estate, Thistle Road, Luton, Beds LU1 3XJ or email to nshepherd@cross.com or drop in to your local Pen Shop.

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Cross has been designing exquisite pens for over 160 years. As with all Cross writing instruments, the Cross Townsend collection comes with a lifetime mechanical guarantee.

*Competition closes on 18th February 2013 (penshop.co.uk)

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ENDS

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Notes to editors:

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The nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2013 were announced on Wednesday 9 January – please visit website for further details: www.bafta.org/press

· The ceremony will take place on Sunday 10 February at London’s Royal Opera House.

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