Budding writers: don’t miss your chance to have a short story published in Horse & Hound

  • For budding authors who fancy getting their own script in print, Horse & Hound is running a Christmas short-story competition. Whether you’re a fan of The Horse Whisperer or enjoyed a childhood inspired by Jill’s Pony Series, they say “everyone has a book in them”. The competition is open to all ages, and the theme is winter with horses or ponies. Stories should be no longer than 1,000 words.

    There are two age categories: under-16 (born on or after 1/1/2006) and over-16 (born before 1/1/2006). Entries close 14 November 2021.
    Click here to enter.

    If you want some inspiration, here is an extract of last year’s winning under-16 entry.

    H&H’s short-story competition winner from 2020

    The White Horses, by Nixie Walduck, aged 14

    Long, long ago, when the world was only a young child, the wind would skip and play in the breeze, and the meadows would race each other into the horizon. There was nothing to fear back then, nothing to hide from.

    If you wandered around for a while, letting the long grasses grab your hands like tentacles; and feeling the soft dewdrops of rain skid along your skin until the dusty heat of the sun appeared… you might come across the horses. Nearly 30 snow-white steeds stand proud as they graze on the tender shoots. Each one is a myriad of dapples, with whiskers and eyelashes as fine as glittering cobwebs. The glowing sunlight filters through a tall cedar sending diamonds of light sprawling across their coats, a nightlight on a dark, winter evening. But below the still water… wild currents squirm.

    But where did the horses come from? And where are they going? They came from centuries back, when the land and sea had not yet parted. From the bottom of the world, where day and night are one and the air is so cold your lungs can freeze solid.

    But the herd traveled on; into the sun-drenched southern lands. The horses never tired, even after days of galloping across the parched soil. The going was hard, but the herd never wavered. When raindrops fell as heavy as solid glass, the herd protected the weaker among them. When snow obliterated any bumps and divots in the dirt, they would snuffle away the snow to make a path with their muzzles.

    After a while, the herd noticed their habitat was changing. The trees were no longer sunburnt and bare but tanned and boasting a plume of vibrant verdant foliage. Rivers that once lay thirsty; a disappointment to those who sought its gift, were now painting the surroundings with a bright and nourished look. Everything was just right; everything except the heart of the herd. They could not stop until there was peace within…

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