Streatham Literature Festival

As the world opens up, Streatham Literature Festival will be back with a bang in October 2021 with more stories to tell and authors to meet; we can’t wait to see you again!

From local authors to big names, writing competitions, stand-up, poetry and spoken word, as well as opportunities to meet authors, get bespoke recommendations from booksellers and librarians to help you choose the perfect book for you or your child, Streatham Literature Festival has something for everyone. Keep an eye out for our programme of events coming soon for the line-up and tickets.

We could not produce the festival without the help of our volunteers. If you would like to be part of the team curating and running the literature festival, please sign up through the ‘Get Involved’ button, or contact Hannah, the Festival Coordinator at


On Saturday 19th June, local MP for Streatham, Bell Ribeiro-Addy presented the winners of the inaugural Streatham Festival Short Story Competition with their prizes at the Rookery market on Streatham Common.

The committee would like to thank Northwood School for their sponsorship of the 2020 competition, and for their support with a wonderful lesson plan. We also thank everyone who submitted an entry; we had so many stories to read through and were impressed by the creativity and imagination shown across the board.

We are pleased to announce the winners and publish their stories below:

The Junior Category (years 1-3):

WINNER: Norah Tafraouti, year 5 for Little Red Riding Cape

Once upon a time, there was a small girl called Little Red Riding Cape. After the
woodcutter (from the story ‘Little Red Riding hood’) scared away the big bad wolf, the
sly animal began to plot and plan. He decided to take revenge from the small girl. But
when he arrived to his destination, he was greeted by a surprise The deep dark
woods was no longer the deep dark woods but a city. There were cars and roads and
people on their phones. “I will never get used to this,” he thought. The wolf went on
all four paws and decided to attack at night. So that night, he crept through the city,
looking through windows. He saw many little girls of ten, but none of them had Little
Red Riding Hood’s face. Finally he spotted a small girl that looked like Little Red
Riding Hood. He found the girl he needed. The sneaky wolf broke into her house. He
crept into her room but stepped on a tablet that was on the floor. Music filled the air,
waking up the sleeping child. “Who are you?” she asked the wolf.
“ I am the wolf.”
“The wolf? What wolf?”
“The wolf that nearly ate your grandma.”
My grandma!”
“Yes your grandma. You are Little Red Riding Hood aren’t you?
“No. I am Little Red riding Cape.”
“Do you know Little Red riding Hood?”
“Yes. She is my dead great grandmother.”
“Dead! Since Little Red riding Hood is dead, I will just get revenge on you.”
“Reve…” Before she could finish her sentence, she was put in a bag headfirst.

When Little Red riding Cape was freed, she could see that she was in a cave. She
got out of the bag. “Well, how are you going to get revenge on me?” The wolf looked
blank, as if he had never thought of this before.
“I will keep you prisoner!” Little Red riding Cape thought for a moment and then said;
“Ok. Well it’s a shame.”
“What’s a shame?”
“That you must live in here.” She reached to her pockets and took out a small tablet.
Then she showed the wolf a picture of a waterfall. “It is in the magical forest that no
man dared to enter. It’s lucky you are not a man.”
“Why did no man dare to enter?”
“Because it is full of ghosts and spirits and plants that seem to be alive.” The wolf
began to shudder. Being a very stupid wolf, he said; “Well you are not a man either.
And anyway you are young. There is more chance to will survive than me. Go and if
it is safe I will go too. “
“Alright then.” Little Red riding Cape waved and went out of the cave. Then she made
her way to her home. The next day, Little Red riding Cape did not return. The wolf
was convinced she was dead and didn’t think of her anymore. Little Red riding Cape
lived happily ever after and the wolf was never seen again.

RUNNER UP: Cora Nijjar-Burke, age 8 for her story Into Christmas Wonderland

Elsie was hanging baubles with her Dad. It was the first
of December and Dad was happy. Elsie picked up a
bauble and sighed as she hung it on the tree. As much
as she loved Christmas, she found hanging baubles on
a tree a bit boring.
“Isn’t this fun,” cried Dad.
“Sure,” Elsie mumbled.

“Meoww,” meowed Elsie’s cat Alice. “Oh Alice,” said
Dad, “What do you want now, huh?” Alice trotted round
Dad’s legs and then walked upstairs. Elsie saw a pearl
pink bauble lying in the bag. It had blue dots and a gold
piece of string. She picked it up by the string and placed
it on the tree. It wasn’t heavy or light, it felt somewhere
in between. The inside was misty, the kind you might
see in an orb.

That night Elsie woke up, thirsty. She checked her clock,
it was 10;00pm. She crept downstairs. Alice saw her,
and came up. Elsie filled a cup of water and drained it.
Then she scooped up Alice. As she passed the tree she

brushed against the bauble. Suddenly, she was
consumed in a mist.

The world around her was blurred and she could feel
herself spinning. She could see the outline of a village
beneath her. She could see it didn’t look normal. It was
covered in snow and there were no cars. The outline
became bigger until… THUMP!!! She hit the ground with
a thud and Alice fell out of her hands.

Elsie could hear chatting and laughing. She picked
herself up. She could see women doing their shopping
and cakes and other goodies being sold. “How did I get
here,” she muttered. As if replying, Alice chose that time
to meow.

A girl about her age strutted over. “What ya doing?” she
said, “name’s Clover. What’s yours?” The girl smiled.
“Elsie,” stammered Elsie. “Do you know where I am?”
“ You’re in Christmas Wonderland,” replied Clover. “You
want to have some fun?” Suddenly, Clover grabbed
Elsie’s arm and ran into the town. She stopped at a stall
selling candy canes, grabbed a few, paid the seller and
rushed off. Clover handed Elsie one of the canes. It
tasted like no candy cane Elsie had ever eaten at home.

They ran past at a couple more stalls but then Clover
stopped, breathless by one.
“Clover, that was amazing,” gasped Elsie. “I know,” said
Clover, “You should go home now.”

“Where’s Alice? I can’t have lost her,” groaned Elsie. No
matter how much they searched they couldn’t find Alice
until Clover went to the candy cane stall to buy some
and there Alice was, eating a candy cane!

“Alice, where have you been,” cried Elsie. But Alice only
meowed. Elsie said goodbye to Clover and fished the
bauble out of her pocket. When she touched it she was
shrouded in mist again. When she landed, the bauble
was nowhere to be seen so she walked upstairs to find
that it was still 10:00pm.

The Senior Category (years 4-6)

WINNER: Martyna Substyk, year 4 for Asking for Trouble

I’m Lilly, I was around 8 years old when this happened it was just a normal day.
Nothing interesting. I decided to get something to eat. I went to the kitchen and saw
mum and dad on their phones talking about someone called Mr X . I didn’t know
what was going on and I think I wasn’t meant to either. I hid behind the wall as
quickly as I could but my mum spotted me. She tapped dad on the shoulder because
he didn’t notice I was there and was still talking about Mr X. He almost jumped out of
his chair when he saw me. ‘Oh hello Lilly.’ he said quietly. ‘Who is Mr X?’ I asked.
They said nothing from that moment. Then dad came to my room and said ‘Lilly how
much of my phone conversation did you hear this morning?’ ‘Enough to have many

Dad went downstairs and came back with a black suitcase. ‘Lilly we need
to tell you something.’ He took me downstairs and outside, sat me down in the car
then we drove for an hour and stopped by a deep, scary sea. ‘This is the dark sea.’ he
said. Then he put down his suitcase which started unfolding and in the blink of an eye,
it turned into a submarine. We went into the submarine suitcase and swam for about 5
minutes. Then we stopped, the ship wouldn’t go any further. To my surprise dad
didn’t start panicking, instead he climbed out.

After he went outside of the submarine, I couldn’t hear anything.

When he came back inside the submarine swam past the spot
we were stuck in like it was nothing. Finally we arrived at an island. ‘This is where
mum and me work, the secret lab.’ he said as we got out f the suitcase submarine. He
took me inside of the lab and it looked amazing. We stopped by a room with a sign
‘TOP SECRET’ was written on it. We went inside. There was a big table and dad told
me to sit down. ‘Me and mom work here.’ he started. ‘Mr X is a villain. Me and mum
are on a mission to stop him. He’s meant to attack today, mum and me are spy’s.’
‘Cool.’ I said in disbelieve. ‘Would you like to help us?’ ‘YES!’ I exclaimed. Dad
gave me a black bodysuit and for the rest of the day we prepared for our mission. Just
before we went out mum asked me ‘Are you ready?’ ‘I’ll never be more ready in my
life.’ ‘Ok then. Lets go.’ We went to the shopping centre and into the jewellery store.
A few minutes later. Mr X arrived. He headed strait at the biggest, shiniest jewel. He
took it out and then 100 spy’s jumped out. He threw everyone to the sides, everyone
was screaming and only me and my family was left to bring him down……. I woke

Turns out it was just a dream.

RUNNER UP: Omaira Anand, age 7 for The Weird Matron

“I am your new Matron. Aren’t you lucky?” cooed the new Matron. Daisy frowned, her golden hair puffed
around her head like a cloud. She was in her second year of boarding school and had quickly learnt to be
wary of any Matron. Anyway, the new Matron looked no better than the other ones. She had a pinched
forehead and stern eyes boring into Daisy. There was something weird about her mouth though. Daisy was
going to keep her eyes peeled….

Daisy turned over. It was dawn, and the trees were silhouetted against the peach-coloured sky as Daisy lay
in her bed. Suddenly tears welled up in her eyes as she reminisced about her dead mother. All Daisy
wanted to know was how her mother died. Life was rarely exciting here at this stupid boarding school.
Daisy closed her eyes and fell asleep once again.

Before long, she was rudely woken by the new Matron rapping on the second years’ dormitory door.
“Fetch your towels. We are going to shower.” bellowed the new Matron. The whole world doesn’t need to
know thought Daisy as she grabbed her threadbare towel and scuttled out of the room. “If anything is
worrying you, tell me” the new Matron called after Daisy in a syrupy sweet voice. TELL HER! Thought Daisy

Daisy squeezed her towel angrily. She was going to have to put up with this bizarre woman for one whole
year. A scrap of paper fell on the polished floor. Gasping, Daisy staggered back. She could recognise this
writing. It was her mother’s! Checking that nobody was looking, Daisy tucked the scrap of paper into her

After Daisy supersonically showered, she collapsed on her bed like a jumper unravelling. The new Matron
was elegantly putting up her hair so 2 sleek curls would tumble down like a waterfall. The new Matron was
smiling at Daisy with her weird mouth, as if daring Daisy to read the scrap of paper.
So, Daisy took a deep breath, and lowered her gaze to it. It said, “Daisy find your ****** at this school “.
There was a big blot in the middle after the word ‘your’. Daisy gasped. How and why was this scrap of
paper here? She looked up to see the Matron comically opening and shutting her mouth like a goldfish
wanting to say something but unable to. Puzzled, Daisy excused herself and ran away.
Next day, Daisy was slow to get out of bed. “Kimmy, get out of bed” roared the new Matron. Daisy sat bolt
upright. Only her mum called her Kimmy. Then something dawned on Daisy. The Matron had the same
eyes, same nose as her mother. A thunderbolt struck Daisy. “AUNT LUCIA” yelled Daisy and jumped into
Aunt Lucia’s arms. “My Daisy hasn’t changed a bit” laughed Aunt Lucia, and they engulfed each other in a
big, toasty hug. They spent the rest of the day laughing, joking and exchanging stories. Everything made
sense now. Aunt Lucia told Daisy how she had got a job as Matron especially to be close to Daisy and
urgently wanted to tell Daisy but didn’t know how. Daisy grinned. It was not going to be such a stupid
boarding school after all!


The 2021 competition has now been launched and the Literature Festival committee would like to thank The White House prep school for their generous sponsorship and resources to support this latest competition.

The competition is open to all primary-aged children. If your school or group would like to take part, please click here for the brief and contact for the resources.

If you would like to take part privately, please email your short story of no more than 500 words with SHORT STORY in the subject line. Please be sure to include your name, age, and school year along with your submission.

Submissions will close on Friday 8th October, we look forward to reading your stories!




Sunday 11 October

A live event at Streatham Space Project
A day of workshops, readings and discussions followed by spoken word, music, and poetry. Come along to Streatham’s purpose-built theatre space next to Streatham Hill Station and take part in the live sessions or join in online.
Moon Lane Books are The Literature Festival’s Partner Bookseller.

Loading Events
Loading Events

Past Events › LitFest

Events Search and Views Navigation

Event Views Navigation

November 2020


1 November, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 11 January, 2021 @ 11:30 pm
Online Event United Kingdom

This year, The Streatham Festival inaugurated a new Streatham Literature Festival. As part of this, a new Children’s Short Story competition was announced by Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP at the launch of Lou’s Little Library on Pathfield Road last month.  This small community library was created to commemorate the life and work of local resident. Louise Simonsen, by celebrating and sharing her love of reading with her children with a selection of books donated by and shared with their local community. …

Find out more »
+ Export Events