Stromness Academy Library

Books, reading and life in a school library

It surely isn’t the festive season already? & 12 Words of Winter


Time has run away with us again and we find ourselves nearly at Christmas. It has been an extremely busy term with lots of classes booked for a variety of projects: Ancient Civilisations; Japan; Extreme Weather; Explorers; to name but a few. The Spooky Happenings storytelling event seems a long time ago too… it went really well with local storyteller, Tom Muir, coming in to read a selection of ghostly tales.

More recently, some S1 and S2 classes got a chance to enter the 12 Words of Winter competition and write some very short stories during their English Library periods. A national competition is run by The School Librarians’ Network, a professional forum. This year the time scale was rather on the short side for us as folk are still in the full throws of school work so launching it was difficult. In the end, some S1 / 2 classes, who had completed this terms library work, got  a chance to try this during the week to the run up to the closing date of 6th December. The in-house school competition closes today (13th Dec).

Pupils had to write 12 word stories which had a beginning, middle and end. This is quite difficult for some and quite a few were more poetic in form. Despite this some of the writing was really good. Quite a few were shortlisted and one winner was put forward for the national competition. The winner and shortlisted entries are rolled forward to the school competition which will be judged early next week.

Sent to National Competition:

Winter arrives. The ball deflates; boots away. Boredom, stuck inside ‘til spring. ( CC)


Robins soar through holly bushes, White droplets. Carols echo in pure whiteness. (MF)

Reload, finger on the trigger, aim, breath, shoot. The Turkey is ready. (JM)

Autumn leaves gone. Dark nights draw in. Snow starts falling. Winter’s here. (MA)

Winter is here, air is clear, but don’t fear, snow is here. (CC)

The new snow covered the memories of last night. Let’s make more. (LB)

Making snow angels in the snow but BRAIN FREEZE. That wrecked it. (FC)

The house shook with thunder followed by a flash bang. Power out. (BH)

Little Children all wrapped up. “Hora!” they say “Lots of snow!” (EM)

Hungry, hungry reindeer, ate a pies, so delicious, let out a sigh. (IW)

Crisp sharp snow fell on my frozen pail battered face. Shrapnel sharp. (IG)

Dark late night. Frost biting at your toes. Huddled round the fire. (SS)

Huddle around the fire. Cinnamon candles flicker. Lights shimmer in frozen lakes. (SS)

Outside in the snow. Jack Frost nibbling your nose. Winter is here. (HM)

The snowman glared from the darkness. He realised it was the end. (AW)

Patterns of frost follow us wherever we go. Icicles form around us. (IS)

Jack Frost nips your nose. Watch him create winter on this day. (DF)

Charcoal eyes watch over the pond. Forgotten now. He cries. Falling apart. (AB)

The snowman melted. The sun dropped. Children drifted asleep. Tired of waiting. (AH)

The frost got into the car engine so I stayed at home. (EW)

Alone in a snowy wasteland fifty miles from anywhere. Death is soon. (EH)

Cold winter day. Man walked into a cave. Icicle fell. He’s dead! (AJ)

Now even the snow’s dark as I stumble outside, the dogs bark. (RM)

Wrapped in my finest hat, scarf and gloves. Hope he’s there tomorrow. (MT)

Looking out the window. The ponies with heavy rugs white with snow. (CM)

Frosty morning. Walking by the horrifying snowman staring at me. I’m chilled. (CJ)

I went outside to face the snow. COLD! SNOWY! Ran in again. (JA)

Drifting out of darkness comes white fluffiness, sharp edges. A black nose. (NH)

The deafening silence of winter falls in the night. Winter is here. (BT)

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow, snow (OH)

Ice cold. Dark and scared. Sleepy and tired. Frosty and snow. Chilled! (OH)

Father sings a carol. Children pretend to sleep. Black boots crunch. Silence. (EW)

Winter arrives. The ball deflates; boots away. Boredom, stuck inside ‘till spring. ( CC)

Cars in the ditch. People on the phone. Three Christmases are ruined. (KD)

As darkness falls, winter creeps in and the family comes cheerfully together. (EF)

Snow on the ground. Driving home for Christmas. Didn’t see the ice. (AH)

I see a white wonderland. Sparkles blind me. I wake up disappointed. (MB)

Flash of white. Flash of blue. Crack of thunder. Wha hoo Boom! (LB)

Cold morning fire crackling. Toasty toes. Cosy inside. Outside, blizzard, crisp snow. (DH)

The church bells ring. Snow falls on a frosty night. Carollers sing. (JG)

I’m cold. Melting really. My buttons are slowly slouching down. I’m gone. (ES)

Thunderous flashes illuminate the dark sky. Lightning pouncing on helpless electricity poles. (IR)

Snowball fight. Sister hits me. Got to get her back… big time! (AH)

Tall, green and spikey, smothered with sparkles, proudly I sat on top. (HO; IT; TP)

We have even had entries in German (The first one has been added to the shortlist for the in-house competition):

Die kalte kunkelne Lichte schmücken die Straßen, beschäftigte Körper beeilen zu kaufen.     (The cold sparkling lights festoon the avenue, busy bodies rush to buy.)      (AF)

Die Kinder schlafen, der Schnee fällt. Charles Dickens ist der Weihnachtsmann. (11)        (The children sleep, the snow falls. Charles Dickens is the Santa.) (AN)

Glitzernde Kügel hängen am Weihnachtsbaum wie die Sterne im schönen Himmel. (11)(Glimmering baubles fill the tree like stars fill the beautiful sky.) (11)  (CF)

Some staff have also put entries in:

Ho ho ho O’ what fun. Snata is here bringing good cheer.

Driving home in the snow. Whirling, twirling, whipping up. Had to stop

Taking an hour to myself. Falling from the sky, chilling the world.

Dunkel, Schnee, Kälte. Geschmuckte Weihnachtsbaum, Schöne Geschenke. Aufgeregte kinder versuchen zu schlafen. (Darkness, snow, cold. Decorated Christmas tree. Beautiful presents. Excited children trying to sleep)

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