Saturday, 1 February 2014

Ilam Park is revealed as the setting for winning story

The National Trust has announced the winners of its Spooky Story competition today to celebrate the launch of National Storytelling Week.   
Amelia Allsop (c) Rachel Allsop

Amelia Allsop, aged ten, was selected as the winner of the 10-12 age category with her terrifying tale An Eerie Night at Ilam Park.
The competition, which ran over Halloween last year, was open to children aged 12 and under.  More than 180 children submitted a 500 word story inspired by a visit to one of the National Trust’s places in the Midlands. 

Ilam Park, view of the Hall (c) NT/ John Millar
Amelia’s winning story was inspired by Ilam’s mysterious landscape and features witches, spooky noises and sinister shadows.

Amelia said: “I decided to enter the competition because I don’t really write many stories at home and I thought it would help me with my school work. I chose to base my story at Ilam Park because we had just done the Halloween trail there and I thought it would be quite spooky at night.

Thorpe Cloud (c) NT/ David Slade
“I really enjoyed bringing the story together and thinking of characters and their personalities. When I found out that I’d won the age 10-12 category, I was really surprised and excited.”

The two other Spooky Stories winners were six-year-old Anoushka Sharma with her imaginative tale The Ghost of Brockhampton and nine-year-old Lara Hodgson, whose story The Secret Priest Hole, was set at Coughton Court in Warwickshire.  Lara was also the overall winner of the competition.  All three stories can be found at

Bali Rai, Leicester based children’s author and Spooky Stories judge, said:  “I loved Amelia's story because it was exciting and spooky at once, and the standard of writing for the age group was excellent.  It hangs together perfectly, with a proper structure, and the cliff-hanger ending is quite wonderful.  A thoroughly fantastic effort!”

Further information about Spooky Stories can be found at

Twitter: @NTMidlands  #spookystories or @PeakDistrictNT

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