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aMUSEing Tales Competition



1st prize: My Friend Hatuk by Nuzhat Anwar

2nd prize: Michaela of the Sea by Sara Barnard

3rd prize: The Mermaid Beauty Contest by Patricia Crumpler

4th prize: Natasha's Magic Clock by John D Slater


Children's author Heather Maisner judged our first foray into children's literature. We wanted this competition to showcase some of the best and brightest new talent and challenged the entrants to give us stories that would appeal to both the 6-8 year old and 8-12 year old reader. 


A tough job indeed but our entrants rose to that challenge and created some truly wonderful children's stories.


Professional contributors Heather Maisner (a prolific children's author) and Boris Glikman (a philosophical writer whose work is accessible to every age group and every interest) added to the gravitas of this collection and we found, after a few short weeks, that we had received hundreds of entries.


We used the best of these to create this children’s short story anthology which contains fourteen Fantastic stories that will fire your children’s imaginations and open their eyes to worlds of dragons, mermaids, self-exploration, moral guidance and good old fashioned fun.


Whether it's pirates and mermaids or tigers made from bees, there is sure to be a story that will make your child laugh out loud.


It was a thoroughly enjoyable process putting this collection together and the cover art was a revelation when it arrived. We asked the cover designer (Paula Murphy of 'Ours' fame) to create something that touched on every story in the book. This is a tough task for a designer as they are usually used to working to a tight and well planned brief. However, Paula rose to the challenge and spent a few days at her beach house in Chicago reading the stories and doodling various sketches to remind herself of poignant pieces in each story. On seeing this doodle pad, we insisted on seeing more and by the time the full print cover was completed what started as an exercise in memory ended in creating one of the most interesting and well inspected covers we have ever had.


From shells, ships, mermaids and hidden pirate treasure to beautiful buildings, old fashioned carts and a wonderful mixture of animals, birds and fish, Paula has excelled herself and the result is nothing short of Fantastic!


Following the creation of such an amazing cover, we then turned our attention to the interior which, in the tradition of children’s literature needed some illustrations in amongst the words. We turned to one of the finest natural artists we know, Jolante Dziok. Much like Alice Taylor (the digital artist involved with the Fusion project), Jolante insisted on familiarising herself with every story before creating the beautiful illustrations that now accompany them.


10% of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the WWO (WorldWide Orphans foundation).


We hope you and your children enjoy these sometimes fishy but always entertaining tales!


aMUSEing Tales is available from the Fantastic Bookstore, Amazon and all good retailers.



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