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Hummingbee Bumblebird Meadow

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Hummingbee Bumblebird Meadow is a children’s story that was first published by Word Hut in July 2012 after being long listed in their fourth short story competition (sadly, the Word Hut website closed in 2016). Prior to that, the story was short listed in the Children’s Writers annual short story competition where it made it into the final 15% of over 2,000 entries (so into the final 300). You can see more comments about the Children’s Writers competition here.

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Below is the story, the feedback I received from James at Word Hut, followed by my comments based on my experiences with the competition.

Hummingbee Bumblebird Meadow

by Christopher Fielden

A fairy sat in the old oak tree. She was small, like a hummingbird. She flew like a hummingbird and when her wings flapped, they hummed like a hummingbird’s. She was called the Hummingbird Fairy.

Hummingbird Fairy

Hummingbird Fairy picture by Mary Fielden

It was a lovely day, so the Hummingbird Fairy decided to fly across the meadow. Hum hum hummety hum, went her wee little wings.

The Hummingbird Fairy stopped to sip some nectar from a buttercup. As she hummety hummed and sippety sipped, she saw another tiny fairy sitting in the hawthorn tree.

The other fairy was small, like a bumblebee. She flew like a bumblebee and when her wings flapped, they buzzed like a bumblebee’s. She was called the Bumblebee Fairy.

Bumblebee Fairy

Bumblebee Fairy picture by Mary Fielden

‘Hello,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy. ‘I’m the Hummingbird Fairy.’

‘Hello,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy. ‘I’m the Bumblebee Fairy.’

‘What brings you to Hummingbird Meadow?’ asked the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘This isn’t Hummingbird Meadow,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy. ‘This is Bumblebee Meadow.’

‘No it’s not,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy, who was feeling rather cross. ‘This is my meadow. It’s Hummingbird Meadow.’

‘No it’s not,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy, who was also feeling rather cross. ‘This is my meadow. It’s Bumblebee Meadow.’

The cross little fairies scowled at each other. The Hummingbird Fairy’s wings were hummety humming and the Bumblebee Fairy’s wings were buzzety buzzing.

‘This can’t be my meadow and your meadow,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy. ‘I’ve never seen you here before.’

‘No,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy. ‘This can’t be my meadow and your meadow. But the meadow is very big and we are very small, so that might be why we’ve never seen each other before.’

‘Yes,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy. ‘The meadow is very big and we are very small, so that might be why we’ve never seen each other before.’

The Hummingbird Fairy’s wings stopped hummety humming and the Bumblebee Fairy’s wings stopped buzzety buzzing. They sat for a while in the hawthorn tree, enjoying the sun.

‘This can’t be my meadow and your meadow, but it could be our meadow,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘Yes,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy. ‘It could be our meadow. We would have to think of a new name for it though, because it can’t be called Hummingbird Meadow.’

‘Yes,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy. ‘We would have to think of a new name for it, because it can’t be called Bumblebee Meadow.’

The two little fairies sat for a while longer in the hawthorn tree, enjoying the sun and thinking of names.

‘I have an idea for a new name,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘So do I,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy.

‘Mine is Hummingbee Meadow,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘Mine is Bumblebird Meadow,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy.

‘I like both names,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘So do I,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy.

The two little fairies sat for a while longer in the hawthorn tree, enjoying the sun and thinking some more.

‘Let’s call it Hummingbee Bumblebird Meadow,’ said the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘Yes,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy, ‘I like that name, let’s call it Hummingbee Bumblebird Meadow.’

The two little fairies sat in the hawthorn tree, enjoying the sun and feeling very pleased with themselves.

‘Would you like to come and drink nectar with me under the old oak tree?’ asked the Hummingbird Fairy.

‘Yes,’ said the Bumblebee Fairy. ‘I would like to come and drink nectar with you under the old oak tree. That would be very nice indeed.’

The Hummingbird Fairy’s wings hummety hummed and the Bumblebee Fairy’s wings buzzety buzzed. The sun set, turning the sky bright pink, and the two little fairies flew away over Hummingbee Bumblebird Meadow, to drink nectar under the old oak tree.

THE END

Hummingbird Fairy & Bumblebee Fairy by Mary Fielden

Fairy artwork by Mary Fielden

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Comments from the Word Hut Judges

The following words appear with kind permission of James, founder of Word Hut and one of the three judges.

We thoroughly enjoyed your story and found the repetition of words and phrases very effective. It’s a story both adults and children can enjoy.

The story would certainly work well if read to infant children – a good moral point and repetitive language. If you had maybe ten stories like that it would be worth your while approaching children's publishers or at least contacting a local school to see if any of the teachers would trial the stories with their classes. I can imagine some great illustrations for the story too.

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About Word Hut Competition

The Word Hut is listed as a quarterly competition on my short story competition calendar, but sometimes the competitions run as frequently as every 6 weeks. Word Hut is UK based and currently has a 1,000 word limit, although it is worth checking the website regularly to view the current criteria. They offer a first prize of £50, a second prize of £25 and third prize of £10. Entries can be of any genre. Winners are published on the website.

Word Hut offers an excellent opportunity for writers to achieve publication, because you don’t have to win a competition to be published on the website. Oh yeah! Read on…

  • I didn’t win the competition I entered, but James still gave me some feedback and advice about the work I’d submitted via email. This is a really nice touch, as all too often in the world of publishing, all you receive is a standard rejection letter, if that. Any feedback is invaluable, so I was really impressed by how communicative the judges are.
  • Despite not winning the competition, I was offered the opportunity to have my story published on the website. This is rare. A lot of competitions will publish winners and short listed entries, but very few will offer publication to a writer who didn’t make it that far. I jumped at the chance as it is so hard to get kid’s stories published -I just saw this as a fantastic opportunity. I should point out that publication may not be offered to every entry in the Word Hut competition, as there are always standards that must be maintained, but if you take time and effort with your writing, by entering this particular competition, you will have a greater chance of seeing your work published.
  • In addition to the previous point, I was also offered the opportunity to be interviewed for Word Hut’s Meet the Writer section. This offers an excellent experience for the lesser known writer, and can be invaluable in preparing you for any future interviewing opportunities that might come your way.
  • Word Hut run a variety of competitions. In the past, they’ve even run the lowest word count competition I have ever encountered. It has a 6 word limit!
  • The frequency of the competitions run by Word Hut mean you can enter regularly and, as with other frequent competitions, you have a better chance of winning. Boring as it may be, it’s all about the maths. More chances to enter; more chances to win; less competition as frequent competitions will always have fewer entries than annual comps. It’s just the nature of the beast. However, competition is high, as you will see if you read the winning stories on the site, so always submit your best work.
  • Word Hut is a great website and I’m sure it will grow in popularity as it develops and more writers and lovers of short stories discover it. This means the competition will become ever more competitive as time goes on. If you haven’t done so already, my advice would be to start entering now!

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Comments:

Your comments:

Lynne S
Well done Christopher!

Siân H
Love it! Will read it to my daughter tomorrow and I know she'll love iit too. I'll leave you her feedback :-)

John A
Nice one Bumble-boy!

Jennifer S
What a cute story! This primary school teacher loves it! What a clever clogs you are x

Daren S
Can we have an alternate adult ending pls....

Chris Fielden
Um, no Stoner, sorry, this one needs to stay happy :-)

Rob R
Hurrah... more literary excellence from our Topher :) splendid! :)

Rob R
‎(and lovely pics too!!!)

Caroline K
Topher - you are a man of hidden talents. This story is lovely I must have a copy for my granddaughters Ella and Katie.

Stephen C
Fantastic story Chris. Keep it up!

Dave T
Congratulations.How metal are you!

Janey E
Yay! Well done Topher!

Niki B
Lovely! Well done Chris, you clever old thing x

Chris Fielden
Less of the old if you please, young Niki...

Amalia S
Hummety humming as I read this

Chris Fielden
Thank you everybody. I will now try and carry my massively swelled head downstairs for a cuppa :-)

Shayne M
Greetings Topher, just a quickie to thank you for the link to Word Hut.
I haven't sent a story off for a comp for over five years and managed to
get one shortlisted on Word Hut. Good to see your writing is going well.
Read a few of your short stories and enjoyed.

Chris Fielden
Thanking you Doc. That's really good news. Does that mean they'll publish the story for you?

Shayne M

They put it on the website today. Better dust off some more now I guess.

Chris Fielden

Congrats Doc!!

Terri
Superb!