Jago Wins Anthony Horowitz Writing Competition | King's Hall School Taunton

Jago Wins Anthony Horowitz Writing Competition

What a great afternoon of sport and activities! As the sun shone down, our children enjoyed an onsite #orienteering… https://t.co/SLfqHQPK54 - 10 hours ago

During the period of lockdown Year 8 pupil, Jago B, entered a national short story competition, having found details on the Alex Rider website: https://alexrider.com/story/ . And guess what ... he won!

Alex Rider is a series of spy novels by British author Anthony Horowitz about a teenage spy named Alex Rider. The series is aimed primarily at teens and young adults.

"When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it's never good news."

Using the first line from Stormbreaker as the story starter, publishers, Walkers Books, were looking for a short story with a maximum of 500 words, packed with action, adrenaline and adventure, inspired by Alex Rider’s adventures. In Jago's entry, they certainly got what they were looking for.

The judges expressed how Jago's story 'was a pleasure to read with exceptional description, an imaginative plot, good characterisation and great pacing/tension.' His story will soon be published on the Alex Rider website https://alexrider.com/ – so do keep a look out.

As part of the prize the school have also won ten signed copies of the brand new mission in the Alex Rider series, Nightshade, and a class set of Alex Rider secret message pens, bookmarks and stickers.

Commenting, our Head of English, Jane Stuckes, said: "Using the story starter, ‘When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news’, as a rip roaring opening, Jago’s stylish action-adventure had me literally holding my breath until the witty punchline ending: ‘Then he bolted from the room.’ Move over Anthony Horowitz, here comes Jago B! Congratulations Jago: an outstanding story!"


The winning entry is included below for your enjoyment:

When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.

Alex Rider was instantly suspicious. He stepped down the stairs cautiously, bare feet padding noiselessly on each stair. He approached the front door, his fair hair glistening in the moonlight and his sharp brown eyes alert to every movement around him. He was in good shape – tall and athletic.

Alex took a deep breath, and swung open the door. The last thing he saw was a needle being taken out of a pocket. Then darkness engulfed him.

He woke to bright lights. Alex tried to sit up but ropes were tied across his chest preventing him. He was in some sort of basement, alone.

“Hello,” he called out hesitantly. There was no reply. After a moment, a voice echoed across the room.

“Well, well, well. Our patient is finally awake.” The man was bald, and looked like he had run straight into a thorn bush. He had cuts everywhere and a tattoo on his neck. Alex didn’t like the way he said patient, as if they were going to operate on him.

The man snapped his fingers and three guards rushed into the room. In one swift movement, they cut the ropes tied across Alex’s chest and grabbed him, walking him off to the exit. One of the guards looked down at his watch. Big mistake. Alex hoisted himself up onto the guards’ shoulders before they could react. Then he swung with all his might at the guard looking at his watch.

The guard had just enough time to look up and see Alex’s boot slam into his face. Alex tumbled to the ground and hauled himself onto his feet, running as fast as possible for the doorway with the guards in hot pursuit.

Alex hurtled down a corridor, knowing his only disadvantage was that the guards knew the layout. He didn’t.

He sprinted into a lab and looked around. Dead end. He was trapped.

A moment later the man with the scars entered.

“What do you want?” Alex demanded.

“You.” He said simply. “You are our experiment. I will inject you with my serum. It removes your memory. If it works, I can start the world from scratch. No one will remember anything. And I will run it.”

He was a pretty good actor if he was lying.

The man waited a moment and then took a syringe out of his pocket and lunged at Alex. Alex dodged the syringe and rolled behind a workbench. The bald man stopped and calmed himself. He ran a tap and filled himself a glass of water.

“You’ll have to come out eventually, Alex,” he said, smiling cruelly. Alex looked round and saw a tube of white powder. He grabbed a fistful and chucked it at the man.

Alex covered his face. BOOM! Shards of glass flew everywhere.

Alex looked round. The man was lying face down. “Sodium and water,” he muttered. Then he bolted from the room.


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