This year during the Children’s Book Festival, CBI and Little Island held the Broomstick Bike writing competition, asking  young readers and budding writers everywhere to find a copy of The Broomstick Bike by Veronica Bennett at their local library and write a short story inspired by the title and cover. We’re delighted to announce that the winners and runners-up have been selected! Below we have reproduced the winning story in its entirety, as well as a flavour from the four runners-up.

The Broomstick Bike by Pierce Comerford, Terenure.

It was Wendy Witch’s seventh birthday. She was very excited. When she woke up, she went down to the living-dead room and there was her family, and a huge box waiting for her. There was Victor, her father (who just so happened to be a vampire) and Gillian, Wendy’s ghost of a mother. There was also her brother Wally, who was a wizard. “Happy birthday!” they exclaimed. “Open your present” they told her cheerfully and motioned towards the box. Wendy hurriedly opened the box. To her delight it was a broomstick bike!

A broomstick bike is a broomstick which has handlebars, pedals and a comfy saddle. Wendy didn’t really know how to ride a broomstick bike, so this one had stableflyzers.

Later, when she was all dressed in her school uniform, she rode her broomstick bike to school. When she arrived, she rode over to her best friend, The Monster, and his dad, Frank Instine. “That’s an amazing broomstick bike, Wendy!” The Monster declared. Suddenly, Mr. Knaught-There, their invisible teacher opened the door. Wendy locked her broomstick bike beside The Monster’s dragon, Scooter. “Children,” announced Mr. Knaught-There, ‘as you know, you are going on your school trip today. You will get in a single file line, and walk to the flying carpet.”

A pinstripe suit with black shoes and a pair of spectacles floating above lead a marching group of children to a double-decker flying carpet. All of the children found a space to sit down on the flying carpet. Wendy and The Monster sat beside each other. Unfortunately the two bullies, Sam Skeleton and George Genie sat behind them. As soon as the magical blue smoke emerged from the hex-zaust pipe, Sam and George pushed Wendy and The Monster off the carpet. Nobody noticed.

Wendy and The Monster had been left behind. “What do we do?” asked The Monster worriedly. “We chase them” Wendy replied confidently. Wendy hopped onto the broomstick bike and The Monster mounted Scooter, his dragon. They raced down the road. Halfway through their journey, they came across a bridge, completely destroyed in the middle. A troll was shaking his fists and roaring. The broomstick bike and Scooter could only hover about ten centimetres above the ground, so they could not fly over the broken bridge. “I have a plan,” Wendy proclaimed. She picked up a large, slender rock. She hurled the rock over the troll’s head. The troll jumped up to catch the rock and… CRASH!!! The troll’s arms landed on one side of the bridge, his legs on the other side. It was as if the troll was the bridge! Wendy and The Monster rode over the troll and very soon they had caught up with their class.

Mr. Knaught-There stared in surprise as he saw two of his pupils riding over to him. ‘Where on earth have you two been?” demanded Mr. Knaught-There. “School” replied the duo in unison. “Why?!” bellowed the teacher. “Sam and George pushed us off the flying carpet, just as it was taking off” blurted out The Monster.

Mr. Knaught-There turned his gaze on Sam and George. George’s face turned red. Sam’s skeleton face could only turn whiter than usual. Even his brainless skeleton head knew that they wetre both in BIG trouble.

Next day, both bullies visited Mr. Biggazamowntun, the giant headmaster. Mr. Biggazamowntun lost his head. I’m afraid to even mention what happened to the bullies.

Congratulations Pierce! We love this story’s attention to detail! Lucky Pierce will receive a book token for €50 and a bundle of books for his class library from Little Island!

The Broomstick Bike by Finn O’Reilly, Glasnevin

Whooosh! The bike flew through the air.

“WOOHOO,” cried the woman on the bike.

Margaret was a witch, but not just any old witch. She was a secret service witch, who worked for WSS, a.k.a. the Witch Secret Service. So far her cases were; the case of the stolen broomstick bike (she got to keep the bike), and the case of the murdered fairy. She had taken a year off to mind Jim.

Jim was Margaret’s only son. He was approximately 1.5 metres tall and was quite unaware of his mum’s profession. Jim was quick, smart and agile, while Margaret was slow, dim-witted and a terrible flier. Jim would be a better secret agent than his mum.

Jim peered out the window and was shocked at what he saw. He saw his mother coming out of the clouds and landing in the front garden on a motorcycle. When Margaret saw Jim looking at her, her face paled. She slowly put the bike away and went to talk to Jim.

“You are a witch!” Jim exclaimed.

“Yes,” replied Margaret.

“Tell me everything,” said Jim.

The Broomstick Bike by Emily Calton O’Keeffe, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

James sat on his bed wondering how life could possibly get worse. Here he was, stuck in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere, but worse was still to come. His eighteen-year-old sister, Sophie, couldn’t go to the college she wanted to go to and had turned goth and decided to become a vegan, and was making everybody’s life hell. Hamburgers were off the menu along with everything else he craved. Nowadays he would find the weirdest of food on his plate. James sighed. There was only one thing that was in the slightest bit good which was that Gran and Grandad had come to live with them. Sophie said Grandad must be a werewolf because of all his hair. This was kind of true. Grandad was indeed hairy. He had hairy legs, arms, belly, neck, face and even a hairy back! James didn’t think he resembled a werewolf though, more of a bear really. Gran was quite the opposite. Gran was a rock fan, loved motorbikes and was a bit of a hippy. She always said things like “peace man” and “flowers are a sign of peace.” Gran did do strange things like disappear into the garage for hours and hours. James wondered what she did down there. He decided to search for Gran and find some things out. Anything was better than sitting on your bed all day, not going trick or treating and with no fireworks to watch on Halloween night.

The Broomstick Bike by Lucas Parkins, Dublin 13

Ben lay on the hill staring at the starry night sky. He often came up here to get away from his quarrelling parents. Besides fighting with each other and Ben, they also argued with their pet pig, Bacon. They had found Bacon during a trip to Wexford; he was wearing a collar with a name, address and phone number. They had called the phone number but the answering machine had told them that they had reached the inbox of Elvis Presley and to please leave a message. Anyway, back to the story…

Suddenly Ben heard a motorcycle engine nearby. He looked around. It was getting closer and closer but he still couldn’t see it…Suddenly he spotted it – in the sky! It was a flying motorcycle! It landed on the hilltop and as the lady riding it spotted him she let out a gasp. “You never saw me!” she cried. “Yes I did.” Replied Ben who was, needless to say, agape at the motorbike. It was surprisingly old looking, not what you would expect from a flying vehicle. ”Well, no one would believe you if you told them you saw a flying motor bike.” “Actually, they would.” said Ben, snapping a photo on his iPhone. “Curse that technology stuff!” she cried in dismay. “Tell you what,” she began “if you erase that picture I’ll give you a ride on my bike” she smiled; obviously hoping that Ben would agree. Ben couldn’t resist an offer like that.

The Queen’s Broomstick by Niamh Duffy, Dublin 15

We sped along the motorway, Mum and me, police sirens wailing behind us, cars swerving left and right so as not to crash into us. The stolen broomstick was tied firmly to the back of the motorbike. I turned my head slightly, only to see about thirty police cars speeding along behind us. I cried out. I thought there was going to be maybe five cars tops. Oh, of course. We had just stolen the Queen of England’s diamond encrusted broomstick. Of course there were so many. It would be a miracle if we weren’t sentenced to the death penalty! But they had to catch us first!

Mum was going faster and faster. I watched the speedometer slowly climb up to one hundred and twenty kilometres an hour. One thirty. One forty. “Slow down Mum!” I shouted, but the wind was howling like an injured wolf and she didn’t hear me. The motorbikes engine started rattling ominously. “No, no, no!” cried mum. The motorbike got slower and slower until finally it stopped. Mum swore, bashing the handlebars with her fists. The bruises on her knuckles lasted eight days.



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