The competition is now closed. Thank you for all the wonderful entries!

Your stories are now winging their way to our esteemed panel of judges, who will get to work on the very tough job of picking out the best in each age group.

Stay tuned for our winners announcement, coming Thursday 6th June 2024.

Competition Writing Topic

Empowering Young Scientists to Change the World: A Story to Inspire Readers in STEM Subjects.

Will you tell the tale of an intrepid biologist exploring new territories on the hunt to discover miracle plant life? An engineer who must repair a malfunctioning space shuttle on the planet Mars in time to make it home for dinner? Or perhaps a forensic scientist studying DNA samples in a laboratory to help uncover a mystery?  

It could be a spine-chilling sci-fi horror, an action-packed, ‘lost world’ adventure, historical fiction or even a comedy! Maybe your tale is set in Cayman, a hospital or space headquarters around the world, or in a galaxy far, far away.

Participants are encouraged to think about the following:

  • Characters and plot.
  • The story’s setting.
  • The challenges the characters may face.
  • How the story will end.

Whatever your child is passionate about, we are looking for a piece of writing that inspires readers to engage in STEM subjects and empower young scientists to change the world. Submissions will be judged by independent experts. There will be a winner and runner-up prize for each age category.

Division Age Groups & Word Limits

  • Division A: 6-8 years. Word count: up to 200 words
  • Division B: 9-11 years. Word count: up to 300 words
  • Division C: 12-14 years. Word count: up to 400 words

Competition Dates

  • Launch Date: 8th April 2024
  • Closing Date: Thursday 16th May 2024 at 5pm.
  • Judging: 22nd May– 3rd June 2024.
  • Winners announced and prizes awarded: Thursday 6th June 2024.

How to Enter

Parents/caregivers/teachers should email submissions to: competition@acorn.ky.

Please provide your name, the child's name, their age, which school they attend and preferred contact email/telephone number.

Please read the Terms and Conditions below carefully.

Prizes!

Cayman Parent will be awarding a first and runner up prize in each category. In addition, the class of each first prize winner will be awarded a special prize too!

Cayman Parent will also publish all the first place winning entries in the 2025 edition of Cayman Parent magazine and online - giving Cayman's youth the opportunity to become published authors! Please read the Terms & Conditions below.

A huge thank you to Ambassadors of the Environment, Camana Bay, Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC), Cayman Crystal Caves, Cayman Parrot Sanctuary, Cayman Turtle Centre, Kirk Office, National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Next Chapter and Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park for sponsoring these wonderful prizes.

Division A - 6-8 years

  • First Prize: CI$150 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$50 Next Chapter Voucher, an annual Family Membership for the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and a Family Day Pass to the Cayman Parrot Sanctuary plus a CI$50 Tukka food voucher.
  • Runner Up Prize: CI$75 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$25 Next Chapter Voucher.
  • Winner's Class Prize*: Free entry for a class to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park including a tour of the gardens and a visit to the Children’s Garden.

Division B - 9-11 years

  • First Prize: CI$150 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$50 Next Chapter Voucher and a Family Day Pass to the Cayman Turtle Centre plus a CI$50 food voucher.
  • Runner Up Prize: CI$75 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$25 Next Chapter Voucher.
  • Winner's Class Prize*: Tour the Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) plant led by their expert engineers and learn about their plans for renewable energy.

Division C -12-14 years

  • First Prize: CI$150 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$50 Next Chapter Voucher, CI$150 Kirk Office voucher and a Family Day Pass to the Crystal Caves plus CI$50 to spend at their restaurant.
  • Runner Up Prize: CI$75 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$25 Next Chapter Voucher.
  • Winner's Class Prize*: National Trust Tour and the Ambassadors of the Environment will provide a mangrove kayak tour for the whole class. Students will learn about this unique ecosystem and why it’s so important. Spot local wildlife including baby barracudas, crabs, egrets and more!

* This prize will be awarded to the class of the First Prize Winner.

Judges

We have selected three judges from the field of literacy and the science to judge the competition.

IMG 2745

Dr. Sarah Cuff

General Practitioner at Seven Mile Medical Clinic

Dr. Cuff will be judging the Division A category - 6-8 years old.

A GP at Seven Mile Medical Clinic, Dr. Cuff has lived in Cayman for more than 30 years and is now raising her two small children here too. She has been working as a General Practitioner for eight years and recently took over ownership of the Clinic. She dedicates her time to local charities including Special Olympics Cayman Islands, Jasmine and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, providing medical advice and support to both adults and children across Cayman.

Purdy Gouevia Bio Pic

Purdy Gouveia

Electrical & Computer Engineer at CUC

Purdy Gouveia will be judging the Division B category - 9-11 years old.

Purdy Gouveia is an electrical and computer engineer with more than 15 years’ experience in the electric utility industry. She’s currently employed with the Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) as a Project Manager. She is a Chartered Engineer, Project Management Professional, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner and Certified Sustainable Development Professional. As the founder and former Chair of the IEEE Women in Engineering in her native country and a STEM Ambassador, Purdy has a passion for encouraging STEAM education among young people, particularly girls.

Bella and AJ

AJ McGovern & Bella Rooney

Environmental Policy & Development Officer and Climate Education Officer - at the National Trust

AJ McGovern & Bella Rooney from the National Trust will jointly be judging the Division C category - 12-14 years old.

AJ McGovern is the Environmental Policy & Development Officer at the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. He has had a lifelong interest of science and nature, and spreading that passion to others. AJ loves to spend time underwater, in the bush, or reading about important figures from science history.

Bella Rooney is Climate Education Officer at the National Trust managing a RESEMBID grant to create Cayman’s first ever climate change toolkit for schools. She loves spending time in and around the ocean and is passionate about travelling and climate communication

FAQs

Can I submit non-fiction writing?
Not this time! We're looking for original fiction: stories that are inspired by the science theme.

Can my parent or an adult help me with my entry?
No - we want to hear from you! The entry submitted must be all the child's own work.

How do I submit my entry?
Parents/caregivers/teachers should email the competition entry to competition@acorn.ky.

Are multiple entries allowed?
You can only enter the competition once. 

Terms & Conditions

  • Winners and runner ups from the 2023 competition may not enter this competition.
  • Parents/caregivers/teachers are required to submit their child’s entry via email and will be notified if the child is a winner.
  • In submitting your entry, parents agree to have the child’s story printed in Cayman Parent magazine and on the Cayman Parent website.
  • By entering this competition, parents of the winners agree to have their child’s photo taken with the prize and allow for the images to be shared on Cayman Parent's social media, the social media platforms of the prize givers, in Cayman Parent magazine and on the Cayman Parent website.
  • Open to students enrolled in Cayman schools only. No international entries.
  • One winner and one runner up to be selected for each category.
  • Free to enter.
  • Individual entries only (no group submissions).
  • Typed and neatly handwritten entries will be accepted (saved as a jpeg or pdf and emailed to competition@acorn.ky).
  • Each entrant may submit only one story.
  • All entries are final. No revisions are accepted.
  • The judges' decision will be final.
  • Winners will be selected and notified by Thursday 6th June using the contact details supplied on the entry.
  • If the winner does not respond within 7 days, another entrant will be contacted and awarded the prize.
  • All winners will receive their prize within 30 days of being notified. Prizes are non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.