Cayman Parent is delighted to announce its first ever Story Writing Competition! The competition is open to all Cayman students ages 6-14 and we are looking for a piece of writing focused on the environment and the great outdoors!

Read on for more information on the competition, including details of all the incredible prizes that will be awarded!

The 2023 competition is now closed! Check out the 2024 edition of Cayman Parent magazine which will be available from late September 2023 to read the winner stories. We will also post the winner and runner up stories online in September 2023.

Check back in 2024 for the next competition!

Winners & Runners Up!

We are thrilled to announce the winners and runners up of the Cayman Parent Story Writing Competition!

Our judges had the most difficult task picking just three winners and three runners up. We received hundreds of original and beautifully written stories and it is clear that Cayman's youth are particularly passionate about being outdoors in nature and protecting our precious natural environment - it's truly inspiring. As Katie Ebanks, one of our judges and the Education Manager at Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) said, "These student short stories were so hopeful and lovely, I sincerely wish that ALL of them remember what they have written in the later years of their lives... I think it will be extremely important not only to our local Caymanian community, but also to the planet." We couldn't agree more!

Winners & Runners Up

Age 6-8 Category

Winner: Ava Robinson. Cayman International School

Runner Up: Matthew Moore. Edna Moyle School

Age 9-11 Category

Winner: Jayne Brandson. Montessori By The Sea

Runner Up: Alaia Whittaker-Teunissen. Village Montessori

Age 12-14 Category

Winner: Kelwin Scott. Layman E. Scott Sr. High School

Runner Up: Liam Wight. Montessori By The Sea

The competition is now closed.

Competition Writing Topic

The Environment: A story that inspires readers to explore the great outdoors and respect the world we live in.

With more young people engaged in the environment than ever before, this competition gives students the opportunity to express what nature means to them.

Their story might be set in Cayman's hidden underwater world, among its mysterious maze of mangroves. Maybe it'll be on the beach or in the company of Cayman's parrots, iguanas and agoutis. Or perhaps it's set somewhere farther afield in exotic, far-off continents that children have read about in books or places their ancestors are from.

Whatever your child is passionate about, we are looking for a piece of writing that makes the reader want to get out in nature and inspires them to do something to protect our precious natural environment.

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: Thursday 30th March
  • Closing Date: Monday 15th May at 5pm
  • Judging: 18th-22nd May
  • Winners announced: Monday 29th May

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 2024 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 Camana Bay, Cayman Crystal Caves, Cayman Parrot Sanctuary, Cayman Turtle Centre, Kirk Office, National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Next Chapter, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and Sea Elements for sponsoring these wonderful prizes.

Division A - 6-8 years

  • First Prize: CI$150 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$50 Next Chapter Voucher 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*: The class is invited to the Cayman Turtle Centre’s World Sea Turtle Day release on Friday 16th June at Governor's Beach. The class will be able to choose a name for one of the turtles and receive a participation certificate showing their turtle's name.

Division C -12-14 years

  • First Prize: CI$150 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$100 Kirk Office voucher, CI$50 Next Chapter Voucher and a Family Day Pass to the Crystal Caves plus CI$50 to spend at their on-site café.
  • Runner Up Prize: CI$75 Camana Bay Voucher, CI$25 Next Chapter Voucher.
  • Winner's Class Prize*: Sea Elements and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands will provide a mangrove boat tour for the whole class (September / October 2023). 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 environment to judge the competition.

Erica Life

Erica Dell'Oglio

Executive Director at Literacy Is For Everyone (LIFE)

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

Erica has worked in education for many years and loves working with children. She has extensive experience in the education sector, working with a broad range of people from various backgrounds, reflected in her time at Cayman Prep and High School, her time as a former Montessori teacher and her diverse cultural upbringing. Erica has worked at LIFE since 2020, becoming their Executive Director in 2022.

Erin Connelly

Erin Connelly

Local Author

Erin will be judging the Division A category - 9-11 years old.

Local children’s author, Erin, has lived in Cayman for nearly 20 years and has two children. Erin has written two books that are loved by children in Cayman and around the world. Pedro and the Treasure Map follows the adventures of Pedro as he journeys around Grand Cayman looking for missing treasure. Erin’s second book features Georgie the Stingray and tells the story of a little stingray who discovers that if she tries, she can do big things. Both books are used extensively throughout Cayman’s schools.

Katie Ebanks1

Katie Ebanks

Education Manager at Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI)

Katie will be judging the Division A category - 12-14 years old.

Katie works for CCMI, first as a volunteer in 2016 and now as Education Manager since 2022. She has a BSc in Marine Science and Coastal Geology. Katie is responsible for the education programmes at CCMI, including internship and citizen science programmes. Katie leads all university level courses and further education programming, while assisting various research projects and teaching K-12 programmes.

Katie’s love for the environment and oceans in particular has been a lifelong passion, one that fuels her desire to teach and engage with everyone about its beauty and importance.

FAQs

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

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

  • 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 Monday 29th May 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.