Our members achieved two out of the three top spots at the 2023 ‘Magic Pen’ writing competition with their stories based around Sheffield landmarks.

Part of the ‘Off The Shelf Festival of Words’, the ‘Magic Pen’ competition invites Sheffield writers with a learning disability, autism or other neurodiversity to submit an original short story. For 2023, all entrants were asked to include a Sheffield landmark in their tale.

Our weekly Creative Writing group were eager to create original stories for the competition, and their talents did not go unnoticed. Our member Sara Skundric was awarded third place for her story set at The Lyceum Theatre, and Jason Hinchcliffe was awarded second place for his story inspired by the iconic city-centre Pete McKee mural ‘The Snog’. You can read their winning entries below.

Congratulations to Sara and Jason – we look forward to reading more of your work in future!

Jason and Sara with their prizes

The Landlord and the Landlady

By Jason Hinchcliffe

The pub and the picture created by Pete McKee. Pete McKee created lots of other art around Sheffield and this one is called The Snog. I think they are the Landlord and Landlady of the pub which is near to the walk in centre and is in the middle of all Sheffield. The picture of the Landlord and Landlady is iconic. I am imagining I go in the pub and I see them. In my imagination, the Landlady is called Suzanne and she invites me in for drinks and food. She is always cleaning the tables and talking to the customers. Suzanne always talks to her husband for ordering drinks and food for the customers. It’s as if the old pub is from the 19th century. The Landlord is called Joe and him and his wife and family run the pub. In the summer days, please come and have pub lunches with me, I’m going to be on my own.

The Tiger who got Seasick

By Sara Skundric

My story is set at the Lyceum Theatre. I was watching Life of Pi but in my version the tiger got seasick and he didn’t want to swim in the water because it was too cold for him. I am like the tiger because I don’t like swimming when it is too cold either. The poor tiger has to drink water out of the tap instead because water is good for the tiger and good for me. The tiger got seasick because he drank too much water out of the tap which gave him a stomach ache and then he went on the boat too quickly. If the Lyceum really had a sea and a boat in it, the tiger would fall off into the sea and he can’t swim! Someone would have to come and rescue him. I could rescue him. When I rescued him, the tiger started to sneeze- ACHOO! A little girl heard the tiger sneeze and said “I’m going to come and kiss you because you are a nice tiger and I like to talk to you”. So the girl gave him a kiss and the tiger started to laugh. The little girl saved the tiger from sneezing and the tiger saved the little girl from being lonely by being her friend. Sheffield is a special place because everyone is friends with somebody which is really important because they help each other and look after each other, because that’s what friends do.