We all like a good baddie…and women can be as wicked as men! From Cruella De Vil to Snow White’s evil stepmother queen; from Bellatrix Lestrange to Narnia’s White Witch, books and films can be full of powerful and interesting female villains.

Our challenge to you is to write a story featuring at least one female villain – she doesn’t have to be the main character, she just has to be completely original.

How to enter:

There are 3 age categories:

6-8 year olds (a maximum of 400 words, an accompanying illustration is allowed)

9-12 year olds (a maximum of 600 words)

12-15 (a maximum of 1,000 words)

It’s completely free to enter – just bring us your imagination and ideas!

All entries must be submitted online, the submission details are to be found at:


Competition deadline is 12am on Monday April 29th – so you’ve got until the end of the Easter holidays. If you’re unable to type, ask a grown-up to scan your work. For format details see the Competition Rules on the webpage.

All entries will be shortlisted by a judging panel including GLARE researchers Anna Cermakova and Michaela Mahlberg of University of Birmingham and BookFest director Sarah Mullen. The winner will be picked from the shortlisted entries in all three categories by the award-winning author of children’s mystery books Robin Stevens.

The winner will receive a full set of Murder Most Unladylike series signed by the author herself AND a book voucher. The winning entries will be published online on the GLARE blog.

GLARE (Exploring Gender in Children’s Literature from a Cognitive Corpus Stylistic Perspective) is a project funded by the European Commission within Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (ref. EU 749521). For more details see: