Stories tackling themes of belonging and identity are among those written by secondary school pupils to have won the My Twist on a Tale competition this year.

The annual competition encourages children and young people aged from four to 19 to put pen to paper and 18 winning stories have now been published in an illustrated book by Pearson, which is free to download.

This year’s challenge carried the theme Represent! It encouraged children represent what, and who, they feel are being left out in literature today. Entrants were able to write and reshape their own diverse stories, exploring topics that are important to them.

Among the topics: tackling female stereotypes; a passionate call to end the misrepresentation of women’s bodies; children feeling lost as they fall between two cultures and more. Highlights include:

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