A picture of the Needles, on the Isle of Wight
Our annual short story writing competition is back!  This year’s theme is ‘The Wish’.

Our celebrity readers are Ray Allen, Jo Brand, Melvyn Hayes and Edana Minghella.  You can read more about our celebrity readers below.

Entry forms are available from Dress for Less, Newport or downloadable HERE.

The closing date for the competition is Friday 13th November at 4pm so you’ve plenty of time to come up with an exciting story which doesn’t have to be based around Christmas this year; we want you to let your imagination run wild! 


Ray was born on the Isle of Wight and is a British television screenwriter and playwright; best known for creating the 1970s BBC sitcom, ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’.  He also contributed nine episodes of The Little and Large Show and wrote a number of one off plays.

In 2016 Ray contributed with some of the dialogue for a special one-off episode of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em for Sport Relief.

Ray lives in Ryde.



Jo is an English comedian, writer and actress. Starting her entertainment career with a move from psychiatric nursing to the alternative comedy stand-up scene and early performances on Saturday Live, she went on to appear on The Brain Drain, Channel 4’s Jo Brand Through the Cakehole, Getting On and various television appearances including as a regular guest on QI, Have I Got News for You and Would I Lie to You?. She is currently the presenter of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. In 2003, Jo was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.  This is Jo’s second time reading for us.


Edana was born into the most wonderful Anglo-Italian family where music, food and wine — and ice-cream! – were the basic stuff of life, Edana has been singing forever. In the last five years she has established herself as a successful jazz performer, regularly playing to full houses in England and Italy. Festival performances include the Isle of Wight Jazz Festival and Jazz on the Meadow, in support of Courtney Pine. 

Edana has been a huge supporter of the charity and this is her fifth year supporting us.


Melvyn is an English actor who played the role of Gunner Beaumont in the 1970s BBC sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. He has also worked as a voice actor in children’s cartoons such as SuperTed and The Dreamstone and was a regular on the children’s television show of the 70s, The Double Deckers. Melvyn also starred in the classic film with Cliff Richard, Summer Holiday.  

This is Melvyn’s third year reading for us.

There are four winning categories this year:


12 – 17

Under 12s

Highly Commended

Each of these winning categories will have their story recorded by one of our celebrities.  Not only will they come away with a CD recording of their winning story but they will also win a prize.

The under 12’s category will have their winning story printed in the County Press and the other categories will have their stories featured on our website.  

Vectis Radio will also interview the winning categories and come away with a podcast of their feature.

18+ story word count should be between 1500 – 2000 words.

Under 18s up to 750 words.

Entries to be returned to:

Dress for Less, 114 St James’ Street, Newport

Sight for Wight, Millbrooke House, 137 Carisbrooke Road, Newport

Email: enquiries@iwsb.org.uk