We Are Creating A Magical Children’s Bedtime Story Book For Christmas

Can you write one?


This Christmas we are running a short story initiative. Can you write a story that would be read by Santa at bedtime, in five hundred words or less?

The top 25 bedtime stories will be published in a book that will be available for December 1st in a volume called 'Santa's Bedtime Book Of Adventure Stories'. 


They will also be performed on film by our very own Santa, played by Actor Michael van Koetsveld who actually IS Father Christmas. For reals. 


These bedtime story films will be made available for free to children around the world.

Michael, our official Santa, is a professional actor who you may have seen in Transformers 5, and he hasn't shaved since lockdown began!


Each one of the stories will be released, one a day, live at 7:30pm GMT, in the run up to Christmas.


Anyone who wants to watch them will be able to do so. All of them will also be available on YouTube later too. Think Jackanory with Santa, for those of a certain age.


If your story is selected you will get full credit of course.


Covid has seriously damaged the London Screenwriters' Festival and we seem to have fallen between all the cracks when it comes to government support.

This initiative is part of a bigger idea to help raise money for the festival, as well as getting us all imagining, creating and writing. Win win!

Drum roll...

So we are launching in conjunction with our new initiative,  www.SantaCalls.Online.


London Screenwriters' Festival staff, actors and filmmakers have come together to create the very best, world class video call from Santa experience for this year.


You can book now and check out the site here… www.SantaCalls.Online.


Every penny raised from these initiatives, the book and Santa calls, will go toward keeping the festival afloat.

This may seem left field, but I have been playing Santa for local kids most of my life.


It all began when I was fifteen, way before health and safety, when I was hired as a Stunt Santa to do the spectacular arrivals at department stores in my home town in the North of England.Yes that's me in the photo, aged 15, my dad in the crowd to the left, managing the whole thing.

I never really packed away the Santa Suit and carried on doing this all my life.


So in the late Summer, I realised I would not be able to do what I normally do for the local playgroups… and so was conceived.


Please share this message and links far and wide as we will rely heavily on word of mouth. If you have kids, choose our experience, it really will be best in class. If you know someone who has kids, send them the link too.


Right… so short stories for Children.


Time is tight. Submissions are now open but will close on November 20th – we need to announce the winners, format the book and make the Santa Bedtime stories ALL before December 1st. A tall order. But it is Christmas, so we can all expect a little magic!

So… Can you write one? Go on… create some magic for children, help save the festival AND if you are selected, get published. Again it’s a win win for everyone.


Notes For Writers

If your story is selected in the book, you will be expected to sign an agreement that gives us the right to publish your work and perform it on camera.


This will be an industry standard agreement. You will retain copyright on your idea should you wish to expand it or develop it for another platform. We only need the rights to publish it in a book. We only ask you do not publish it anywhere else until after Christmas 2020. It’s your work, you should be able to use it however you see fit. We just need the rights to publish the book and perform the videos.


The age limit for writers is over 12 years old too, so kids can enter, but if you are between 12 and 16 you will need a parent or guardian to submit for you.

Please read the whole of this document including the guidelines for submission.

  1. This is a children's story designed to be read at bedtime.
  2. Please give your story an original title.
  3. You can enter an unlimited amount of stories.
  4. The submission fee is £5.
  5. We can and will waive the fee if you are struggling (for one story only).
  6. What you submit will be your final draft.
  7. Anyone can enter, from any country, though stories must be written in English.
  8. Stories must not be shorter than 80 words and not exceed 500 words.
  9. All stories must include a title page with the name of the story and author.
  10. All stories must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc) format. No other word processor files will be accepted.
  11. Please name your file with your name and story title - example Jane-Jones_My-Story.doc
  12. If you use a pen name, please use that one on your submissions and documents.
  13. The deadline for submissions is November 20th, 2020, midnight UK time.
  14. If your story is selected as a finalist you will be expected to assign non exclusive rights to us so that we can publish the book and perform it with Father Christmas. If you do not assign these rights, your story will be rejected.
  15. Judging is final.
  16. You MUST be the author of the story. All stories must be original works.
  17. We reserve the right to disqualify any writer from this process at any stage if they are in violation of these rules and guidelines.
  18. These rules may be updated and amended as the project evolves. We do this so we can remain flexible to take advantage of the best opportunities the project offers.

We have just launched the Facebook page for this initiative HERE. It's where we hope writers will come together for peer reviews of their stories ahead of the deadline. Join the page now...