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A Year of Books
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Describe your favourite childhood book in 62 words to win a selection of reading treasures

From 13th October 2012 until 14th April 2013 the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green hosts an exhibition called Modern British Childhood. From a pair of 1950s children's NHS prescription glasses to the 2005 Teddyfone (designed for under-5s), the exhibition gathers together objects that dramatise the huge changes that have occurred in children's lives since the previous London Olympics in 1948.

Each of the items on display will be accompanied by poetry or prose from members of writers' group 26, in the form of a sestude. John Simmons, one of the co-founders of 26, describes a sestude as: "a reflective study in poetry or prose inspired by an object, using exactly 62 words".

The 26 Treasures project began with an exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum in 2010 and has since seen regional exhibitions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In each, writers have contributed their sestudes to mark their relationship with dozens of fascinating cultural artefacts. The exhibitions, including the sestudes, are commemorated in the stunningly illustrated hardback book, 26 Treasures, published in September by Unbound, the crowd-sourcing publisher.

So we want you to describe your favourite book from childhood, in the form of a sestude. We'll publish some our favourites on the Foyles webiste and the best of all, as judged jointly by John Simmons and a representative from Foyles, will win the following wonderful prize:




To enter, full in your details and submit your sestude below.


Tell us your favourite childhood book and why you loved it in a sestude. (Please include the title in your 62 words.)
Maximum text length is 62 words.

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Terms and Conditions

1. No purchase necessary. Proof of entering is not proof of receipt of entry.

2. To be eligible, entries must be received on or before the competition closing date as stated on this page, and must not exceed 62 words in length; hyphenated words are counted as single words. Entrants shall retain copyright in their submitted entries; however, by entering, you do grant permission to allow Foyles Bookshops and/or 26 to display your story and your name on their website(s) without legal restriction or payment in any form. Foyles Bookshop, and their directors, officers, representatives, and promotional agencies are not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.

3. The competition is open to all. Parents/guardians must submit the entry for those under the age of 16.

4. The prizewinners will be decided by Foyles Bookshop and John Simmons. Foyles Bookshop will not enter into correspondence about the choice of winners. The prizewinners will need to respond within two weeks of being contacted by email; otherwise the prizes will be awarded to another correct entrant selected at random.

5. The competition ends as specified on the competition page; no entry received after that time will be considered. The winners will be announced on There is one prize of a copy of 26 Treasures, a copy each of the Everyman's Children's Classis series of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Treasure Island, The Wind in the Willows and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a copy of John Simmons' The Angel of the Stories.

6. The promoter reserves the right to amend the specification of the prizes or offer alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

7. The prizewinners will be notified by email. If any of the selected entrants do not meet all of the contract conditions, other entrants will be selected from the remaining eligible entries.

8. The competition is not open to employees of Foyles Bookshop and and their sponsors or their immediate families.

9. The decisions of the contest judges are final. The prizes must be accepted as awarded.

10. The right is reserved to terminate or withdraw this contest at any time.

11. All entries become the property of Foyles Bookshop, who assume no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged or misdirected entries or for any failure of the website during the promotional period, for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry to be received by Foyles Bookshop on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the promotion. Foyles Bookshop reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend the email portion of this contest should a virus or bug or other cause beyond the reasonable control of Foyles Bookshop corrupt the security or proper administration of the contest. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of this promotion is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, Foyles Bookshop reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution. Entries are subject to verification and will be declared invalid if they are illegible, mechanically reproduced, mutilated, forged, falsified, altered or tampered within any way. Entrants agree to abide by the Contest Rules and the decisions of the independent judging panel, which are final.

13. Entries must be submitted by the named entrant (or their parent/guardian for children aged 16 or under) and will be invalid if found to come from a third party. Multiple entries from a single source (e.g 'competition entry' website/company) will be disqualified.

14. For name/county of prize winners, please send a stamped addressed envelope marked Foyles Bookshop, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB. No entries should be sent to this address.

15. Entry to the competition is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions.

16. The email address you provide to enter the competition will be used by us to contact you if necessary, and will not be shared with other companies. Foyles Bookshop will only use your email address in compliance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with our privacy policy.


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