Author Archives: Brian Martin

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I hope you are enjoying the fantastic range of short stories for kids available on the site.

We are planning the next stage of our development, and we need your input!

I’d appreciate it if you could spare just a few minutes to answer the Short Kid Stories survey.


Genuinely it’ll be very short and would really help decide what improvements, features and services would be of benefit to users. So please take a few minutes to let us know what you think. We’d really appreciate it.


Thanks again for your interest in Short Kid Stories.

Short Kid Stories Author published on Amazon!


While working on his book of memoir stories, POP was asked to write a children’s tale based on an illustration given by a magazine publisher.

Soon after, he began a competition with himself, to write another one… better than the other one.

Now, after much fanfare from kids and grandkids he has published his first children’s eBook… “Tales From The Hill And Burrow.”

(The print version is soon to come in late spring)

Three charming contemporary folk tales for young and old alike.

Just click on the picture below and there you go to Amazon!



Sleeping Beauty narrated by Sharon Blumberg

Sharon Blumberg photo - voiceover artistThanks to Sharon Blumberg, narration has arrived on Short Kid Stories! Sharon Olivia Blumberg is a recently retired school teacher, having taught Spanish and English for over 20 years. In addition, she is a children’s writer and voiceover artist. She is married with two grown children. She resides with her husband outside of Chicago. View Sharon’s profile on her profile page and go on over and check out her first narrated story – Sleeping Beauty.

Stay tuned, there is more to come from Sharon…


St. Patrick’s Day Story Competiiton Results

Kids' short story author Deirdre McCarthy playing harp at an Irish music festival Kids' short story author Jim McCarthy







Congratulations to the wife and husband writing duo of Deirdre and Jim McCarthy for winning this year’s St. Patrick’s day story competition with their joint entry Micheleen Emmett O’Shea. This story will be featured on the site through St. Patrick’s day and for the rest of next week. Alongside is featured one of Deirdre’s other works, The Rescue of Fairy Queen Maeve. You can read more about Deirdre McCarthy and Jim McCarthy on their author bio pages.

If you are in search of other stories of an Irish nature, check out our Irish Story Catalogue.



Have  a great St. Patrick’s day on Mar 17th and celebrate the green!








kids reading

NEW: The Short Kid Stories Bookstore!

grandparent reading to kidI am delighted to announce that Short Kid Stories now has a bookstore on-site! Powered by Amazon, it allows you to shop for kids’ books without having to leave Short Kid Stories.

I hope visitors find it useful. If you do purchase a book, Short Kid Stories will be supported with a small commission to help with hosting fees, graphic design, editorial work and other costs.

To get to the bookstore, click here, or you can navigate to it from the menu at the top of the page.

leprechaun with shamrock

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Story Competition

Shamrock-GreenSt. Patrick’s Day is the 17th of March and will soon be here.

In honour of this annual celebration of all that is good and green, I’d like to invite all authors out there to submit an Irish-themed story for the site.

Competition rules below. Get writing and submit please via the submission page. Good luck!

1st Prize: I’ll feature the winning story and author on the front page of for St. Patrick’s week.

  • Word Count: 500 – 5,000 wordsLaughing-leprechaun
  • Submission deadline: 8th Mar 2015 @  midnight GMT
  • Include: Synopsis for the excerpt, word count and target age range
  • If you have not submitted to Short Kid Stories before, please provide a brief bio of yourself.

2014 – The birth year of Short Kid Stories

Kids flying on a book like a magic carpet rideDear Readers and Contributors,

It’s been a big year for Short Kid Stories. 2014 finally saw the launch of the site after a longer-than-expected period of development! Eventually we did get launched and as of now we have the work of 60 authors featured on the site.


Traffic has been growing well, we are now approaching 20,000 page views a month. What I find wonderful is the locations around the world that are reading stories on the site:

Readership map of short kid stories

Any country coloured in blue is one where readers have accessed the site in the last 3 months. The darker the colour, the heavier the traffic. As you can see there are a lot of readers coming from the US, Ireland and India, with Canada and the UK not far behind. Most countries in the world, apart from Greenland, a number of African countries and a small handful more have discovered the world of Short Kid Stories. However, therein lies a challenge for 2015 – to paint the whole world blue!

Most Read

Here are the top 25 most read stories this year on Short Kid Stories:

  1. CinderellaCinderella gets to go to the ball thanks to her kind fairy godmother.
  2. Aesops FablesAll of Aesop's fables, beautifully illustrated by Milo Winter. Dip in and out, each one only takes a minute or two.
  3. Little Red HenThis story about a hardworking little hen whose friends won't help her teaches us a valuable and timeless lesson. Includes audio narration.
  4. Hansel and GretelHansel and Gretel find a house made of cake and sweets and start to eat it, but don't realise that a wicked witch lives there.
  5. Sleeping BeautyA mean fairy casts a spell on a young girl. Can she avoid pricking herself on a spindle until she is sixteen? Includes an audio narration by Sharon Blumberg.
  6. Puss In BootsA miller's son inherits a clever cat who helps him win power and fortune.
  7. Jack and the BeanstalkJack exchanges a cow for a handful of beans. Even though his mother is angry, a giant beanstalk leads on to a great adventure.
  8. The Little Match GirlThe little match girl lights her matches to stay warm in the freezing weather and is reunited with her loving grandmother.
  9. June’s BirthdayOn her twelfth birthday, a girl feels overshadowed by her baby brother.
  10. The Unicorn and His FriendsA fairy's monkey helps her dream come true of being able to ride a flying Unicorn.
  11. The Frogs’ RaceA group of frogs decide to race to the top of the tower, but will they all be discouraged when everyone says they can't do it?
  12. Snow White and the Seven DwarfsSnow White is under threat from an evil stepmother who wants to be the fairest in the land.
  13. Aladdin and the Wonderful LampAn evil sorcerer tricks Aladdin into thinking that he is Aladdin's uncle so that he can retrieve for him a powerful and magical lamp. The classic Middle Eastern folk tale retold and illustrated by Walter Crane.
  14. The Three Little PigsThree little pigs build houses to keep safe from the bad wolf, but he keeps trying to blow them down.
  15. The Princess and the PeaThe prince wants to marry a real princess. How can they find out if the beautiful girl who arrives on a wet night really is one?
  16. The Girl behind the MirrorLucy and her mum come across a weird and wonderful Chinese shop and in it they find the perfect dresser for Lucy's room. Imagine Lucy's shock when the mirror on it turns out to be far from normal.
  17. The Emperor’s New ClothesTwo swindlers pretend to weave the vain emperor new clothes, but claim it's invisible to stupid people. Will anyone be brave enough to say there's nothing there? Includes audio narration.
  18. RumpelstiltskinCan the queen save her new child by guessing the name of the dwarf who spun straw into gold?
  19. The Fisherman and his WifeA fisherman saves the life of a fish and is rewarded when his wife suggests to ask for a pretty cottage. Unfortunately she keeps wanting more and more and is never satisfied.
  20. Princess Rose and the Golden BirdA wicked witch curses the beautiful princess who sings every night with a golden bird.
  21. Midnight O’ClockA strange magic starts when the clock strikes midnight. What are you afraid of?
  22. The Legend of the Black SeaA fisherman loses his belief in goodness and learns a valuable lesson.
  23. The Adventures of BirdBird is his name. And he is a bird. Large, a little ugly and clumsy, but lovable. Eats too much junk food so has lost the ability to fly. Is befriended by two children and they embark on an adventure together.
  24. The Children of LirThe legend of the four Children of Lir, turned into swans for nine centuries by their wicked stepmother.
  25. ‘Twas the night before ChristmasThe famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore about one Christmas eve and the arrival of you-know-who down the chimney.

Top Rated

I’ve really noticed an upturn in the number of stories being rated every day. I didn’t want to present that just yet on the site until there are a critical mass of ratings across the board, however I thought you would like to see what are the top rated stories on the site to date. This list only includes stories that have at least 5 ratings:

[starrating template_id=4 select=’story’ min_votes=5 excerpt_words=30]

What’s nice to see is that the majority of this list is from modern authors contributing original content to the site.

It just remains for me to wish you all a wonderful story-filled holiday season and new year. Let’s see what 2015 brings.

Now where did I put those mince pies?!


Christmas competition results


I was delighted with the quality of the entries received for the The Night Before Christmas Santa and his sleigh with the reindeerChristmas story competition and for other submissions generally with a Christmas theme. It was a very difficult decision to make as any number of stories were worthy winners. But unfortunately I had committed to announcing one winner and putting them on the front page of the site, so in consultation with my co-judges (aged 8 and 11) we decided upon a winner.

But firstly there are a number of honorable mentions I would like to make.

Honorable Mentions


Brendan Farrell author photoThe Heart of Christmas by Brendan Farrell.

It’s Christmas-time, and Santa is tired – too tired to visit all the children of the world.   Who can he possibly find to take his place?   Can he find someone who understands what it takes to be Santa – who understands the heart of Christmas?



Carol-Bennett-author-photoThe Baby by Carol Bennett

The fictional story The Baby takes us back to the inn of Bethlehem. Leah and Naomi, two sisters living in a cruel world, come to the aid of strangers–and discover their Messiah.


ann lang author photoThe Seagull who couldn’t fly by Ann Lang

Flying was impossible for Sammy Seagull. His wings would just not open!
Last to leave his safe nest he had to find food and shelter before Christmas. Does he manage to do this?


jan fenimore author photoA Child of Light by Jan Fenimore

A re-telling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match-Seller set in modern times. It is the story of a child without a family who finds an older woman living on the streets and befriends her on Christmas Eve.



Sharon Krager author photoThe Christmas Visitor by Sharon Krager

A family put up a stranded stranger and discover the true meaning of Christmas.



Non-competition mentions

Dulce Rodrigues author photo signing bookRudolph the red-nosed reindeer by Dulce Rodrigues

Dulce’s explanation of the history of the famous story about  Rudolph, the most famous reindeer of all and retells it in her own words. Not specifically a competition submission, but is proving very popular on the site this Christmas



The Santa FlowerThe Santa Flower by Brian Martin

Everyone else was having such fun writing their Christmas stories, I had to get in on the act! Here’s a story I made up for my daughter, who kindly agreed to illustrate it. When the annual Santa Flower doesn’t bloom properly, everyone is worried. Then Annika gets a visit from a famous reindeer and takes a magical trip to the North Pole. Can she help Santa and save Christmas?


Kids' short story author Jim McCarthySanta’s Helpers and Santa and the Leprechauns by Jim McCarthy

These were not submitted specifically for the competition, however if you need a Christmas poem or two, check out Jim’s page.

* * *

If you want to check out all of the Christmas content on Short Kid Stories, check out the full Christmas Stories Archive.

* * *

Winning Entry

It’s hard to pick a winner when the submissions are of such quality. However I think you’ll all agree that the winning entry below is a worthy winner.


Noel 1 Naughty Noel by Nathan OserNaughty Noel by Nathan Oser.

It’s not easy for Noel being the son of Santa, especially when he’s the naughtiest kid in the North Pole.



A bit about the author:

Nathan Oser author photo

Nathan Oser

After moving from Kentucky bluegrass to the deserts of Arizona, Nathan Oser has found a home with his wife and daughter on the Japanese oceanside where he spends his days teaching English as a second language, exploring the cuisine, restringing his shredded guitars, sketching the scenery, and scribbling out stories.

Visit him at for more yarns and doodles.

Congratulations Nathan, your story will be featured on the front page of Short Kid Stories over Christmas.


quill and inkKids flying on a book like a magic carpet ride

Thanks to everyone who participated in the first ever Short Kid Stories story competition. I really enjoyed receiving and reading all the entries and the quality was extremely high. I look forward to running more competitions next year, so keep writing!


Christmas Story Competition

Santa Claus with a small Christmas treeI don’t want to panic you, but it won’t be long before Christmas will be upon us!

Christmas is a great time for spending time with kids and reading them stories. I’d like to invite all authors out there to submit a Christmas story for the site.

Competition rules below. Get writing and submit please via the submission page. Good luck!

1st Prize: I’ll feature the winning story and author on the front page of at Christmas. 

  • Word Count: 500 – 5,000 words
  • Submission deadline: 7th Dec 2014 @  midnight GMT
  • Include: Synopsis for the excerpt, word count and target age range
  • If you have not submitted to Short Kid Stories before, please provide a brief bio of yourself.

Children dancing around a Christmas tree for Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Fir Tree"



Illustration from Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, The Fir Tree.


Frank Sinatra

I did it my way

To think I did all that
And may I say – not in a shy way
“Oh no, oh no not me
I did it my way”.

Sung by Frank Sinatra, lyrics by Paul Anka

I was listening to a podcast yesterday, James Altucher was interviewing Simon Rich, an American comedy writer. They were discussing the fact that there must be only three or four basic story ideas. All stories fit into one of these basic themes, such a deal with the devil, or the ugly duckling turns into a swan such as in My Fair Lady etc.

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