Gillian Kobiela Lyon

Hello, I am excited to be entering the Page Turner Awards for the third year in a row.

Originally from the West of Scotland, I am now settled in Edinburgh with my husband and two cats. As a self employed artist I work mainly from home. This gives me the opportunity to spend some time exploring the local hills and coastline which I am very grateful for.

I have been writing for ten years in between busy periods. Three years ago I discovered the Page Turner Awards through Jericho Writers.

Entering this competition gives me something concrete to aim for and adds some extra excitement into the mix. I also love to read the other submissions and share in people's success stories.

Three of my previous submissions have made the finalist list and one has been longlisted. Alas I am not yet published, and I would dearly love to be. I am open to various ways of being published including online, self and traditional. Hard work is my middle name and it is my hope that with more of the same and some expert guidance I can make my dreams a reality.

This year I am entering one story from a series of children's books called 'Monkford's Tales.' Two of these stories have made the finalist list and one was longlisted last year.

I hope that you enjoy reading my submission.

Screenplay Award Category
Monkford has a mystery to solve. Crumpled curtains, an open window, unexplained puddles, an antique lamp that moves on it's own. Who, or what, is the culprit? Monkford must look carefully at the clues and then decide if he will keep a very special secret.
Monkford and the Magic Lamp
My Submission

It was late at night and Monkford was tucked up in his hammock, but he was not sleeping. He was solving a mystery.

On Saturday morning his bedroom curtains were all crumpled. On Sunday morning his frog lamp was in the wrong place. This morning, there were little puddles of water on the windowsill.

Every morning Momma asked him what happened. He shrugged his shoulders. He did not know.

Tonight, he would keep watch and find out.

"Bump, bump," came a noise from the window. Monkford looked into the shadows. He couldn't see anything.

"Bump, bump," came the noise again, and a cold gust of wind blew from the window into the room.

Monkford slipped quietly from his hammock and crept towards the window. It was very dark. If only he could see where he was going, this would be much easier. He climbed on top of the bedside table. He could feel the antique frog lamp with his paw. He pressed the switch, and the light went on. The green glass lily pad lampshade glowed beautifully. But wait, something was wrong. Something was missing. The frog! The lamp had a brass frog with a brass guitar, but they had disappeared!

'Oh no!' thought Monkford, 'where could they be?' The lamp was a gift from Momma. She brought it home on Friday and explained that it was an antique. This meant that it was very old and very special. She would be upset if the frog and his guitar were missing!

"Ribbet, ribbet," Monkford heard noises through the window. He bounced onto the windowsill and peered outside. The light from the moon shone brightly on the garden below.

He could see the gnomes with their red hats. He could see the water in the pond. He could see the frog with his guitar.

Wait. What?

Monkford rubbed his eyes and looked at the pond. Was he imagining things? No, he was not! There was the frog, standing on a lily pad with his guitar. All around him were more frogs of different sizes. They were hopping excitedly from foot to foot and shouting "ribbet!"

Then, the frog strummed his guitar and began to sing.

Oh how lovely it is to be

Beneath the full moon

All my friends around me

On these lily pads of pink and green

We can laugh and dance and hop and sing

For when the moon is in the sky

My brassy legs

Will stay green and spry!

As the frog finished his song, the pond filled with the sound of croaking and clapping. All of the frogs were hopping and ribbeting with joy!

Monkford watched from the bedroom window in wonder. The frog from the frog lamp was magical. Or the lamp was magical. Maybe they were both magical. Monkford was a little confused, but he was sure that something magical was happening! Then he realised that all of the mysterious things happened when the frog lamp arrived.

It was on Saturday morning after the frog lamp arrived, that the curtains were all crumpled. It was on Sunday morning that the frog lamp had mysteriously moved. It was this morning, that little puddles of water appeared on the windowsill.

'Yes,' he thought, 'that's it. The magical frog lamp is the answer!' He was doubly excited. Not only had he solved the mystery, he had also made an amazing and magical discovery! A magical, musical frog lamp in his own bedroom! He was one lucky monkey! He was so excited and so happy, that he began jumping up and down and clapping his paws together!

Just then, he heard Momma's voice.

"Monkford, is that you making all of that noise? I hope you are in bed and not playing silly games young monkey!"

'Uh oh,' thought Monkford.

Hearing Momma's voice, the frogs looked up at the window. Realising that Monkford had seen them, they hopped off into the shadows and hid. All except for the magical frog. He made one giant leap and landed next to Monkford on the windowsill. Little puddles of water dripped from his feet. "Sorry,' he ribbeted quietly, 'please, don't tell the grown up. She will say you are silly and then take me away. I like it here. You have a lovely pond with lots of frogs. They are my friends, and so are you."

They could hear Momma's footsteps. She was just outside the bedroom door.

Monkford shook his head up and down to say 'yes,' he would keep his new friend's secret. The frog bowed and then leapt back beneath the lampshade with such a thud that the lamp moved a little. Monkford bounced quickly into his hammock and the frog lamp went off. Just as he pulled his blanket over his head, Momma opened the door. It was dark in the room. Momma switched on the frog lamp so that she could see better.

"That's funny. The window is open. The curtains are crumpled. The windowsill is wet. The lamp is not quite in the right place," she mumbled to herself. She closed the window, dried the windowsill, smoothed the curtains and walked over to Monkford.

"Are you sleeping, Monkford?" Monkford did not answer.

Looking around the room once more, she shrugged her shoulders and kissed Monkford goodnight.

When Monkford was sure that she had gone, he peered over his blanket and looked into the darkness. The frog lamp, switched on. The frog made a funny face and giggled. Monkford's belly was full of chuckles. "Goodnight my friend, and thank you," said the frog, as he switched off the light and turned to brass.

Monkford snuggled beneath his blanket. The frog was right. If he told Momma she would say that he was silly. Monkford thought Momma was silly. After all, she couldn't solve the mystery, but he could! Happy with his magical new friend and his wonderful secret, he fell fast asleep, and dreamed of magical lamps and fantastic frogs.


Ann Brady Mon, 13/06/2022 - 15:43

As a children's PB author I like the story.

Here is a bit of advice for you: The word count for PB's vary with the normal standard being 600 to 800 words over 28 pages. This includes 4 for the cover (inside and outside pages), leaving you 24 pages for title, copyright and words and images. The standard maximum for PB's is approx. 1000 words. Yours is 924. This does not mean you cannot publish as a PB as the next size would be 32 pages.

What you need to do is assess what images you would need to go with this story. For this I feel you must bear in mind that these 3 sentences (On Saturday morning his bedroom curtains were all crumpled. On Sunday morning his frog lamp was in the wrong place. This morning, there were little puddles of water on the window sill) are in fact all shown as being together on one line. Would you want them to have individual images for each of the three sentences? All this is something you would need to talk about with the person with whom you work.

GillianKobiela Sat, 06/08/2022 - 23:07

In reply to by Ann Brady

Oh gosh, what a wonderdul surprise to recieve your comments! Thank you so much for your feedback. I'll be thinking of nothing but Monkford in pictures all day tomorrow. You've given me a hugely enjoyable task. I'm utterly thrilled that you like this Monkford story, I have more! Thank you!