A mum-of-two from Devon is set for literary fame this Christmas having been selected from almost 1,000 competition entries in the search to find a modern equivalent to the timeless festive tale, Twas the Night Before Christmas. We have today announced that the winning children’s story, Sol the Slug’s Night Before Christmas, brought to life with professional illustrations which formed part of the prize package, is available for free on Kindle and Fire devices as well as the Kindle reading app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets from 20-25 December.Print copies are also available to buy on the Amazon.co.uk store.

Lucy Banks, 34, a freelance copywriter by day and an aspiring author by night, won the Amazon competition with her entry about a slug living under a family’s floorboards who assumes Christmas is not for him, until he comes face to face with Father Christmas. Amazon has made Banks’ story, illustrated by artist Aless Baylis as part of the prize, available to a potential audience of millions in the hope that the tale will become an instant Christmas Eve classic. Banks also picks up a £2,000 Amazon gift card and new Fire tablet as part of the prize, and as a Kindle Direct Published author, will earn future royalties once she starts selling the story at the price of her choice from Christmas day following the initial five day free period.

Inspired by the slugs that roam in her own kitchen at night, winning author Banks comments: “I am delighted that Sol the Slug has captured the hearts and imaginations of the judging panel. I tested the story on my two little boys and I just hope that the story will be as popular with children across the country as it was with them. I think there is a lot to be learnt from creatures like slugs; they are universally disliked, but offer something rather lovely to the world. It is a story about acceptance and inclusivity, and I hope it encourages readers to look at the world differently and realise that regardless of appearance, or in this case sliminess, everybody is remarkable.”

A slug living under a family’s floorboards assumes Christmas is not for him, until he comes face to face with Father Christmas.

The inaugural Amazon competition to find a modern-day equivalent to the 200 year old Clement Clarke Moore classic, Twas the Night Before Christmas, was launched to encourage the over 50 per cent of people in the UK who believe they have a book in them to have a go at writing a new Christmas classic. Almost 1,000 individual stories from emerging authors of all ages and across the UK were submitted to the judging panel made up of Amazon book editors, artist and illustrator Aless Baylis, and children’s writer Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE.

Sol the Slug’s Night Before Christmas is available on the Kindle store where it will be available for free in the run up to Christmas. It has been published through Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s independent publishing programme, which enables authors to retain their copyrights, keep control, distribute globally, and earn royalties of up to 70 per cent. Banks will be enrolled into KDP Select, meaning that her book will be available through Kindle Unlimited.