Welcome to the new Story House ‘Special Words’ Competition.

It’s your chance to win a bespoke, personal illustration, designed especially for you, inspired by and featuring your own chosen special words.

In the last few weeks I have illustrated a couple’s first dance with the lyrics of their song (here). I have designed an A2 illustration of Shakespearean words on love for two people whose grandmothers both gave them a love of good old Will Shakespeare.  I loved them so much, I wanted to spread some wordy love, and decided to let you win your own words, illustrated just for you.

Whether lyrics pulled from a meaningful song, a quote you love or the first sentence of your favourite novel, everyone has some special words in their lives. This competition is a celebration of that.

The Prize.

An A4 bespoke illustration featuring your ‘Special Words’, professionally printed and posted to you, somewhere within the UK. I will work with the words you give me, and frame them with vines, stars, flowers, or anything the words themselves inspire. This personal design and printing service would normally cost you over £100.00, but I’ll do for just the love of words, for one lucky winner.

How to Enter.

All you need to do is comment on this blog post or on my Facebook page and tell me about your special words. Tell me what they are, and what makes them special to you. Tell me the story behind them and why you’d like a bespoke illustration of them.

Then, spread the word.


Head to Twitter and tweet – ‘I’ve just entered the @the_storyhouse Special Words Competition at http://wp.me/p1vwZJ-oCor something more poetic along the same lines.


If you’re more Facebook inclined, then ‘Like’ The Story House page and put a link to this post (http://wp.me/p1vwZJ-oC)  on your profile.

Closing Date

The competition is open to entries until midnight on 17th March 2013. Entries will be valid up until this time, provided they include your chosen quote, a comment why, and a link on Twitter or Facebook.

The Winner

I will choose a maximum of five of the most inspiring entries from the blog post and Facebook. I will then use a random number generator to pick the final winner. Previous clients of mine are obviously very welcome to enter, but I will judge the competition purely on the merits of the entries. I will announce the winner on 18th March 2013 and liaise with the winner regarding the final receipt of the illustration. It will be featured on this blog.

Entries (from Facebook)

‘As a child I spent alot of time resting in bed from illness. I took up embrioidery and there was one piece that my Grandmother gave me to complete. It took me months, as I would often get better & it would be left in a basket under my bed, there waiting for me when i took poorly again. It read ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’, surrounded by flowers and in soft colours ~ your work reminds me of that embroidery and those words are ringing true again & again.’ Lolly Streek

My Special words would be “it all started with a tea”. This is because my husband to be and I met whilst we where both working at a craft fair one November, he offered me a tea and i said yes…. four years later he asked me to marry him and we still celebrate on the last Saturday of November “Tea Day’ where we both make each other lots of tea. We’re getting married this October and there will be plenty of tea involved!’ Myfanwy Rhiannon Griffiths

“You’re a song everlasting, which will not drop fall from my lips for years”  Melike

“and she shall have meanwhile her reasonable estovers of common”. Charlie

“The most important thing a Dad can do for his children is to love their Mum.” I would choose this lovely quote in memory of my most wonderful dad that I lost last week, my parents had been married 59 years and if I won I would give this special gift to my mum as he loved her each and every one of those years, I never once heard them quarrel and never saw them apart.’ Lynn

My words come from the song by Florence + the Machine – You’ve Got the Love. In the last couple of years I have become disabled due to a painful condition and my fiancé Chris has been an absolute rock to me – he really has given me all of his love and soul to keep me going and focused on all the good things. I listened to this song a lot when I first became ill, and it always makes me smile to this day. We had to delay our wedding until I was stable with treatment, and I know that the day (that we’re now planning) will be so worth the wait when I become his wife.

“Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying “Lord I just don’t care”
But you’ve got the love I need To see me through.”

Despite me trying to deal with my health alone and my life changing so dramatically, Chris is always there and genuinely promises me that we can fight through anything as long as we have each other.

I would just adore to win a beautiful illustration with lyrics from the song. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about how deep the words mean to me, and to have the words framed in our house would be absolutely wonderful and would mean so much to everything we have fought through.’ Emma

‘The quote I would love to have is “Because Someone We Love Is In Heaven, There’s A Little Bit Of Heaven In Our Home’ & the reason behind it is, I lost my son in a tragic RTA & my sister brought me a plaque with this quote on & it’s always meant a lot to me, My son’s never far from my mind & yes, i do feel like theres a little bit of heaven in my home, he may be gone from this life….but he’s still here within my heart x’ Vicki

 I’d like to enter a little something to the Special Words competition. One of my grandfather’s favourite pieces of prose was Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. For anyone who doesn’t know the piece it’s unbelieveably beautiful, comic and tragic in equal measure. The opening lines are special to me because every time I read them or hear them aloud (in particular the BBC Radio versions with Richard Burton narrating) it makes me think of my grandparents’ house and brings back memories of family and childhood.

“To begin at the beginning:
It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows’ weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.”



2 thoughts on “

  1. Some of my favourite words are part of a song by Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo:
    There’s a tapestry of stars above
    And you’re the brightest by far
    I let you in and you came closer
    Now I’m learning all love knows

    The lyrics remind me that while love can come from nowhere and take us by surprise, we have to put a little work in to make our relationships successful. Andrew and I used those lines on the first page of our wedding invitations, and an illustration of them would be a wonderful momento of our wedding day and a beautiful decoration for the house we are renovating.

  2. After trawling through my favourite plays and poems from around the sixteenth century, trying to recall special words and lines from my main area of interest, I ended up lighting on one much closer to home, and to heart. Once it occurred to me, I really couldn’t pick anything else. It’s a poem by Robbie Burns that my granddad used to recite. It’s where you can find my favourite word, too, and the cause of it. The word is ‘jo’, and it’s a Scots word meaning sweetheart or loved one. I love the simplicity of the word and the poem, and the purity and depth of the sentiment, and they will always be special to me. I’ve chosen the second verse.

    John Anderson, my jo, John,
    We clamb the hill thegither;
    And mony a canty day, John,
    We’ve had wi’ one anither:
    Now we maun totter down, John,
    And hand in hand we’ll go,
    And sleep thegither at the foot,
    John Anderson, my jo.

    (I also like the fact that in my eyes a poem dated 1790 is modern.)

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