Are you aged 11 – 18? If you are, we’d like to invite you to submit a short story of up to 1000 words on the theme of chocolate and human rights. Your story could be chosen for inclusion in a short story publication, plus you could win a Kindle!


What are human rights? Human rights are basic rights that we all have, no matter who we are. They include the rights to life, education, freedom of expression, medical care, and the right to have a home. They help us to live lives that are fair, free from abuse, fear and want, and respectful of other people’s rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be found here.

Why chocolate and human rights? York has a rich history of chocolate making and the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York is holding a festival on chocolate and human rights to look at the positive and negative effects of the chocolate trade both at home and around the world. Competition winners will be announced at the Chocolate and Human Rights Festival in York in October 2013.


Nicky Parker, Publisher, Amnesty International UK

Juliana Mensah, Artist in Residence, Centre for Applied Human Rights

Judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into about the results.

How to approach your story:

1) Your story can be directly related to the chocolate trade: for example you can explore issues around people moving home to work in chocolate factories, the life of young people on cocoa plantations, or the impact of fair trade on the characters in your story etc.

2) Your story can explore human rights issues more generally: looking at topics such as bullying; religion; access to school; leaving a country because it is unsafe to remain etc. Have a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to see if it gives you any ideas.

But remember if you explore an issue that doesn’t directly relate to the chocolate trade remember to weave chocolate into your story in another way!


Get inspired!

  • Think Roald Dahl’s The Witches, where the witches use chocolate to capture children before turning them into mice.
  • Think Bella’s Chocolate Surprise, where Bella uses an enchanted pendant to transport herself to Ghana where she meets children working in cocoa fields, and learns about fair trade chocolate.
  • Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets The Hunger Games.
  • Think Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy witnessed from a seat at the window of Honeydukes Sweet Shop close to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Start your research here:

The competition has two age groups:

  • 11 – 14 years
  • 15 – 18 years

The winners will each receive a Kindle.  Shortlisted entries will be included in a short story publication.

How to enter:

Email a story of no more than 1000 words to: by 16th August 2013

Stories should be attached to the email as a Word document or PDF and the subject line should be ‘Me and the Chocolate Factory’. Please include in the body of the email:

  • Your name
  • The title of your story
  • A contact email address
  • A contact postal address
  •  The age group category you’re entering
  • A fee payment order number (if applicable)


This competition is free to young people living in York and young human rights defenders applying through Amnesty International. There is a £5 submission fee for all other entrants.

The fee can be paid at the University of York’s online store. You will receive an order number once the payment is confirmed. Please quote this order number in your email submission. Your order number will start with the word York and will be followed by four or five numbers. If you do not live in York and fail to quote your order number in your submission email your entry will not be valid.

Print competition guidelines as PDF

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