Cheating or creative?

19 Aug 2021

I was in year 6 (I was 11 years old) at a local primary school where I loved the teachers and all my lessons.

My teacher, Mrs P, announced she had exciting news - an exciting competition to celebrate Book week.

I was disappointed when I heard it was a book review. We were to write in class and the prize was a plain book that the mother of the teacher’s pet had donated.

We were writing the book review in the afternoon after choosing a book from class or school library we had read.

I remember looking at the clock knowing I wasted ten minutes while everyone else was writing.

I have no idea why I decided to make up a book complete with title author, a plot, characters and even described a dust jacket.

The words did not flow but gradually I was writing a story but knowing it was a review and did not tell the whole story but mentioned the key points of plot and character.

I didn’t realise for a moment that maybe I was cheating - no not me, miss goody two shoes as I was known. I had no interest in the prize and was sure my teacher who was the judge would see my review was fiction.

A few days later Mrs P announced to the class that I had won the winning review.

I had to read out my review and Mrs P said I was to bring the book in tomorrow.

I had thought I would make up the book (ok I had not really thought it through) and no more lies. I had forgotten that once you tell one lie or cheat, you often must make up more stories.

I started to panic

I wanted to be honest but all my class wanted to see the book so I told them the book was at my cousins and I would not see her till Christmas time.

Since I felt a cheat, I could never enjoy my prize let alone read it. I hid it away.


This may sound trivial, but it is something I didn’t tell anyone for over 40 years.

So, does it matter there was no intent to cheat or am I kidding myself being creative does not involve cheating?

Can anyone to relate to where they may have been creative and not exactly told the truth?

How did you feel.?



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