MARIE Smith has the kind of imagination that churns out bestsellers. The nine-year-old Stanley Fort student was the overall winner of RTHK Radio 3's Kidshour Short Story Competition. She was awarded a home computer for her effort. Entitled A Magical Place , the competition attracted over 100 aspiring story-tellers in the under-10 and over-11 age categories. Topics as diversified as AIDS and nature were explored with imagination and originality. ''We had a hard time narrowing down the entries to the top 10, as they were all so good,'' said Matthew Scarff, presenter and reporter of the programme. Scarff and Kidshour producer and presenter Colleen Joynt read through all the entries before the final judging was carried out by Radio 3 and 4 producers. Marie won over the hearts of the judges with her inventive tale of magical escapism, centred around her bedroom. Regular objects like toys took on a life of their own, giving the mundane setting of a bedroom a new dimension. ''They (the ideas) just came up,'' said the shy champion, when asked about the inspiration behind her ''masterpiece''. ''I didn't get any help from my teachers, although my dad did help with the spellings.'' Accompanied by her father, the Scottish lass gets a wholesome diet of bed-time tales from her devoted dad. ''I like fairy-tales best, like Pinocchio and The Princess and the Pea ,'' said Marie. ''They help me fall asleep.'' Walt Disney's Dumbo remains her favourite and she also boasts an illustrious collection of four volumes of Beatrice Potter's animal tales. In the under-10 category, first prize winner Yawen Chan, 10, from Hung Hom, was awarded 12 lessons at Futurekids and an $800 software voucher. The second prize winner, Tom Croagh, eight, from Sai Kung, won eight lessons at Futurekids and a $500 software voucher. In the over-11 category, first prize winner Roshan Bharwaney, 13, of South Island School, was awarded 12 lessons at Futurekids and an $800 software voucher. Schoolmate Kathleen Thompson, also 13, came second and won eight lessons at Futurekids and a $500 software voucher.