Parenting website Yano.co.uk launches nationwide search for the
next ‘big’ young creative writing talent
A panel of award-winning children’s authors and writers will judge a new national creative writing competition. Children across the UK and Ireland are encouraged to submit original writing entitled ‘My Most Amazing Adventure Ever.’ The initiative, launched by parenting site Yano.co.uk, aims to encourage more parent child interaction via playful fun and learning.
To enter, children are asked to write a poem or story on the given theme, no longer than 1,500 words, about anything and anybody they wish, incorporating their own enchanting worlds full of mystical characters, places, planets, animals and colours.
Winners will be selected by a renowned panel of award-winning children’s authors and writers, including Helen Cooper, (Pumpkin Soup); Kristina Stephenson (Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and The Really Big Adventure); Nii Parkes (Tail of a Bluebird); Claire Steele (Creative Writer and Former Judge of The Guardian’s First Book Prize) and Melanie Goose, editor of Yano.co.uk. The competition is open to three age brackets; four to five year olds; six to seven year olds and eight to nine year olds.
The renowned judging panel will select a winner from each age group and an overall winner, picked from the three winners. Each winner will receive a selection of books from Parragon (including some signed copies) and a gift voucher worth £100 from Blackwell Booksellers. The overall winner will receive a £500 voucher from LateRooms.com, to use towards a family break.
Yano.co.uk, which launched earlier this year, encourages fresh thinking on parenting, incorporating enlightening food for thought; informative discussions; regular news stories; a digest of interesting parenting stories from across the globe; Q and A discussion panels and advice and comment from leading experts in their chosen fields.
Kristina Stephenson’s top tip’s for kid’s creative writing
Remember that anyone can write and EVERYONE has a story to tell. I really do mean EVERYONE; it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you live or whether you’ve written before.
Don’t be scared to have a go. The hardest part is starting, so get that bit out of the way quickly and you’ll find the rest will follow on.
Decide what you want to write about. Do you like ghost stories, funny stories, mysteries, histories or stories that make you cry? Do you want to write about something that really happened or tell a tale of pure fantasy? It’s your story, so you choose. But whatever you do make sure you write about something that interests you, that way you’ll make it interesting for people reading it.
Once you’ve decided to have a go, get yourself a note pad and pencil – small enough to keep in your pocket but big enough to write in. You might like to decorate the cover and make it your own special writer’s journal. Keep it with you at ALL times – you never know when ideas might pop into your head and it would be awful to have a brainwave on the bus or a flash of inspiration at Auntie Hilda’s Hundredth birthday party, only to find you have forgotten your fantastic idea by the time you get home.
Ideas and characters are everywhere so keep your eyes and your ears open. Lots of the characters in my books are based on people I know or strangers I have seen in town and many of my ideas come from things my own children have said or done. Look and listen and jot down notes in you notebook.
Find your own voice. Remember this is YOUR story so don’t try to write in someone else’s style.
Think carefully about your characters and do anything you can to bring them to life. What do the characters in your story look like? What do they sound like? Remember, if you believe your characters are real, so will anyone who reads your story. Draw pictures of them or put on voices and pretend to be them. Act as they would act for a bit.
Your story will need a Beginning, a Middle and an End – in that order. Plan your story but don’t be afraid to change the plan half way through if a better idea pings into your head. Remember, just about all the books you have read will have gone through lots and lots of changes before they finally get printed.
Tell your story before you actually write it down. That way you don’t have to worry about spelling and punctuation yet – those things come later and someone can always help you with them. The MOST MPORTAT thing about writing is THE STORY and if you can tell it, then you can write it or get someone to help you write it.
Find yourself a ‘writer’s den’ for the actual writing bit, no matter how small - a place or a space where no-one will disturb you. Get rid of all distractions – no television, no i-pod, no electronic games. Surround yourself with things that put you in the mood for writing: a comfy chair or a bed; a squidgy cushion; a cat or a dog curled up at your feet (a soft toy will do just as well and you can always throw a soft toy across the room when things aren’t going too well). You’ll need lots and lots of paper for making mistakes (they will happen but don’t worry that’s all part of writing). Pin up your character sketches, put on your writer’s hat and make yourself a big mug of tea. Settle down and …
…enjoy yourself. Writing is fun and YOU can do it.
tagged in Roald Dahl