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National Writing Day

June 12th, 2020

First, thanks to Colin for last week’s post. I’ve been reading a great deal over the past couple of months and it got me thinking about how many of the novels that I’ve downloaded had a quest at their heart.  And I’ve got to agree that it’s probably the majority!

I bet that quite a lot of you are currently working from home and at the same time trying to juggle this with home-educating your children. Not an easy task – I know how lucky I am not to have this extra pressure. So any resources are welcome – especially if your children are interested in creative writing. This year National Writing  Day is being held on 24th June and they say “This will be the fourth annual celebration of the power of writing creatively, inspiring people of all ages and abilities to try writing for fun and self-expression. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite writing activities to help you celebrate at home.

There are activities for both primary pupils and secondary students, and they have a great resources section on their website which caters not only for teachers but also for parents and families and which covers a wide age range. So, if you’re starting to run out of ideas, then check it out for some creative inspiration. Kids are never too young to enjoy creative writing!

And now for something  for the grown-ups. The shortlist for the Sunday Times/Audible Short Story Award 2020 has just been announced. This is the richest prize for a single short story in the English language with the winner receiving £30,000 (no, I haven’t added an extra nought by mistake). So, as you can imagine, the quality of the shortlisted stories is very high and you can read excerpts from them on the website. The story that won the 2019 prize is there in full and it’s definitely worth reading. But what I found particularly interesting was the article written by Carys Davies on how she and the other judges chose the stories on this year’s longlist. A couple of weeks ago I explained what I look for in a short story when judging the Writers Bureau annual competition and her article will give you a slightly different perspective.

As you know, our 2020 Poetry Competition is currently open for entries – you’ve got until 31st July if you want to send in your work. But for those of you who aren’t interested in poetry but are looking for competitions to enter, then you may want to consider the H G Wells Short Story Competition. The theme is ‘Vision’ and the word length is 1,500 to 5,000 words. There is a £1,000 prize for the under-21 winner and £500 for the over-21 winner. It’s free to enter for uner-21s but £10 (£5 for students) for everyone else. As you can see, it is rather skewed in favour of younger writers and in my opinion this is no bad thing as they’re often held back by lack of cash for entry fees. The closing date is 6th July.

My guest next week is Phil Cummins who recently won the Fish Publishing 2020 Short Memoir Competition and will be giving advice on how to go about writing this most personal of genres.

Author: Diana Nadin


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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