Bestselling writers to critique pupils' stories in competition

24th April 2017 at 09:21
A new competition offers primary school children the chance to win feedback on their writing from award-winning authors

Junior JK Rowlings and pint-sized Philip Pullmans could have their literary work critiqued by bestselling children’s authors, as part of a new competition.

The Authorfy competition offers children the chance to have stories assessed by writers including Cressida Cowell, author of the global bestselling How To Train Your Dragon series.

SF Said, award-winning author of the Varjak Paw novels, is also among the novelists providing their services, as is Abi Elphinstone, a former English teacher and author of books including The Shadow Keeper; Laura Dockrill, author of Darcy Burdock, and Piers Torday, award-winning author of The Last Wild trilogy.

Key stage 2 teachers can enter their school into the competition, which is being held to mark the launch of literacy website Authorfy. Every key stage 2 teacher is entitled to enter, so a single school can be entered more than once.

Five winning schools will be selected and each allocated an author. Teachers in these schools can then select one pupil’s story to be critiqued by this author.

'Human hunger for curiosity'

Piers Torday said: “Learning to read or write in any meaningful way can only come from encouraging a deep, innate and instinctive human hunger for curiosity, play and joy. I believe every schoolchild is entitled to the opportunity to express themselves and develop through their creativity.”

The Authorfy website aims to link professional authors with their classroom counterparts. It includes videos in which authors offer advice and writing tips.

Abi Elphinstone said that nurturing children’s imaginations was vital in order to encourage creativity. “Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation are important,” she said. “But getting children to parrot back complex and irrelevant grammatical concepts is education at its most futile and its most depressing.”

Find out more, and enter the competition, here

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