The blank page is always the biggest hurdle when getting a story or a poem started, but inspiration from the professionals is available to everyone who enters this year's Write Here Write Now competition. Young writers from Years 4 and 5 who enter the Dfee competition will have to continue and complete a piece begun by a celebrity writer.
There are four categories, and new this year is one for non- fiction with an introduction written by Time Team's Tony Robinson, who describes writing as "making your thoughts as tasty as peach dipped in sugar and chocolate bits".
The new category is intended to support the National Literacy Strategy Framework, and open out the competition to more children.
John Hegley has written six lines of verse to start the poetry category and Grange Hill producer Phil Redmond has prepared the first part of a script for this year's hpeful script writers, who can choose film, TV or theatre as a medium.
The award-winning novelist Jacqueline Wilson has also written 300 words to inspire story writers. Awards will also be given to children whose work has seen huge improvements.
There are prizes, but the thrill for the young writers will come when winning entries are published in the Write Here, Write Now book in November. As the four celebrity writers would agree, nothing is more rewarding than having your work in print for the first time. Every entrant gets a certificate and the sweet satisfaction of sharing author credit with someone famous.
Kevin Berry The website at www.writehere.org.uk has tips and advice from working writers, and competition packs are available from the DFEE stand.
The closing date for Write Here Write Now is Friday, July 13.