An opening for budding authors

14th March 2008 at 00:00
What's the story? That's the question children in the north-east will address over the next month, as they take part in the annual creative writing competition for Word, the University of Aberdeen Writers' Festival.

This year's topic is "Writing on the Wall", and entries from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire secondary pupils have to be submitted by April 16 (S1-3, maximum 1,000 words; S4-6, 1,200).

The contest is a partnership between the Word Festival and Aberdeen Storytelling and Theatre Festival. It is run by the city council's arts education team in conjunction with The TESS, which will publish extracts from the winning entries, and Wordfirsts publishers, who will compile a collection of the short stories.

"Whether inspired by Banksy, the British street artist, or King Belshazzar of Babylon, the competition gives pupils an opportunity to be imaginative and explore this year's concept as diversely as possible," says Annette Murray, the council's arts education co-ordinator.

The winning stories will be selected by a panel of judges and announced in The TESS on May 9. Winning entrants and their families will be invited to attend a special award ceremony at Word08, on May 9-11.

Neil Munro, editor of The TESS, says: "We are delighted once again to support the What's the Story? competition. Last year's entries were of a particularly high standard.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for young writers and perhaps, you never know, we'll even uncover the next Muriel Spark or Sir Walter Scott along the way."

Teachers and P1-S2 pupils from all over Scotland are invited to join the Word08 Schools Festival, on May 6-8, for discussions, readings, workshops and activity sessions with some of the UK's leading authors and storytellers. A children's programme will run on the weekend of May 9-11.

The programmes will be announced next month.

- Competition entry forms can be collected from your school library, or

T 01224 346361

For the schools' and children's programmes at Word08:

www.abdn.ac.ukword.

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