Teachers who use the photocopiable Write Away booklet given free with this week's copy of The TES can enter their pupils for a creative writing competition, with cash prizes and the chance to fund a writer's visit.
Write Away, supported by the National Association for the Teaching of English and McDonald's restaurants, is designed to encourage creative writing by 10 to 14-year-olds.
The booklet contains pieces by successful writers that provide insights into their own creative processes. For instance, Mairi Hedderwick, author of the popular Katie Morag children's books and An Eye on the Hebrides, admits she sometimes has doubts about her writing. The creative process is "a nightmare tightrope journey", she says. "The initial adrenalin spark wavers and teeters its way along the rope." Most of the time, there is, of course, a safe landing.
Mairi Hedderwick, Berlie Doherty, Beverley Naidoo and Lemn Sissay have written autobiographical pieces on the theme of change especially for readers of The TES. And Angel and Patrick Scott have provided teaching suggestions and an introduction describing how best to use the booklet to encourage pupils to write similarly personal accounts.
McDonald's has provided generous prizes for the winning entries to the competition, including funding for writers' visits to schools and individual awards to the authors of the best pieces. Some winning entries may also be published in The TES.
Full details of the competition, along with an entry form, can be found in the booklet So whether you are interested simply in acquiring a useful resource or wish to enter your classes for the competition, make sure you pick up your booklet today.