his year's competition offers you three vivid, specially-commissioned pieces by favourite authors. Roger McGough's The Canal Bank (page 32) captures the fear, the comedy and the comfort of an escapist imagination in an encounter with the school toughie, Gillian Cross remembers the magic of her childhood garden (page 34) and Brian Jacques recaptures the excitement he experienced as a small boy when the war ended (page 36).
Once again, children can enter their own autobiographical pieces - about an important person, place or incident - in a competition with generous prizes provided by McDonald's Restaurants Ltd, and possible publication in TES Primary and The TES.
This year, teachers of winning pupils will also be awarded laptops for their school or department, and there will be pound;400 for a writer in residence for each of the 20 finalists' schools. Judging will be organised by the National Association for the Teaching of English and, for the first time, there will be a separate category for entries from pupils with special needs.
Further copies of the project may be obtained from NATE (0114 255 5419; email@example.com) or by visiting the websites: www.tesprimary.com or www.tes.co.uk. A booklet for secondary pupils, containing new pieces by four popular authors, including Melvin Burgess and Darren Shan, and two by previous competition winners, will be provided free in The TES on October 5