Well-known writers, including children's novelists Beverley Naidoo and Berlie Doherty, poet Lemn Sissay and author-illustrators Michael Foreman and Mairi Hedderwick, have been asked to write autobiographical pieces on the theme of change. Published work by young people will appear alongside their contributions.
The booklet will also offer teachers ideas, prepared by experts from the National Association for the Teaching of English, for ways in which it can be used as a stimulus for children's creative writing. These will be designed to meet the requirements of the national curriculum at key stages 2 and 3.
All the writers have agreed to waive their photocopying fees so that pages may be reproduced.
We hope that teachers will use the booklet to encourage their students to produce lively pieces on a similar theme. Ideally, this should be written into plans for next autumn term, enabling pupils to take part in the competition funded by McDonald's to the tune of Pounds 60,000. We hope to publish the best entries in 1998.
Details of how to enter the competition will be announced in June. The closing date will be in December. Prizes worth at least Pounds 10,000 may be won by pupils and their schools will be offered the chance to bring professional writers into classes to run workshops .