For the past three years teachers of children aged seven to 14 have received free resources, in booklet form in 'The TES' and in the pages of 'TES Primary' magazine. As a result some 10,000 children have entered an associated competition run jointly by 'The TES' and the National Association for the Teaching of English, and funded by McDonald's.
Favourite children's authors will provide new autobiographical pieces for Write Away 4, to be published with expert teaching suggestions early next term. If children write their own autobiographical pieces, they can enter the competition (closing date February 2001).
In three weeks' time the winners of Write Away 3, each with a parent and teacher, will meet at Shakespeare's Globe in Southwark to receive their prizes and watch a performance of 'Hamlet. Twenty finalists - 15 secondary and five primary, reflecting the balance of the entries - have been chosen out of 10,000 scripts. Each will receive pound;100. Of these 20, six - three primary and three secondary - will be published in 'The TES' on June 16 and all five primary finalists will appear in the 'TES Primary' magazine a week later. The teachers of all 20 finalists will each be presented with a cheque for pound;400 towards a writer's residency in their schools.
Michael Rosen, a contributor in 1998 and a past judge of the competition, says: "It is good to be in the company of such outstanding writers and especially enjoyable to celebrate the creativity of so many talented young people." And Michael Morpurgo, a contributor in 1999 and Write Away 3 judge, says: "Write Away is a reminder that we are all storytellers."
A compilation of Write Away pieces, by professional authors and previous winners, will be published in two books, one each for Primary and Secondary, in September.