I love winning: ever since I was a tiny mite doing colouring-in contests, I’ve been a sucker for competitions, especially skills-based comps.
I’ve won a silver horseshoe (colouring-in), a tube of propolis toothpaste (colouring-in), and a stuffed kiwi (colouring-in). (Perhaps I should’ve turned professional?)
In the last couple of days I’ve been tweeting links to some ace writing competitions, for children and adults.
But tweets are easily missable, so here they are, all in a juicy list:
Young writers competitions
- Finish what your favourite author started in the Usbourne writing competition and win a trip to London, free books, an author event, and free magazine subscriptions. Open to UK residents aged 14 or under.
- The young scriptwriters BIG BREAK competition closes 30 Oct: simply adapt Meg Rosoff‘s How I Live Now for the stage (a 150-word treatment and 5 pages of dialogue) and win a masterclass in scriptwriting with top writers (including Meg herself!), directors and actors at the National Theatre in London. Five writers will win, and transport is included.
- Emerates Airlines run an international festival of literature and young writers can enter a FREE writing competition. Write a short story about “The Adventure”.
- European school students can take part in the FREE Science in School science writing competition, deadline 15 October (thanks to @rausvonzuhaus)
- Want to report the news? Win a trip to Copenhagen as part of the UN’s world summit on climate change.
- Keep it short and scary at this month’s FREE 247.com writing competition, open to UK residents aged 8-16. The theme is GHOSTS!
Competitions for no-longer-young writers
- Write a letter to a world leader and bag a thousand pounds with the Ooffoo Annual Laureate competition.
- Unpublished travel writers: the British Guild of Travel Writers has announced a new travel writing competition in partnership with Traveller magazine. Submit an 800-word article themed “a very special place”.
- Think you’re funny? Enter “The Sitcom Mission” and write a 15-minute comedy. No children, no animals. The top 16 scripts go through to a public knock-out final.
ENTER! ENTER! ENTER!
My theory is an old one: you’ve got to be in to win. Just by giving it a shot and sending in your writing, you get a chance to do and win all sorts of cool stuff.
I’ve had this philosophy a long time; it helped me score my first pay cheque as a writer (I think it was about 12 New Zealand dollars and I was about eight years old).
I wrote my first book, One Weekend with Killiecrankie, just so I could enter a competition. I didn’t even get shortlisted. But I didn’t give up.
Instead, I did some rewrites, then entered One Weekend into a Young and Emerging Writer competition.
Bingo! I won a week at Varuna House in New South Wales’ beautiful Blue Mountains, all expenses included. After a week working with Varuna’s Creative Director Peter Bishop and five other writers from around Australia, and months more work with my Varuna alumni mentor, Julia Lawrinson, I entered One Weekend into the same competition.
This time I was shortlisted, and won! The cheque was for a lot more than twelve dollars.
So what are you waiting for? Dig out your manuscripts, twiddle your pencils, scratch your heads and create some winning writing. See you on the shortlist!
Do you love writing? Are you searching for games, activities or cool Japan-related teaching resources? If your answer is YES, you should check out the resources section of my website. Have fun!