Budding wordsmiths encouraged to put pen to paper in competition launched today

Budding wordsmiths encouraged to put pen to paper in competition launched today

Aspiring young wordsmiths have an opportunity to share their work with readers across Scotland through a short story competition launched today (Monday February 8).

The What’s the Story? competition for 2010 offers secondary school pupils from across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire the chance to become published authors.

The popular contest, which invites students to pen their own short story, is the result of a successful ongoing partnership between Word – the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival – and the Arts Education Teams of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils.

This year’s theme is ‘Something to Celebrate’ and the winning stories selected by a panel of judges will be published by Wordfirsts – the only publisher in Scotland dedicated to publishing the work of young people.

A special award ceremony at the Word Festival on Saturday May 15 will announce the winners, who will then see their name in print and will each receive a Waterstones voucher.

Entrants can also attend a creative writing workshop prior to the ceremony by applying for a place through their entry form, available from school librarians or the Arts Education Team at Aberdeen City Council.

Word, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary,  will see more than 50 authors, thinkers and commentators from across the globe come to Aberdeen for an energetic, three-day mix of readings, discussions, film screenings and exhibitions.

It incorporates successful Schools’ and Children’s festivals, sponsored again by Marathon Oil, to inspire booklovers of all ages.

Annette Murray, Aberdeen City Council Arts Education Co-ordinator, said: “The competition gives secondary pupils an opportunity to express themselves imaginatively, and for some to see their work published in the latest of a series of anthologies of young people’s writing.

“They are free to explore the idea of ‘Something to Celebrate’ in any way they choose and the diverse range of responses we receive always brings some surprises.

“We had some wonderful submissions last year and we are now eager to see as many secondary pupils as possible put their imaginations into gear and get writing.”

What’s the Story?is open to all secondary pupils in the city and shire and entries from S1-S3 pupils must be a maximum of 1,000 words, those of S4-S6 pupils cannot exceed 1,200 words.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday April 13.

Stories should be loosely based on the theme of ‘Something to Celebrate’ and should be typed on one side of paper only and double-spaced. Each page should be numbered with the title of the story at the top.

Please call 01224 346 361 for an entry form. Stories should be emailed to hevans@aberdeencity.gov.uk or posted to: Heather Evans, Arts Education Projects Assistant, Arts Education Team, Aberdeen City Council, Summerhill Centre, Stronsay Drive, Aberdeen AB15 6JA.