Me, Myself and I: a writing competition for primary school children

Here's a chance to see your name in print – and Nadia Shireen, our Writer in Residence, wants YOU to become the star of your story. 

Hello, book folk, lovely to see you again. Have you done something different with your hair? It’s looking wonderful. I’m very excited about this blog, because this is where I get to announce a BIG AND EXCITING COMPETITION! We’ve thought of a special name for it, which is…

Here’s my colleague Nadia to tell you all about it! (Hang on… aren’t I Nadia? Yes, I am. Anyway.)

Let me tell you a story. A long, long time ago, back when it was all dinosaurs and black and white telly, I was seven years old. Every week, the local paper would print the names of children who’d won a swimming badge. After much splashing about, I managed to get my 20-metre badge, which was great, but the most exciting thing by far was seeing my name IN PRINT. It made me feel special. It also meant I was definitely a proper person, who was alive and who would be noticed by other people. I imagined that people might stop me in the street and whisper, 'It’s her! The girl who got her 20-metre swimming badge at Wellington Baths just last Saturday!'

They didn’t, but it was a nice thing to daydream about.

I’ve seen my name in print a few times since, and I always get a thrill. It can feel a little strange, too. Does this mean I’m a ‘proper’ author, just like all those other names I’ve seen on book covers over the years? Maybe it does.

When I was a kid, I also spent a lot of time writing stories. The main characters were generally boys called Sebastian, or girls called Sophie (I blame The BFG). The stories certainly never, ever featured a quiet brown girl called Nadia. I didn’t think that people like me really belonged in books. I’m not sure why. There weren’t many people like me in the books I was reading, which may have had something to do with it.

Now I still love making up all sorts of characters – and none of them really look like me at all (I mean, most of them are animals.)

But sometimes, don’t you think it would be fun to read a story about a person just like you? I think it would.

THE CHALLENGE

We want you to write a story of no more than 500 words. (That's the limit, not the aim, so it's absolutely fine to send in something with fewer words than that.) 

The story can be about absolutely ANYTHING and can be set anywhere you like… In space, the jungle, at school, underwater, in a shop.

There’s just one VERY simple rule: YOU are the main character, and you have to use your REAL FIRST NAME.

Simple, huh?

So, if your name is Sam, you can write a story about Sam finding a mouse in his sock. If your name is Ayesha, you can tell me about Ayesha winning a singing competition. If your name is Kelli, your story can be about Kelli, the first person to skateboard on the moon. It’s up to you! And if you want to illustrate your story, or do it as a comic strip, that’s fine too. In fact, we'd love you to illustrate your own cover, or maybe have a go at illustrating the main character – YOU!

WHAT DO YOU WIN?

Five winners will get the chance to see their entry turned into an actual, properly printed one-off book by an actual, real life publisher – with their name on the cover and everything!

IMPORTANT BITS 

  • This is a competition for children of primary school age – you can take part as a class or enter individually
  • The deadline is 10am on Monday 21 May

Schools and families can send in entries by post to:

Anna McKerrow, G8 Battersea Studios, 80 Silverthorne Road, Battersea, London SW8 3HE

Alternatively, you can email us at digital@booktrust.org.uk. Please attach the entries to your email or, alternatively, send us a link from Dropbox or another file hosting service. It's best not to use a file transfer service like WeTransfer, as these links tend to expire after a set amount of time. 

Terms and conditions

  1. To enter the competition, you must be a resident of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland
  2. The competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of BookTrust
  3. Although this competition is aimed at primary schools as a fun class activity, any child can enter individually if they are of primary school age
  4. Entries must be submitted by 10am on Monday 21 May
  5. Entries will be judged by BookTrust and Nadia Shireen. Our decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into
  6. BookTrust reserves the right to amend the competition end date at any time, so do keep checking the website

Get scribbling!

That’s it! I can’t wait to read your tall tales.

See you soon,

Nadia xxxx

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