It’s Week 2 of my #WildAboutWriting competition with Blackwell’s and Hachette Children’s. Here’s my second writing tip for every 7-12 year old trying to win £500 of books for their school library. Today I’m giving some advice on how to create Cool Characters – that spring to life on the page, keep you reading and linger in the memory after you’ve finished..
Each week of my #Wildaboutwriting competition with Blackwell’s Bookshop and Hachette Children’s I’m going to be sharing a different creative writing tip. This week, how to let your imagination really run wild!
Do you know a budding writer? I’ve teamed up with Blackwell’s to invite children aged 7 – 12 years across the UK to get creative in a new summer writing competition. The young entrants will need to write a story of up to 1,000 words using the following line from me to get them started: “It was midnight, and far beyond my window, a wolf in the darkness was calling my name …” This is their opportunity to show off their creativity and be in with a chance to win £500 worth of books for their school library along with a school event with Piers Torday, a £50 Blackwell’s voucher, signed copies of Piers Torday’s books and a small number of exclusive printed copies of their very own story for their personal enjoyment. This competition is only available to those in the UK and Republic of Ireland. All entries must be submitted before midnight on Sunday 13th September 2020. ENTER HERE: bit.ly/3ii4Bdz
It has been a strange old few months for many of us, but what has kept me going, and kept me so inspired, has been all the amazing creative writing by children.
Research by the National Literacy Trust has revealed that lockdown gave many children more time and space to write, and that nearly 40% of you were writing more often and enjoying it more. That’s a lot of stories!
I’ve also been blown away by the hundreds of responses I have had to my story starters, and so to celebrate your wonderful creativity, I’ve created an extra special summer holiday creative challenge for you all.
My publisher, Hachette Children’s Group, and I are delighted to have teamed up with Blackwell’s bookseller to invite children across the UK and Ireland to get creative in this special summer writing competition for 7-12 year olds.
We would like our young writers to write up to 1,000 words using the following line to get them started…
…they can then take the tale wherever their imagination chooses.
This is their chance to show off their creativity and be in with a chance to win £500 worth of books for their school library along with an exclusive printed copy of their winning story, with a specially designed cover. The prize also includes a school event from me (either virtually or in person, when circumstances allow) and a £50 Blackwell’s voucher. Also 19 runners up will each receive a £10 Blackwell’s voucher and a signed copy of The Last Wild.
The competition is open to residents of the UK and Republic of Ireland, from 5th August to 13th September 2020.
I’m so looking forward to reading everyone’s entries.
Here is a little video from me introducing the competition and for more information on the terms and conditions and how to enter, please
UPDATE: This competition is now closed to submissions. We are reading the entries, and the winner will be announced early in October. Watch this space!
For #NationalWritingDay here is a mini story competition!
The Paul Torday Memorial Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60. The prize includes a set of the collected works of British writer Paul Torday (my father), who published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of 60. Judged this year by William Fiennes, Catherine Johnson and Sarah Waters.
- The Burning Land by George Alagiah
- Madeleine by Euan Cameron
- Reparation by Gaby Koppel
- Find Me Falling by Fiona Vigo Marshall
- As the Women Lay Dreaming by Donald S Murray
- The Stranger She Knew by Rosalind Stopps
Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge Sarah Waters says: “There’s a great range of novels on this exciting shortlist: some have the pace and punch of thrillers and detective stories, others have the lyricism of poetry or the disconcerting shimmer of dream and nightmare. What they all have in common, however, is an interest in tackling some of the big issues of our time -– issues like injustice and reparation, trauma and recovery. They are powerful books by really talented authors.”
The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize was awarded to Anne Youngson for Meet Me at the Museum in 2019. Total prize fund: £1,000.
Here are some brilliant ideas to entertain lockdown children.
Award-winning children’s author, Katherine Rundell, has edited The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown , which is completely free for all children and families. The extraordinary collection includes short stories, poems, essays and pictures from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon, Jacqueline Wilson – and Katherine herself.
I’m delighted to have contributed small essay about the beauty of hares in amongst such treasures.
The Book of Hopes aims to comfort, inspire and encourage children during lockdown through delight, new ideas, ridiculous jokes and heroic tales. There are true accounts of cats and hares and plastic-devouring caterpillars; there are doodles and flowers; revolting poems and beautiful poems; and there are stories of space travel and new shoes and dragons.
The collection is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals. Bloomsbury intends to publish a gift book based on the project to be published in the autumn in support of NHS Charities Together.
“A few weeks ago, I began a Hope Project; I emailed some of the children’s writers and artists whose work I love most. I asked them to write something very short, fiction or non-fiction, or draw something that would make the children reading it feel like possibility-ists: something that would make them laugh or wonder or snort or smile. The response was magnificent, which shouldn’t have surprised me, because children’s writers and illustrators are professional hunters of hope. I hope that the imagination can be a place of shelter for children in the hard months ahead and that The Book of Hopes might be useful in that, even if only a little.”
During the schools closure, in addition to my daily storytime on weekdays (2.30pm, Instagram Live), I’m also going to be creating and sharing some creative writing resources and tips for your children learning and playing at home.
Here is the first very simple one. Enjoy!
It’s wonderful that so many of you want to continue reading my books out to your class online during the school closure. Normally this is more complicated than it sounds due to copyright issues (my publisher holds the audio book rights) but owing to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in, Hachette Children’s Group have generously granted an open license to September 30th, and you can find the details below.
All of my titles are available as audiobooks on Audible.
And I will also be reading all of my titles out loud, daily on weekdays, at 2.30pm every day, on Instagram Live (@piers_torday), a chapter a day, beginning with The Last Wild. The chapters will be available on Instagram TV for 24 hours.
Happy Reading and Listening! #unitedinbooks
Hachette Children’s Group: Open Licences and Permissions for Online Story-Time and Classroom Read-Aloud Videos and Live Events – information
In order to encourage reading and classroom read-aloud experiences, and to support schools, bookshops and public libraries forced to close by the COVID-19 situation, Hachette Children’s Group is permitting authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians and booksellers to create and share story-time and read-aloud videos and live events on closed educational platforms or streamed temporarily on a live platform.
GUIDELINES FOR EVERYONE
Teachers, librarians, booksellers, authors and illustrators providing content for children during the period 19th March to 30th September 2020:
- Should announce the title of the book and the name of the author and/or illustrator as part of each video
- Should notify us via email (addressed to HCG.email@example.com) when they post or stream a story-time or read-aloud video or live event, providing the following information:
- Name and address of the library, school, or shop
- Title, author and ISBN of the book that is read
- Contact information for the individual responsible for the reading
- The educational or social media platform on which the video or live event is posted or held and a link to that video or live event
For clarity, permission is granted only for free use of the readings. If you are planning to charge for any use of these recordings, you should contact HCG.firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance, seeking formal agreement, which may not be granted.
Guidelines for educational settings
- School story-time or classroom read-aloud videos in which an Hachette Children’s Group book is read aloud and the book is displayed may only be created and posted to closed educational platforms
- These storytime and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform until the end of September 2020, after which they must be removed from the educational platform, unless this permission is extended by formal agreement
Guidelines for public libraries and bookshops
For authors, illustrators, booksellers and librarians who wish to provide a story-time reading or other read-aloud experience to young people who would otherwise visit the library or bookshop in person:
- Story time or read-aloud live events in which an Hachette Children’s Group book is read out loud and the book is displayed may be streamed live, in real time, on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram
- These story time or read-aloud live events may not be maintained in the archive of the social media platform and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that videos of the live events are not retained. Because these platforms automatically archive live events by default, when your event has concluded, please locate the recorded live video in your account (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and delete it.
Our guidance on the percentage of content to be recorded for hosting on open platforms, is usually to follow standard permissions practice, specifically designed to protect IP. However, we acknowledge that we are not operating in normal circumstances, so are happy to allow authors or illustrators, who wish to do so, to host recorded content of themselves reading their book/s on open platforms, until the 30th September.
If you are sharing your content with a third party platform, please do let us know so we can support this activity online and please do make a note to ensure the content is taken down by 30th September. Of course, no one knows how long the current situation is going to go on for, so it may be that we decide to extend this date and we will of course let you know.
I hope everyone is keeping safe at this challenging time for us all.
Sadly all my school and public events are either cancelled or postponed, check back for details in due course.
All my titles are available as e-books from the usual online retailers, links on my book pages.
All my titles are available as audio books from Audible, links on my book pages.
I will shortly be sharing classroom resources for all my books, from this website.
And soon, I will be doing readings of my books on Facebook and Instagram, as well as creative writing tutorials to help with the home schooling, check my social media channels for details.