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!
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.
Paul Torday published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen aged 60. The family have decided to set up this new prize in Torday’s honour, celebrating first novels by authors aged 60 or over.
The winner will receive £1,000, with a set of Paul Torday’s collected works. Runners-up will receive one specially selected Paul Torday novel with a commemorative book plate.
Entry to the 2020 prize is now open.
The deadline for entries is 30 November 2019 at 5pm (GMT).
- Submissions must have been first published in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019
- Submissions must be in English and must not be a translation
- Submissions must be the author’s first published full length fiction work, but they can have had works published of other lengths or other genres in the past
- Applicants must be aged 60 or over at the date of first print publication of the novel and must be living at the date of submission
- The prize does not accept books that are only available in e-format or that are self-published or where the author has contributed or paid for the costs of publishing.
- Submissions must be made by the print publisher
Congratulations to Anne Youngson, winner of the inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize, for her wonderful book Meet Me At The Museum, and to runner up Norma MacMaster for the haunting Silence Under A Stone.
The inaugural Paul Torday Memorial Prize is awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60. Prize fund £1,000 plus a set of the collected works of British writer Paul Torday, who himself only published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of 60.
PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE WINNER:
ANNE YOUNGSON FOR MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM AWARDED £1,00
Anne Youngson, 70, worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. Meet Me at the Museum is her debut novel. Anne lives in Oxfordshire.
Anita Sethi, Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge says:
I loved this engrossing story of friendship and family – it fascinates both in the form of its excellent use of the epistolary, and in its content as it explores actual human archaeology and the archaeology of the human heart.
PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE RUNNER-UP: NORMA MACMASTER FOR SILENCE UNDER A STONE (DOUBLEDAY IRELAND) Age at publication: 81
Norma MacMaster was born and reared in County Cavan before continuing her studies in Derry, Dublin, Belfast and Montreal. She was a secondary school teacher and counsellor in Ireland and Canada and was ordained a minister of the Church of Ireland in 2004. A contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1, she is the author of a memoir, Over My Shoulder. She and her late husband have one daughter. Norma lives by the sea in North County Dublin and wrote Silence Under A Stone ‘a bit now and a bit then’, typing with two fingers in her attic. It is her first novel. Norma was born in Cavan and lives in Dublin.
Kate Mosse, Paul Torday Memorial Prize Judge says:
A beautiful, subtle, elegant novel! A story of closed communities, of the schisms of religion, of fear, and faith, of anger and being unable to forgive, this is a beautifully written and very moving story.
The awards were given out by Jackie Kay at the The Society of AuthorsAwards Party in Southwark Cathedral, introduced by Philip Pullman, where £100,000 of prize money was given out in total.
It will be awarded to a first novel by a writer over 60. Prize fund £1,000 plus a set of the collected works of British writer Paul Torday, who himself only published his first novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at the age of 60. Judged by Mark Lawson, Kate Mosse and Anita Sethi.
- Sealskin by Su Bristow (Orenda Books)
- Walking Wounded by Sheila Llewellyn (Sceptre)
- Silence Under a Stone by Norma MacMaster (Doubleday Ireland)
- The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson (Two Roads)
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Zaffre)
- Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson (Doubleday)
Commenting, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize judges said:
This inaugural shortlist vitally reminds us that writing is a job with no mandatory starting date, demonstrated through excellent historical fiction alive with time and period, magical explorations of landscape and love, a devastating story about the hidden consequences of the brutality of wars, and an exploration of the archaeology of the human heart.
The winner will be announced at The Society of Authors Awards Party on Monday 17th June at Southwark Cathedral.
Delighted to announce that The Lost Magician has won the Teach Primary Book Award 2019 (KS2)
The runner up was Our Castle by The Sea , by Lucy Strange, and the other shortlisted titles were Unexpected Twist by Michael Rosen, The Whispers by Greg Howard, The Train to Impossible Places by PG Bell and Boy 87 by Ele Fountain.
One of the judges, Dan Freedman, praised the book’s “magical storytelling”
I’m thrilled the book has been honoured amongst such wonderful stories and look forward to more readers, in and outside the classroom, discovering the world of Folio.
Thank you to all who have voted and supported the book so far, it means the world, for this story is very personal and dear to me.
If you felt able to continue that support, it would be wonderful. Public voting opens here on the 1st April, and you have until the 30th to vote, and the winner will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Stationer’s Hall on the 8th May.