Encouraging creative writing
Children in Years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to win their share of up to $11 750 when the national Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship opens next week.
Launched in support of National Literacy and Numeracy Week, the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship aims to encourage the use of imagination and to foster a love of handwriting in children.
Judged by celebrity author Andy Griffiths and child psychologist Jocelyn Brewer, the competition aims to get children away from the laptop or computer and get writing.
Having written more than 20 children’s books, including the much-loved Just! series, Mr Griffiths is passionate about inspiring a love books among children.
He devised this year’s story starter, ‘‘I used to believe,’’ as a way to prompt children’s imaginations to get writing.
‘‘Programs such as the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship are instrumental in fostering a love of creative writing, handwriting and the use of imagination amongst children — valuable skills that children take with them throughout their lives,’’ Mr Griffiths said.
Ms Brewer said creative writing was an important activity for young children to practise and it had many benefits to their educational and psychological development.
‘‘Devising a plot, developing characters and working out a narrative is enormously rewarding for young children. It encourages problem solving, the ability to think independently, develops their curiosity and gives them a vehicle to express their individuality in a creative way,’’ she said.
Ms Brewer said handwriting was particularly important to practise and it also encouraged time away from the computer keyboard and modern technology — which could be beneficial.
‘‘Technology has its place, but there is something wonderfully tactile about holding a pen and putting your thoughts on paper. Not only does this help to develop fine motor skills, research suggests that handwriting actively engages the imaginative part of the brain, which is so important in a young child’s development,’’ she said.
Entries must be between 250 and 350 words. Entries open on June 2 and must be received by last mail on August 22. First, second and third prizes of up to $1000 will be awarded in each state group (NSW/ACT, Queensland/ Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Austral, and Victoria/Tasmania).
For more information visit www.pilotpen.com.au