I WON­DER if you like writ­ing sto­ries? Per­haps you’d like to be an au­thor when you’re grown up? Maybe you want to write a story but can’t come up with a good idea? How about go­ing in for the Jac­que­line Wil­son Cre­ative Writ­ing Prize this year?

First News - - FRONT PAGE - Jac­que­line Wil­son

IT’S not go­ing to be hard work, I prom­ise! Your story should be be­tween 750 and 1,000 words. That’s long enough to cre­ate interesting char­ac­ters and de­velop your plot, but not so long that you’ll get tired out writ­ing it.

You don’t have to write it all in one go. You could spend about 20 min­utes on it one day, an­other 20 min­utes the next and then the third day you could fin­ish it and write those two im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing words at the bot­tom of the page: The End.

You don’t have to think up your own idea. I’ve got one for you. The theme is Un­likely Friend­ships, in­spired by my lat­est book, Rose Rivers. Rose is a wealthy Vic­to­rian girl, who is bored and lonely and feels frus­trated not be­ing able to go away to school like her twin brother, Ru­pert. In Vic­to­rian times young girls were sup­posed to loll about at home, sketch­ing and play­ing the pi­ano and ar­rang­ing the flow­ers. How­ever, very poor girls had to go out to work from the age of 11 or 12, and toil first thing in the morn­ing to last thing at night. This is the life Clover Moon leads, the young nurs­ery maid who looks af­ter Rose’s younger broth­ers and sis­ters. They be­come great friends in se­cret – such a friend­ship would be frowned on in Vic­to­rian times.

You don’t have to write about Rose and Clover for the com­pe­ti­tion. You can choose any un­likely friend­ship – be­tween two very dif­fer­ent boys, or a child and a much older per­son. It doesn’t have to be an ac­tual per­son. It could be a story about a girl or boy and an an­i­mal. Per­haps it could be about an imag­i­nary per­son or some­one who lived in the past? I’m sure you’ll have some bet­ter ideas.

You might be tempted to en­ter now, but are won­der­ing how on earth you’re go­ing to start your story. That’s al­ways the most dif­fi­cult bit. How­ever, I’ve made it easy for you. I’ve writ­ten the first two lines my­self.

Your story should start: I’d wanted to find a spe­cial friend ever since I came here. How­ever, I never thought I’d find such an amaz­ing one!

So why don’t you carry on with the story? Then, sim­ply go to first.news/jwwp2018 and see how you can en­ter for the prize. The win­ning en­try will be printed in one of my own books – so you can proudly say you’re now a pub­lished writer. You will also win all sorts of good­ies, too.

Have fun writ­ing your story. Good luck!

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