School is back, you're settling into new classes and the 2014 Sydney Youth Writing competition is about to be launched. We can't wait to see what wonderful writing you have in store for us this year.
The competition is open to primary school students - aged 7-12. The competition closing date this year is Friday 6 June 2014. This gives our judges enough time to read all entries, choose the finalists and edit for publication. The annual book will be launched at the end of November at our awards night. The date and venue will be announced shortly. Prizes are awarded for First Second and Third Prizes. Certificates are awarded for Highly Commended, Commended and Encouragement. All finalists are published in the book.
Our signature words will be announced very shortly.
Categories and age groups will remain the same:
Plays and Scripts: No more than two A4 pages.
Short Stories: Word limit of 750 words. (No, we won't consider anything longer! Editing is a great skill to learn.)
Free choice: This category is for short items such as comedy skits, letters, diary entries, funny ideas. Please no expositions or projects on bees - this is a creative writing competition. We want to see your imagination on paper - not your research. No more than an A 4 page.
Poetry: No more than an A4 page.
A new rule this year is a limit of 3 entries per student per category. We'd like you to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. So if you have written 10 poems, look over them all, read them out aloud, ask advice from teachers and parents and send us your best three.
A good tip for getting started is to write from experience. Sink yourself deep into a place or an event or an idea that you know really well and can share. Start by describing a special place - the smells, sounds, sights. See what develops. Give your mind time to wander - don't feel pressured to use the first thing you write. The exciting thing about writing is seeing how your mind works: it mulls and kneads over ideas finding new ways of expressing what you want to say. That takes time. So don't leave your entries until the last minute.
Above all, start writing now. It always takes time to develop your ideas, find the right words and edit them so that they are ready for publishing.