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Writing competition from Nicola Morgan

12th May 20

Author Nicola Morgan is running an 'anti-viral' creative writing and poster competition for those aged 11-18 years, with free visits from the author and books as prizes. Closing date is 31 May.

Nicola says, "Diaries and creative writing in general can really help during times of stress. And if this isn't stressful, I don't know what is! But we can beat this - beat the stress AND beat the bug."

There are two categories for entrants, for those aged 11-14 and 15-18 years; 10 year olds can also enter.

These are the writing categories for entrants to choose from:

A. Letter From the Future

Imagine it's many years from now and you are writing a letter (if letters exist!) to a young person who was not born until after this pandemic. Perhaps it's your own child or grandchild! They are doing a school project on what life was like during this time and you are sharing your memories with them. They want details; they want to know how you felt; they want to get a real sense of what it was like.

Be specific, be observant. I am looking for a detailed picture of how it is for you - or you can imagine being someone else and show what it's like for them. For example, you could (if you like) imagine that you're an elderly person now, or a nurse, or a politician - anyone! (But find a way to show in the letter that this is whose viewpoint you've chosen.)

B. Taking an Optimistic view

You can write this in any form you like (story or fact; argument or poem; serious or comedy; even a list, if the list is really great!), but you must take an optimistic view of the coronavirus situation, perhaps saying how you think we might live differently and better when this is over, or noticing things that you or others are learning now that might be positive.

You don't have to think of everything positive: just focus on one or two or more things that you find interesting or relevant or important. Be specific and use your imagination, lateral thinking, insight and empathy.

C. Love in the Time of Corona

Write a fictional story sparked by this idea. Try to include details to show that you're really noticing what's going on, really thinking, processing it in your mind. the story can be happy or sad, serious or funny. You can interpret the title how you want. Time to get creative!

D. Caring for Corona

What would you say to someone who is struggling with their anxiety, emotions and well-being at the moment? The person could be you... What do you think I would say to someone? So, in this you are giving advice, as a wise friend.

E. Poster Power

Loads of people of all ages seem to be defying the death-preventing advice about social distancing, hand-washing etc. Design a poster or advert to make people do the right thing!

In each age group there will be three individual prizes, so six individual prize-winners. Prizes will include signed books, bundles of books from Hachette Children's Group and Walker Books, posters, and extracts from each of the winners' work will be posted on Nicola's website. Nicola is also offering a free visit to the winners' schools.

You can find full guidelines, writing tips and information on how to send your entry on Nicola Morgan's website, here:

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