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Big Dreams writing competition & festival

18th May 20

Puffin is to launch a Big Dreamers Writing Competition for children aged 6-18 years in the run-up to its online Festival of Big Dreams (8th - 14th June), part of its 80th birthday celebrations.

To enter the competition, children aged six to 18 will need to write a 300-word short story on the subject of 'Big Dreams'. They can interpret the theme however they like; an epic fantasy inspired by a dream, their favourite book, an amazing adventure that takes place in another world, or a true-to-life story set in an imaginary school.

There are three age categories - six to 10 years, 11 to 14 years and 15 to 18 years.

Prizes from National Book Tokens include £200 for each of the three category winners, while two runners up will get £100 and 16 will receive a £50 token.

The deadline for entries is 28th May and winners will be announced on 14th June via Facebook Live during the final day of the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams. The winning stories will also be published on the National Book Tokens website.

The Puffin Festival of Big Dreams will launch on 8th June in partnership with Waterstones, bringing together authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson, Robin Stevens, Nick Sharratt, Dapo Adeola, Nathan Bryon and Nadia Shireen across seven days of online activities to help inspire children to keep on dreaming.

The festival will be hosted on Puffin's YouTube and Facebook Live channels, featuring writing masterclasses, draw-alongs and creative challenges.

Every weekday from 8th -12th June Puffin will broadcast two new videos, culminating in a live, interactive festival on the weekend of 13th and 14th June. Each event will be themed around dreams.

Authors and illustrators taking part include: Jacqueline Wilson (former Children's Laureate), Robin Stevens (Murder Most Unladylike), Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola (Look Up!), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Into the Spotlight), Sam Copeland (Charlie Changes into a Chicken), Nadia Shireen (Bumblebear), Stuart Heritage and Nicola Slater (Jonathan the Magic Pony), Jamie Littler (Frostheart), Rashmi Sirdeshpande (How to be Extraordinary), Yassmin Abdel-Magied (My Name is Layla) and Lucy Hawking (Unlocking the Universe).

The festival will be hosted by former Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and there will also be a special guest appearance from some real life puffins who reside on Coquet Island seabird sanctuary. The full line-up and programme will be announced shortly.

Nick Sharratt will be the Illustrator in Residence for the week. Throughout the festival, children will be asked to submit their own big dreams online using the hashtag #PuffinDreamer for Nick to illustrate, creating a collage of children's dreams to celebrate the power of imagination even during the most challenging times.

Jacqueline Wilson said, "Like so many authors and illustrators, I'm really sad that all the school visits, bookshop events and literary festivals have been cancelled. I'm missing sharing stories and chatting to children, so I'm delighted to be able to take part in the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams so we can reach out to everyone at home or school and share the magic of stories."

Find out more about the Big Dreams writing competition, here:

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