I received around 600 entries in this current competition so if you didn’t win, please don’t feel discouraged.
I run these writing competitions as a free service to encourage young writers and it’s wonderful to see so many fabulous stories.
It takes many many hours of my time to run this competition. So, unfortunately, as I have writing commitments of my own, I simply do not have the time to personally respond to individual queries about the competition or provide personal feedback on any entries.
There was ONE first prize awarded in each age group and all other writers received a certificate.
All the certificates should be sent out by the end of today.
I award a certificate to EVERY entry I receive in the competition. If you didn’t receive a certificate, then I didn’t receive your entry.
The Certificates are awarded as follows:
1. First Prize – one entry in each category. (No second or third prizes are awarded)
2. Highly Commended – This means your entry was of a very high standard.
3. Commended – This means that your entry was of a good standard, but there were some areas that could have been developed more. This might relate to your characters or your plot.
4. Great Participation – This is an encouragement award. It’s a fabulous achievement to have entered your story in this competition and you should definitely keep writing and developing your skills.
SOME GENERAL TIPS
If you would like to enter future competitions, here are some tips that can improve your chances of winning:
1. Don’t go over the word limit ( a few words is okay, but some stories were more than twice the requested length.)
2. Follow the submission guidelines. If you left the ‘subject’ line of your email blank, I probably didn’t receive your entry.
3. Think about the characters in your story – your reader has to like them and care about what happens to them.
4. The plot – Your story has to make sense. The plot (what happens in the story) has to be interesting. It has to get more and more exciting as the story goes on. An unexpected twist at the end is always good.
5. Try not to end your story with your character waking up and finding it was all a dream.
6. Try and make your story different from any story you have ever read.
7.Hook the reader with a strong beginning – they need to know who your main character is, where they are and what’s happening to them right from the start.
8. When your characters talk, it must sound like real people talking – use pauses and actions to make the conversations interesting for the reader.
9. Read your work out loud before you send it in. Does it flow? Have you repeated words or phrases?
10.Try and put your own personality into your writing so that your story sounds different to other people’s.
11. Edit your work until it’s the best it can be.
12. You don’t have to be a good speller to write but you have to get someone who is a good speller to read your work and help you correct it before you send it in.
Thanks again to everyone who entered. It was a pleasure to read your work.
If you want to improve your writing skills, read as many books as you can, practice your writing, do writing courses, ask your teacher for help with your writing.
P.S. Watch this blog for information about the 2014 competition around the middle of next year.