Our National Writing Competitions run throughout the academic year for nurseries, primary and secondary schools. We usually run our poetry competitions at the beginning of each half term and our creative writing competitions in the second half. For primary and secondary schools we normally run one competition across the academic year.
To help teachers see what we have scheduled, we have a Competition Planner.
After a competition has closed, entries go to our Editorial department, who create regional books and read every single poem or story we've received. Work is selected for publication based on perception, imagination, expression, creativity and use of language. If a teacher has inspired and motivated their pupils (with or without the help of our resources), this means we receive some good poetry/stories, a lot of which is of an equally high standard. The editors will reject work that doesn't meet expectations. With the teacher resources we offer, it does mean pupils have a realistic chance of seeing their work in print.
We send competition packs to schools, which always include a lesson plan in line with the Curriculum. Our lesson plans are prescriptive, but do give teachers the freedom to explore the poetic form or techniques in their own way. We have recently introduced planning sheets for pupils, which have been an enormous success. The lesson plan and planning sheets have resulted in some fantastic, original poetry and short stories/mini sagas. The resources we provide to teachers are designed to raise awareness of poetry and creative writing with the aim of getting children to enjoy the creative and technical writing processes as well as participating in the project.
We award prizes to both pupils and schools. Prizes vary from competition to competition, but include large cash prizes for schools and book tokens for pupils. Prizes are awarded once a competition has closed for that year, so winners are announced the following academic year. Parents do not have to buy a copy of the book their child is in to be published, and their child will still be in with a chance of winning a prize for themselves and their school as long as they are published. Copyright remains with the author.