The John West Fantasy Writing competition for young people is now in its fourth year.
Having attracted over 11,000 entries in 2013, it is fast becoming a very popular writing competition in Ireland.
For the 2014 competition, students nationwide are asked to write a short story in the fantasy and science fiction genre with the theme, ‘A Wild Adventure’. There are three categories – primary (5th/6th class), junior secondary (1st – 3rd year) and senior secondary (Transition Year/4th - 6th Year). The closing date for entries is November 29, 2013. Teachers who submit entries before November 8, will be entered into a draw to win a weekend break for two in Ireland. Further information is available at www.john-west.ie/writing-competition
The overall winner will receive a tablet PC and a meeting with an Irish literary agent. Each of the three category winners will get an iPod Touch.
Shane Hegarty, the new head of the judging panel for the John West competition, has three tips on writing for prospective competition entrants – and indeed all prospective authors in Tipperary:
1. The hardest part is getting started. So just start. Anywhere. The beginning of a story is good, but the middle or the end will do just as well. But you’d be surprised what happens when you stop thinking about writing and just write;
2. Write the kind of story you want to tell. Don’t worry about what’s popular, what sells, what other people read or write;
3. When you’ve written it, put it away and try and forget about it. A while later, come back to it and read it fresh. Then it’ll be time to rewrite it. And you should never be afraid to rewrite it.