Calling all aspiring young authors in Wicklow

If you are an aspiring writer, a talented storyteller, or simply have a flourishing imagination, then the John West Fantasy Writing Competition wants to hear from you.

John West invites primary and secondary students to compose their very own original fantasy short story and be in with a chance to win some fantastic prizes.

John West want you to compose a short story based in the fantasy and science fiction genre. The theme for this year is “A Wild Adventure”, so think monsters, epic quests, magic, heroes and heroines. There are 3 categories – Primary (5/6th class), Junior Secondary (1st – 3rd year) and Senior Secondary (Transition Year/4-6th Year).

The writing competition, now in its fourth year, attracted over 11,000 entries in 2013 – well up on 2012’s entries when it was closer to 6,000.

Shane Hegarty, the new head of the judging panel for the John West Fantasy Writing Competition, has three tips on writing for prospective competition entrants – and indeed all prospective authors in Wicklow.


Shane says:

“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.

Shane is the author of the forthcoming Darkmouth series for young adults which will be published in 2014.  He says, “The books are about the last child of the last Legend Hunter in the last town on Earth plagued by legends of myth.  This is my first work of fiction since I forged a note from my parents so I could get a day off school in 1990.  Not that I’m recommending this form of fiction, of course!”   The Darkmouth Series will be translated into 12 languages including Hebrew and Korean.

The closing date for entries is November 29, 2013.  Teachers who submit entries before 8th November 2013 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



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