So how is the book coming along? You still have a couple of weeks to send in your entry! All you need is a wonderful idea for a story you really want to tell, and we’ll give you the encouragement to write it – and that’s what is being offered here. You have until June 30th to send us your idea for a children’s book that could become a classic of the future.
Julia Churchill, Joan Aiken’s rep. at London literary agents A.M.Heath who are sponsoring The Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize (and hoping to discover a new talent!) tells you what we need:
“To get a good sense of the voice, concept and where the character is headed, we’d like to see the first 10,000 words PLUS a short description of the book (a few lines) AND a one page outline that shows the spine of the story.”
Sounds simple? Joan Aiken might have other ideas, having turned out over a hundred books herself, she knew it wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, and writing for children she felt should always be the best. But she also helps you fight the fear and do it anyway…
She imagines a test – an inquisition even – for the would be writer:
Well we aren’t the Spanish Inquisition, but what we are looking for is someone who has a story they really want to tell, and which they think children will enjoy…!
As Joan Aiken also said, all she ever wanted to do was give children the same wonderful pleasure that she herself had from reading as a child.
Well, she has plenty more advice and encouragement to give:
Take time to write regularly, brood about your story before you fall asleep and let your dreams take over, listen for the voice which will tell your story, find your imaginary reader and tell it to them…
All these thoughts and much more come from her very entertaining and generous little book The Way to Write for Children, but of course as she also says. there are many, many different ways, and we are waiting to hear yours…!
Find the book here, and much more about Joan Aiken and her writing life
on the Joan Aiken Website
And get writing!
Full details of conditions & how to enter are here on the A.M.Heath site
Open to un-agented writers in the UK and Ireland
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