Elaine Forrestal

Writers of the Future

Elaine For­re­stal meet­ing young writ­ers of the future

It’s always a great plea­sure for me to meet young peo­ple who love writ­ing. Some­times I meet them in schools, or Libraries, or at fes­ti­vals. Writ­ing is often a soli­tary activ­ity. It is demand­ing, and involves expos­ing parts of your­self that you don’t nec­es­sar­ily want your friends to know about. It takes some courage just to get the real story down on paper, let alone to talk about it in pub­lic. But enter­ing a writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion is the per­fect place to start.

Writ­ing com­pe­ti­tions are fan­tas­tic. They cre­ate a safe forum for aspir­ing writ­ers. They bring together like-minded peo­ple and allow them to reveal as lit­tle or as much as they choose. Emerg­ing writ­ers can put their work out there with a degree of anonymity. It’s not really about win­ning — although that is always excit­ing if it hap­pens. It is much more about get­ting the story down on the page, writ­ing and re-writing it, get­ting it fin­ished, pre­sent­ing it neatly, and on time. These are all skills that a writer must develop and what bet­ter way to start than by enter­ing a com­pe­ti­tion? This is the time of year for it. While it’s wet and cold out­side you can con­cen­trate on your writ­ing, hope­fully with­out too many distractions.

The Tim Win­ton Awards, the Make Your Own Story Book Awards, the Armadale Young Writer’s Awards and other locally based writ­ing com­pe­ti­tions are open at the moment. Check out your school or Com­mu­nity Library for details.

Happy writ­ing.