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.