We've not received any entries for this contest. Please can you express interest if you are planning to submit, otherwise we may have to consider cancelling this! Thank you.
It's September, which means another school year has begun. The break of the summer has finally settled and all the kids, equipped with their little rucksacks, are ready for education!
For young children, school is about learning and exploring those basic skills we now take for granted as we get older. We learn them through a variety of lessons, and reading is essentially one of those. Do you remember those stories you read when you were in Primary or Elementary school?
Did you ever read Magic School Bus? The series, by Joanna Cole, featured a class of children and their eccentric teacher Ms Frizzle travelling on a bus to the most exotic of locations to understand how things worked- from inside the human body, to a water system and even outer space. They had a sense of humour that appealed to their target audience, with real factual information children were learning along the way.
Another fantastic series is the Horrible Histories by Terry Deary- with similar sense of humour used to educate the target audience, teaching children about eras in history. The series expanded beyond historic eras, covering geography, science, even sport and eventually was turned into an animated TV series, a live action series and even song versions!
We want you to create either a short story or poem that is aimed at a target audience of 6-9 year olds.
The theme is to write something that teaches the target audience something factual: This can be anything such as the colours of the rainbow, the nine times table or even something more challenging such as processes and historic events. Thinking about your audience is essential.
We strongly advise that when you have written your piece you seek critique and feedback to redraft and improve your piece prior to the deadline. Submissions can be updated up until the deadline. Do not discount the need for checking and redrafting your work.
Prose pieces must be no longer than 1000 words.
Poetry must be no longer than 50 lines.
The entry must be a new piece of work, submitted to deviantART after Sunday 22nd September.
The contest deadline is midnight on Saturday 2nd November, giving you 6 weeks for submission.
Work that respects the reader. Kids and teens aren't dumb, and you don't have to "dumb things down" to reach them. There is a difference between writing a story that is age-appropriate and writing a story that assumes lack of intelligence on the part of the reader.
Work that shows knowledge of children's literature. How many books/stories have you read in the genre/target age you're writing for? If the answer is 0-10, go back to the library. If all you've read in YA/children's are a few recent bestsellers, or the classics, go back to the library. Would you like recommendations? Ask the librarian! Or even...gasp...me!
Work that DOES NOT try to teach a lesson. Children's and young adult fiction is NOT a place for morality tales, any more than adult fiction is. Sure, every story has a slant, or an ideology, because it's impossible for the author not to include what he or she believes in his work. But a story for children is not automatically a vehicle for teaching a lesson.
Good. Damn. Writing. Be creative, be articulate, be beautiful.
Children's novels (or middle grade) is for ages 7-12, and features protagonists who are usually between 9-13. Young Adult fiction is for ages 12+, and features protagonists who are usually between 14 and 18. Use this as a guide when you're writing your poems and stories!
"I want to see pieces that show an understanding of their target audience. Selecting information that will interest children, and presenting it in a way that will sustain their interest, is challenging to anyone over the age of twelve. I'll be looking for well researched, well written pieces that strike the right balance between speaking to children on their level, and giving them the credit they deserve."
"I am looking for something that I could genuinely see being read by children, where the audience has been really considered and educates, not patronises this age group. It needs to be fresh and fun too- make the content exciting to a child!"
"As a precocious little shit, I expect writing to be clear and informative without being patronizing, but seriously, simple doesn't mean stupid and I expect to see respect for the audience"
How to submit
1. Create your piece and submit it to deviantART
2. Sent a note to %CRLiterature with a link to your completed piece
3. %CRLiterature will add it to the contest folder and inform you it is in there.
Please spread the word! Favourite this journal and we look forward to seeing the entries!)
Well... I was planning on doing a project sort of like this, but not necessarily for this age demographic, and mostly as a way to force myself to draw while (re)learning the concepts I'm tutoring.
I suppose being able to explain programming concepts to a 9-year old would be a good gauge of my teaching skills. I'll give it a shot. There probably won't be a whole lot of time for me to draw it the way I would want the finished project to look, but I've got ideas in my head already for the written component.
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