Young writers urged to pen magical story and win a Kindle Fire HD

Published: Monday 5th June 2017 by Tom Drinkall

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KCOM is searching for talented young writers to take part in a magical story competition.

Inspired by the UK City of Culture 2017’s Big Malarkey children’s literature festival, KCOM is launching its Young Writers Competition in a bid to find Hull and East Yorkshire’s most exciting young story tellers.

Each week children aged 14 and under will have the chance to write the next exciting twist or turn in the story by adding a new paragraph. They can use their imagination and creative flair to decide exactly how the drama, or comedy, or romance, or amazing giant robot space battle unfolds.

It’s entirely up to the writers where they want the story to go.

KCOM will provide the first paragraph and after that the kids are in control. The only fixed part of the story is that it starts with “The Magic Phonebox”.

Each week for the next seven weeks KCOM will pick the best paragraph to continue the story with the winners each receiving a Kindle Fire and book vouchers.

Every child who enters will receive one of KCOM’s popular commemorative K6 phonebox keyrings.

Cathy Phillips, KCOM’s chief marketing officer, said: “We’re delighted our Young Writers Competition will give Hull and East Yorkshire’s talented young story tellers a chance to shine.

“There are so many great literary events taking place as part of UK City of Culture year that we hope a whole new generation of best-selling authors will be inspired to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.

“The story will start with a magic phone box, but where it goes from there is entirely up to you. It could transport heroes into space, act as a doorway to another world or maybe deliver a most unexpected phone call to a passer-by. Be creative, let your imaginations run riot and we can’t wait to read the results.”

When the story is complete it will be transformed into an animation so the winners will be able to see their heroes, villains and mad cap adventures brought to life on screen.

To get things started, Hull children’s author and illustrator Calvin Innes, who pens the Tiny Twisted Tales series of books, will set the scene with an opening paragraph. He’ll provide the launch pad, it’s up to the youngsters to give the story wings.

Each continuing paragraph only needs to be a couple of sentences long, so young yarn spinners are urged to cram as much detail, fun and adventure into each one as they can.

Neil Kenningham, deputy head teacher of Newland St John CofE Academy, north Hull, said his pupils were looking forward to taking part in the competition.

He said: “We are always keen to promote writing so this is a perfect opportunity for us to get our children to write as creatively as possible, while linking in with the 2017 UK City of Culture events.

“We have lots of talented young writers here, so hopefully they’ll be coming up with some exciting ideas when they put pen to paper. Our whole school will be taking part and we’ll be thinking hard about how to build up an exciting story.”

Children can send their paragraphs to KCOM by visiting its competition page and filling in the form at www.kcomhome.com/storyteller.

They must attach their name, age, contact phone number and have their parents’ permission to take part.

The competition will run from Monday, 5 June, to Monday, 24 July, with seven weekly winners being chosen on the Monday of each week.

Cathy Phillips, added: “I’m sure there are many budding JK Rowlings, Roald Dahls and David Walliams out there bursting with creativity and waiting to be discovered. So get those pencils scribbling, those fingers typing and those brains imagining – and good luck!”

How the story starts:

By Calvin Innes

Rain thundered down upon an already soaking footpath as a bitter wind whistled through barren treetops and between twisted, finger-like branches. Leaves, toys and all manner of debris were swept along the roadside, caught up in a torrent of dank, brown water as over-stretched drains burst and overflowed. Ancient timbers creaked on empty houses and windows shutters clattered noisily beneath the force of the storm now in its fourth day.

The village had been abandoned as people hurried to get to safety, away from the falling trees and flooded streets. Beside the village green was a phone box. Crouched within the phone box was a small, very scared, child. With their hands clasped tightly over their ears, to shield themselves from the roaring wind and rain, they almost missed the sound of the phone ringing.

“Hello?”

The voice on the other end of the phone spoke slowly and deliberately, “Hold on my dear, this may be a bit of a bumpy ride.”

A flash of light, far brighter than the lightning that had lit up the sky for the past four days, filled the village green. The phone box, which had stood firmly in the same spot for more than thirty years, was gone.

Published: Monday 5th June 2017 by Tom Drinkall

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