Celebrity judge announced for children's science fiction writing competition

Aspiring young Sussex writers are being urged to put pen to paper and enter this year's National Young Writer's Award and have their stories judged by TV presenter and adventurer, Steve Backshall.

Science fiction writing competition SUS-170331-150945001
Science fiction writing competition SUS-170331-150945001

The free writing competition, which is open for children aged four to 14, challenges kids to open their imagination to the world of science fiction and write a story set in the year 3017 in under 500 words with the theme of ‘the future’.

The lucky winners will be awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris, plus £500 worth of book for their school.

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‘Scope for the weird and wonderful’

The competition is organised by tuition provider, Explore Learning, who have over 100 centres nationwide.

“I’m really excited to be the judge on this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards,” says judge Steve Backshall. “I can’t wait to read the stories that the children come up with. The theme of ‘the future’ gives us so much scope for the weird and wonderful.”

As well as being a TV presenter, wildlife expert, adventurer and public speaker, Backshall is also the author of the best-selling adventure fiction series, The Falcon Chronicles. The story follows eco-warriors Saker and Sinter around the globe as they fight to save endangered animals. The series is made up of Tiger Wars, Ghosts of the Forest, Wilds of the Wolf and Shark Seas.

“Writing was my first love and I think it’s so important for children to let their imaginations run wild and have a go at entering writing competitions like this,”

Backshall adds. “You’re often told to write about what you know, so broaden your experience, learn as much as you can about the wild world in order to better protect it.”

To enter your short story, post all entries (which contact details) to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW or online at explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters.