Monday, 4 July 2011

More summer activities for young readers and writers

I blogged last month about various competitions going on for young writers over the summer, and here are some more book related activities that children might be interested in.

Head down to your local library for the Summer Reading Challenge - this year's theme is Circus Stars. It's free and children get a stage set and stickers to start them off. As they read their way through six books, they help the Circus Stars progress through Practice and Rehearsal to their ultimate goal – Showtime! There's lots of online fun as well as reading. The Challenge was launched in Scotland by Julia Donaldson, the new Children's Laureate.

2012 will be the 25th anniversary of the bestselling Winnie the Witch books, so The Guardian has teamed up with Winnie's publisher, Oxford University Press, and WH Smith, to offer four lucky winners the chance to have their artwork featured as the endpapers for the anniversary edition of Winnie the Witch. The closing date for the competiton (for children aged 5-10) is 22nd August 2011 and the book will be published in July next year.

Another Guardian competiton is their Children's Fiction Prize Book Club. Every week they are featuring one of the books in the running for the Guardian children's fiction prize. They kicked off on Friday with Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout by Andy Stanton. The Young Critics competition is for young readers to share their views on any of the longlisted books. Anyone under 16 can enter by writing a review of no more than 200 words of one of the books longlisted for the prize - the deadline for entries is Monday 26 September 2011.

Finally, Macmillan Children's books and ITV's Daybreak have launched a writing competition today. "What's The Story", invites children aged 7-12 to write a 500-word story, to be submitted by 25th July. Illustrator Lydia Monks (see our selection of her books here) has created a number of characters to be included in the story, with the winning book, complete with Monks' illustrations, to be published by Macmillan next year.

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