English: Bede’s Writers’ Competition Open For Entries!
Phoebe Picken's eye-catching photograph adds a surreal touch to the competition launch...
This week the English department launched the first annual Bede’s Writers’ Competition.
We are inviting all students, every single one, to pen an entry somehow inspired by the phrase ‘The View From Here’.
We don’t mind how students choose to interpret these words or what shape their thoughts take: poetry or prose, or play script, even song lyrics.
‘The View From Here’ might be a view from anywhere; a medieval dungeon or an orbiting space craft, a battlefield or a herb garden, a sprawling metropolis or an arid salt plain.
It’s a challenge to do things we might not do often enough: to take a risk, to let our imaginations go ‘off piste’, to write - purely and simply - because we want to write.
It’s also a chance to set the record straight about writing, about why we do it and what it does for us.
Too many of us see writing as something we do under duress, and for transactional purposes only. To hold this view is to forget what professional writers, and young children, know very well; that great writing is about experimentation, about play with language and technique and about being daring with words and ideas.
It’s a sad irony: we become more proficient at writing with age, but as we grow we begin to feel more doubtful about our own creative capacities. So we stop creating.
Ask yourselves: do you feel now as you did about writing at six, or ten years of age?
When was the last time you wrote entirely for yourself?
If the answer is that you can’t remember, it’s time to do something about that.
We all lead busy lives, but making time for free, uninhibited writing - whether that be a regular diary, a blog, a record of our travels or even a letter - is of inestimable importance to our well-being.
Even if we’re not seeking publication or fame, simply looking to fit the right words to our thoughts, or preserve a fleeting moment, or indulge our imaginations, we are better for it.
In just over a month, the competition judges and I will be sitting down to read some wonderful pieces, some thought-provoking, others rich and evocative, and some - we hope - witty and unexpected.
Whatever you choose to write, we want you to relish the process of composing, taking risks and playing with words.
After all, that's what it's all about. Just ask your little sister.
Bede’s Writers’ Competition: Guidelines At A Glance
• Any original piece inspired by the phrase ‘The View From Here’
• Closing date for entries: 24 February 2017
• Senior 1st prize: £150 (Upper Sixth, Lower Sixth, Upper Fifth)
• Junior 1st prize: £150 (Lower Fifth and First Year)
• Prose, poetry, play scripts and song lyrics accepted
Entries and questions to: email@example.com