The National Literacy Trust (NLT) and Irish rock group The Script are supporting a competition, organised by author Jamie Scallion [pictured above], asking teenagers to supply lyrics for a song that will be launched in conjunction with Scallion's next book.
Scallion is the author behind the self-published ‘The Rock ‘n’ Roll Diaries’ series, about a teenage rock’n’roll group in London called the RockATeers. Along with The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue and Mark Sheehan, he has already co-written a number of songs to accompany the first three titles.
However, Scallion is now looking for teenagers aged 14-18 to supply lyrics for a partially-written song that will coincide with the fourth book, Owning It, which is out in October this year.
Teens can take part in the ‘Literacy for Lyrics’ competition by listening to an extract of the song, as well as learn about key characters from the book, on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Diaries website.
The entries will be judged by Scallion, O’Donoghue and Sheehan, along with guest judges from the NLT and representatives of the music world, such as Capital Radio’s Dave Berry.
The winner will record the final version of the song that will accompany The Rock ‘n’ Roll Diaries: Owning It with Scallion and members of The Script in London’s Dean Street recording studios. They will also receive a music industry 'immersion day' to learn about the business.
O’Donoghue said: “I’ve learnt from working with Jamie and the National Literacy Trust that pupils who enjoy writing are six times more likely to write above their age level than those that don’t. We know teenagers love music, so we have to show them how interlinked music, reading and writing are.
“The RockATeers, the band in Jamie’s brilliant books, write their own material so it seems right to ask those in the same age group to help write a song for the last in the series. We’ve written the music, first verse and chorus – we want to find the next great lyricist to finish the job.”
Abigail Moss, deputy director of the NLT, added: “It is crucial to get our teenagers excited about reading and what better way than harnessing the raw and unifying power of rock and roll to get the message across. We can’t wait to read, and hear, the results.”