Children’s author Guy Bass is launching a funny writing competition for children with his publisher Little Tiger called A Write Laugh. Meanwhile, a second comedy writing and performing arts competition for young people has recently been launched in memory of late children's author Louise Rennison.
A Write Laugh is open to children aged five to 13 and is run in partnership with online creative writing resource Authorfy and The Week Junior. Bass, who usually spends much of his time carrying out author visits, wanted to find a way to continue connecting with his young readers remotely and champion the benefits of funny literature during mentally and emotionally demanding times.
He said: “I wanted to find a way of reconnecting with readers and encouraging them to think about stories in a way that didn't feel like work, as well as the far more selfish goal of cheering myself up in lockdown. The sole aim of A Write Laugh is for kids to make themselves, their friends and family, and hopefully me laugh until serious thoughts are sent packing!”
Bass, who is the author of over 30 books including Blue Peter Book Award-winning Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things, will be joined on the judging panel by Little Tiger’s editorial director for fiction, Ruth Bennett, Authorfy’s Mel Taylor-Bessent and The Week Junior's Anna Bassi and Felicity Capon. Nine winning entries will be published in a free e-book by Little Tiger and The Week Junior will select one winner to publish in the magazine. Authors such as Liz Pichon, Gareth P Jones and Swapna Haddow will record their own funny writing tips which will be available to watch on the Authorfy platform. Full entry information and terms and conditions can be found on the Little Tiger website.
The A Write Laugh logo, designed by Pet Defenders illustrator Steve May, and pictured right Guy Bass
Meanwhile, The Louise Rennison National Funny Award was launched last month to showcase the creative and comedic talents of young people throughout the UK. The prize is inspired by the legacy of author and comedian Louise Rennison, best known for her Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, who died in 2016. It is aimed at 11-18-year-olds and falls into two categories: Comedic Writing and Comedic Performance. All submissions must be original ideas and they will be judged in two age bands, 11-14-year-olds and 15-18-year-olds, with the option to enter as an individual or a group. There will be prizes for first place, second place and third place runners up, including over 100 books from HarperCollins Children's.
The judges for the award include CBBC presenters Ben Shires, Lauren Layfield and Jonny Nelson, comedian Andi Osho, Kate Haldane of PBJ Management, Hay Festival's Julia Eccleshare, and Mark Heywood of Ink Jockey. The prize is run by: Rennison's sister Sophie Severs; her nieces and nephews Edward, Honor and Libby Severs; and Cameron Hall of media consultancy Holmlands. More information can be found on The Louise Rennison National Funny Award website.