We are delighted to be running our fourth annual Writing Competition this year for primary aged students. After the success of the competition last year that saw hundreds of amazing poems from around the region, we decided to keep with the Winter theme, this year asking our junior writers to write about the perfect place to be in winter and what makes that place so special. Entries need to be submitted to us by December 6th for certificates and prizes to be distributed by December 15th. If you have any interest in this competition for your school or for your child, please contact [email protected]

Make sure you check out the Beep app. Now available for both Android and IOS. Check below for a guide on how to install the application.

We would love to read your stories inspired by this writing prompt – the best ones could even be featured on our website

We all ask them, some of more than others. More often than not, learning something from the responses we get. I love asking questions and finding out about people and things, possibly why I enjoyed interviewing so much. During my career as a journalist, I asked thousands of questions to music artists and professionals, immersed in all genres and aspects of the music industry. I would spend hours researching the people I would be talking to, even if I was very familiar with them and their work or achievements. Even if I was their biggest fan, I quickly realised, you can never know too much about someone or something.

One of the key points to asking questions that a person will respond to is ensuring they are relevant. Asking the right questions means you get the information you require – it really is that simple. You may need to placate the information out of your interviewee with several feeder questions, but putting yourself in their shoes and asking questions you feel that you yourself would respond to, is a great starting point.

Never underestimate how important your opinion is. This is one of the fundamentals of why we started our ‘Beep’ project. We wanted to give young people the opportunity to voice their opinions. The fact that the ones who were involved in developing the project felt theirs were ‘beeped out’ brought about the project’s name.

There are so many ways to voice your opinion, whether it be positive or negative. The key point is being able to justify why you think what you do. When we work in schools, one of the first pieces of work our groups are given is writing a review. The reason for this is that it encourages our young writers to give their opinions on something upon which they are knowledgeable.

Writing a review for something you buy online or something you watch on Netflix is part of everyday life these days. Why? Because your opinions matter. People want to know whether something is worth their time and equally as important their time. And who better to learn this from than people who have experienced it.

So, offer your opinion, whether it be by giving something a star rating, whether it be by telling your friends that the movie you saw last night wasn’t the best or by writing a review on Trip Advisor for the place you ate dinner at the weekend. People are always interested in what others have to say.

Questions are asked all the time. From ‘what’s for dinner’ to ‘are we there yet.’ we are just never short of them. However, sometimes asking the right questions can be really difficult and our programme allows our young writers to plan and consider in order to ask the right questions to secure the answers they need. From interviewing a Headteacher to a local celebrity, we really encourage young people to think hard about that information they hope to receive or what they want to learn in response to their questions.

Planning what we ask and knowing why we are asking that specific question is something we should all do in life. When the opportunity arises, ask a question, get that additional information, but ensure you really put thought into what you ask to get the response you are looking for.

Interested in taking part in one of our programmes, get in touch with [email protected] and she can help direct you to the courses which are suited to you.

We would love to read your stories inspired by this writing prompt – the best ones could even be featured on our website

Here at Bringing Words to Life, a red pen is one of the most important things in our toolbox. Obviously, it could be a green pen or a highlighter, but we have found that red seems to stand out most for our teams of young writers when it comes to peer-editing. As writers, we are always editing our work and that of others to improve the reading experience for the relevant audience and this is something we encourage from a young age. 

Our sessions with KS2 students involve a great deal of self-editing and peer editing and it is amazing how many suggestions are made when the red pens come out. Now, it could be due to the fact that they suddenly take on a ‘teacher’ role and they enjoy marking, but what is more important to us as we deliver these sessions is that these young writers when wearing their Editor hats can correct mistakes and suggest countless alternatives to improve the content they create. A win-win situation for all concerned. So never underestimate the power of allowing your young writers the opportunity to self-edit while armed with a red pen. 

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