English ‘comping’ …

creative writingSome of you will be thinking I’ve made a spelling error, but the Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘comping’ as ‘the practise of entering competitions’. And it’s about time YOU considered taking it up …

Every year we are bombarded with details of competitions for gifted young poets, creative writers, journalists, even linguistic specialists.  We know we teach many talented students, so my mission is to make it easier than ever for you to compete – and to succeed!

There will be two places where we will be regularly updating information about competitions which are being run:  firstly via this blog, and secondly on a new display in the corridor in ‘C’ Block, so keep checking back regularly.  If you want to enter a competition then you can either speak to your English teacher or to me for advice on your entry, or to organise sending it off.

So, why ‘comp’?  

ENJOYMENT          To many of us the idea of writing anything is simply great fun.  Doing anything creative is incredibly rewarding.  It’s one of the best ways of getting your feelings across about things that are important to you, too.  Some of us also enjoy being told what to write: the direction provided by competition rules about themes, length and so on can provide rather than restrict inspiration!  The competitions don’t always require a lot of additional work, either.  ‘Flash fiction’ of as little as 100 words is very popular (and not as easy as it sounds) …

YOUR PUBLISHING ‘CV’          Many students are interested in pursuing writing in one way or another once they leave school.  What better way to impress course providers or potential employers but to show you already have a CV of published, award-winning work?  And, let’s face it, competition wins help sales (if you want to make money from your work), which is why they always feature large on book covers …

HELPING YOUR STUDIES          Let’s not forget that in your GCSEs and A Levels you will be asked to write fiction and non-fiction texts, and to analyse the works of other authors.  These are two sides of the same coin:  if you can make conscious decisions about your writing you can see and analyse what decisions authors have made – and vice versa.

IN IT TO WIN IT          None of us truly know how many people enter competitions.  If there are twenty-five prizes in total and fifty people enter, you stand an excellent chance of winning something!

FINALLY, PRIZES          Did I mention that you can win prizes?  Of course, that’s the last thing on your mind!  Last year, some competitions offered as much as £1,000 in prize money, and gadgets like iPads and Kindles are regularly up for grabs.

So look out for regular announcements about opportunities for your writing to shine – we’re waiting to help you …

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English Teacher; Shakespeare Geek; Science Fiction Nerd; Adult Fan Of Lego (AFOL); Scrabble Warrior; Television Refusenik. Above all, READER ...

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