This month we’re featuring:
– 500 Words Competition
– A nonsense poem from Oliver, Stockport, UK
– How to write nonsense
500 Words Competition
This competition is back for its tenth year. They claim it’s the biggest competition for young writers in the UK which, on one hand is very exciting if you get to win but can also reduce your chances of winning as there are more people to compete against. The up side is that you’ve nothing to lose if you enter and it’s a great motivator to do some writing. Plus, just by entering, you get the chance to win 500 books for your school
This competition is free to enter.
There are two age groups in the 500 Words competition - one for children aged 5-9, and another for children aged 10-13
What can you win?
There are some great prizes to win including:
Attending a spectacular 500 Words Final at Buckingham Palace where superstar celebrities will read the winning stories live on the radio and six amazing illustrators will each be set the task of illustrating one of the winning stories.
The winners in each age category will also receive:
Gold Winners - Chris Evans' height in books and 500 books for their school.
Silver Winners - HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's height in books.
Bronze Winners - Their own height in books.
A BRAND NEW Prize for 2020 and it doesn’t matter how good your story is just that you enter one. One entrant will be selected at random to receive a fabulous book bundle and an invite to the final (for child plus a parent or guardian). They will also win 500 books for their school – so the more pupils a school has that has entered the more chances they have of winning a brand new library.
The Top 50 shortlisted entrants will receive a pair of tickets to the final (for the entrant and a parent or guardian). All entrants of the competition will be invited to take part in a random ballot to receive a pair of tickets to the Final (Terms and Conditions apply).
When you enter you must take note of the following so you don’t get disqualified:
Deadline: 27th February at 8.00pm – miss this and your piece won’t get read.
Word limit: 500 words. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be 500 words, being under is OK. But whatever you do, don’t go over the limit – your entry will be disqualified.
Your entry must be a fiction short story.
Age: Entry will be in two age categories – ages 5 to 9 years (on 12th June 2020) and 10 to 13 years (on 12th June 2020).
Writing must be original and your own ideas – so no fanfiction.
Your piece cannot have been previously published.
The judges are looking for: originality, plot, characterization, language and enjoyment.
Include your name and age on the entry form.
You must be resident in the UK.
For a full list of the rules click here
How to Enter
Entries have to be submitted through the competition’s online form, using a registered 500 Words account.
For full details of how to send in your entry click here.
Entering Competitions Tip.
If they are available, read the winners of the previous year’s competition. This will give you a good idea of the sort of writing the judges are looking for. Read previous years’ shortlist for the BBC 500 competition here.
Bronze Arts Award Focusing On Creative Writing
If you’d like to get a nationally recognised qualification whilst developing your creative writing skills then check out our Bronze Arts Award programme. If it appeals, show it to your parents or guardian to see if they will enrol you.
- start anytime
- seven-day trial
- tutorial support by email or phone (your choice).
- explore the writing genres you like
- ideal for 11-18 year olds but can do up to 25.
At our Saturday morning class we asked our young writers to create a crazy creature then write a poem about it. This is what one little author came up with.
by Oliver – aged 7
Crumpet Fish, Oh Crumpet Fish,
He wasn’t here – Oh I wish.
He sleeps all night and eats all day
He could eat Theresa May,
Who is the Prime Minister.
Thank you Oliver for giving us permission to share your nonsense poem.
If you have a story, a poem, or a non-fiction piece you’d like to share with the Budding Writers community please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org Please also include your age and name. If we use your work then we’ll send you a £5 Amazon voucher.
If you love to write stories then why not take a look at our FREE How To Write Better Stories Online course If you’re under 16, check with your parents or guardian to make sure they are happy with you signing-up for it.
Now there, you may think, is a ridimpulous title. Nonsense Rules. Surely, you say, there are no rules to nonsense, because… it’s nonsense. And yes - that certainly is the case for gibberysquash or gobbledydash. But if you want to write nonsense poems and stories, there are a pinchiness of rules that are best to follow. For minstance, When the great and grombulous Edward Lear tells us that:
Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos
Climbed to the top of a wall.
And there they sate to watch the sunset sky
And to hear the Nupiter Pifkin cry
And the Biscuit Buffalo call.
We know it’s a complete fabrimation of impossible characters and hanimules (apart from the Biscuit Buffalo, which is real… I think). But it still makes enough sense for us to imagine the scene. And as a poem, it has rhythm, rhyme, good grammar and punctuation, all of which make it easy and fun to read, even though it’s nonsense.
And that’s what all goodly nonsense writing does. In verse, it brings together poetic form with topsy-turvy impodiculous language. While in both verse and stories, it’s never completely garbuncular, but always makes just enough sense for readers to follow the action.
If you’d like to read some nonsense poems and stories, then anything by the prewrittenly Mr. Lear would be a great place to start. You could also cheroose either of Lewis Carrol’s classics; both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are rumbusted and chollified with lashings of excellent nonsense. Both Lear and Carrol were 19th century writers though, so if you want something more comtemporanious, look no further than the genofolos writings of Dr. Seuss, or the children’s works of the hilubrious Spike Milligan, which are all fantasmical!
And if you’d like to write some nonsense… Well, that would be grandly. One thing that’s common to most, if not all, nonsense literature, is that it sounds really hrumptious. You have to play and jimble and think about words to make a good piece. And whether you want to write screen-plays, novels, comics or love songs, words are your essential tools, so the more jimbling you do with them, the better.
It’s easy to start too. Just look around you, right now, and pick an object. Say… a cup. Now, think of a word to describe that cup, an adjective that’s all yours, like… rumpty. or… jonkulous. Then have a think: what could you do with a jonkulous cup? Could you squaff from it, or mabricond a drink in it?
Making up simple verbs and adjectives is a great way to start writing nonsense. And if you mix up your made up words with imploriful ideas like Biscuit Buffalos or living on top of a wall for twenty years (which is what Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos end up doing), then you’ll be well on the way to a nonsense classic of your own.
You could even try finifilling this poem, if you like:
As I was …………ing down the …………
I saw a ………… in the sky
This will get you making up names for things too - your own nouns. How flajastic is that!?
So - yes - If you want to write, whatever you want to write - Nonsense Rules. And if you have a go at writing some, you’ll soon find out just how flimjulous and agrable words can be.
Enjoy your writing!
That’s all folks for this month. And remember, keep on writing!
All the best,
Phil and Susie Busby