3 Jul 2018 10:11

Are you 16 or 17 or do you have memories of life at this often challenging age? If so, you may be interested in entering a creative writing competition being run by The Children's Society as part of the charity’s #SeriouslyAwkward campaign.

The campaign aims to improve life for vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds by securing more sustained help for them as they move into adulthood with issues like mental health, housing and access to employment.

For the competition - run in partnership with Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House - they are looking for fictional stories by unpublished writers of up to 2,000 words about this awkward age, with categories for both young people aged 16-25 and adults aged 26 and over.

Whether you are an aspiring writer or have never before written, why not think about what life can be like for 16 and 17-year-olds and craft your own story?

The prospect of adulthood and greater independence can be both exciting and terrifying. For the most vulnerable young people this emotional rollercoaster can come with significant risks including child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems.

Writing experts including international best-selling author Emma Healey, who has just published her second novel, Whistle in the Dark, will judge the competition, and the winners will be offered expert advice and feedback by top literary agencies Darley Anderson and David Higham Associates.

Your story can highlight the ups and downs of this age, be in any fiction genre and be written from any perspective. Could it be about a 16-year-old making daunting decisions about their future, or falling in love and making new friends at 17? A parent terrified about their child leaving home? Or a social worker trying to protect a young person from harm?

So if you’re feeling inspired, please visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk/writingto find out more and enter by 31 August 2018. Good luck!

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