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New Year Competition 2015

Full Details

This competition is now closed, but you're welcome to review the Published Writing.

Check out what our judge, YA author Lucy Keating, had to say about our winning entries here.                                                 
"There was something different about this year..."
Happy New Year! To celebrate the relaunch of Write the World we are excited to open our first short-narrative competition of 2015. The new year can bring with it all sorts of potential—a fresh start, new hopes, and resolutions (I always resolve to write more!). Some of you will be traipsing through the snow after the holidays, and others will be starting a new school year under brilliant summer skies. We love our global community here at Write the World and we want to hear about what this January brings in your part of the planet.
The Prompt
Here's what you have to do: Write a story (500 - 1500 words) that contains the phrase "There was something different about this year". The story can be true, purely fictitious, or a hybrid of the two. Just make sure you include the phrase "There was something different about this year" at the beginning, the end, or anywhere in between!
  • Best Entry: $100 (winning piece + author interview will be featured on Write the World’s website)
  • Runner up: $50
  • Best Peer Review: $50 (reviewer interview will be featured on Write the World’s website)
What’s Different about Write the World Competitions?
  • Prizes: We believe your writing should be celebrated and validated. The winning entrant will receive $100, and the runner-up and best peer-reviewer will receive $50.
  • Professional Recognition: The winning entry, plus the runner-up and best peer review, will be featured on our blog, with commentary from our judge—acclaimed YA author Lucy Keating.
  • Expert Review: Turn your rough draft in by Monday, February 9th, and get feedback from our team of experts—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals.
Key Dates
  • Competition Opens: Monday, 26th January
  • Drafts Deadline: Monday, 9th February 2015 
  • Reviews returned to Writers: Wednesday, 11th February 2015
  • Final Submissions Due: Monday, 16th February 2015
  • Winners Announced: Friday, 27th February 2015 (winners notified one day earlier)
For a bit of inspiration, we asked our judge, acclaimed YA author Lucy Keating, to write a short piece for us, using the phrase "There was something different about this year..."
Here it is:
"We never had a sense of how much time passed when we occupied Chloe’s room. It could be fifteen minutes or four hours. Nobody came to check on us, and we were grateful. Not like at my house, where my mom was always barging in wearing some neon yoga uniform, or where Teddy would pop his head out from under the bed or inside the closet in a fit of giggles, alerting us to the fact that he’d heard our every word. In Chloe’s room, with its giant pillows and wide window seat, we made the rules. Mia and I would argue over what photo to use in our latest blog post, and Chloe would obsess about the wording, while Cat just sat there agreeing with everyone no matter what. But that was before. Now Chloe was videochatting with Eli, making that weird pouty face she did when he was around. I’d have to find a gentle way to break her of that habit. Mia was listening to a music podcast and bopping her head as she scribbled furiously in a notebook. And Cat was taking a nap in the corner, something she’d been doing a lot, her back to me and her legs tucked up into her chest, her head propped on a backpack. I studied them from my place by the window. Things had changed over the summer. There was something different about this year, and the realization had snuck up on me unexpected. So far I hadn’t even been able to figure out if it was good or bad."
Guiding Ideas
  1. Write what you know. Even if the story is semi fictitious, it can be really helpful to set the story in a place that you're familiar with. This can serve to both 'ground' the story and bring it to life for the reader. If you can, go to the place that your story is set and take notes at the location. What does this place feel like? What is unique about it? What are the smells and sounds? Through your writing, take the reader to this place with you.
  2. Look for feedback. It's easy to forget to include key elements of your story for the reader when you can 'fill in the blanks' in your head. Make sure you get your draft submitted onto the website early so you are in the running to receive an expert review on your piece. You might also have a trusted friend who can look over your draft. Remember to take a look at other young writers' drafts on the website and offer some helpful feedback - we can never have too many reviews of our work! 
  3. Enter the narrative. Think about writing 'into' the story. Rather than feeling like you have to sketch out the arc of the story or arrive at a neat conclusions, start writing and see where the story takes you. Writing your story may leave you with more questions than when you started.. and that’s a good thing.