The Explore Learning Writers’ Awards are open for the eleventh year and will be judged by best-selling author, singer, dancer and TV presenter, Alesha Dixon!  The annual writing competition is aimed at children aged four to 14 and will inspire the next generation of authors.  Whether they’re a reluctant writer or a budding Roald Dahl, this competition will inspire children from across the UK to get creative and write their very own short story inspired by this year’s theme – a chance to change the world!

Children are tasked with creating a 500-word story all about how they could transform the world, whether that’s by making waves to save the planet, becoming a superhero, exploring time travel or anything else their imaginations can conjure!

Alesha Dixon has been an inspiration to children throughout her successful career encompassing singing, dancing and huge success as a judge and presenter on programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Britain’s Got Talent. Alongside these achievements, Alesha has written three very popular children’s books – Lightning Girl (launched in April 2018), Lightning Girl 2: Superhero Squad (September 2018) and Lightning Girl 3: Secret Supervillain (out March 2019) about a 11 year old girl who discovers her superhero powers!  Through her main character, Aurora Beam, she aims to spread a positive message of empowerment and self-reliance to young girls – and boys – across the country.

The winner of the competition will be announced during a surprise assembly in which Alesha and the team from Explore Learning will present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 worth of books for their school.  Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from one of Explore Learning’s inspirational tutors.

Alesha Dixon said: “I am really looking forward to reading all of the imaginative ways the children of this country would change the world in this year’s Explore Learning Writers’ Awards. Having written stories myself, I know how rewarding it is and really hope they will take as much pleasure from it as I have. This is a great way to capture young imaginations and encourage thinking about bigger issues, while developing their writing abilities.’’

Children can enter the Explore Learning Writers Awards now by visiting their local Explore Learning centre for an entry form or entering online at www.explorelearning.co.uk/writersawards. Simply hand the story back in, file online or send to Explore Learning’s head office at ELWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW.  Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!  The competition runs from Monday 11th March until Sunday 5th May.

To help kick start children’s imagination, Explore Learning will be running a number of free creative writing workshops in their centres, libraries and schools – encouraging every young writer – from the passionate to the reluctant!

Previous judges of the awards have included some of the UK’s most prolific authors like David Walliams, Steve Backshall, Cressida Cowell, Lauren Child, Liz Pichon, Jonathan Meres, Andy Cope and Alan Durant.  Last year’s winner was eight year old Mia Falatoori from Churchfields Junior School who won the title with her story which you can read here, as well as seeing her joy at meeting David Walliams.

For more information about the National Young Writers’ Awards visit www.explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters.