We are at the beginning of our story. Presently there is no middle or end, just a sense of optimism for the journey that lies ahead. My dream has been to create a new Writing for Children competition – Searchlight Awards.
Searchlight grew from my own desire for more short fiction opportunities for children’s authors. I like writing children’s short stories but I often end up writing for an adult audience because of the lack of competitions for us. In Writing Magazine’s Competition Guide 2021, 820 worldwide competitions were listed but only ten of them were for children’s fiction (and these were nearly all for novels). The prestigious Bridport Prize states in its Rules of Entry that ‘We do not recommend stories written for children.’ We need our own equivalent of the Bridport Prize. So, I decided to do something about it.
The last six months have been busy in a good way: writing content for the website developers at Zonkey, working with our amazing illustrator Catherine Redgate, talking to potential judges, finding our readers, writing adverts, contacting literary agents and publishers about our first Winners’ Collection. Every step has taken me a little closer to a live competition.
Luckily, some kind and super-talented people (you know who you are!) climbed the first mountain with me. I’m grateful to our judges for saying ‘yes’ and to the writers/agents/publishers who took the time to email me messages of support.
We’re all set to start reading. All we need now are your incredible stories.
Best of luck,