English teachers know that one of the hardest skills to teach young writers is concision. George Orwell, who knew a thing about writing, urged us, in his essay 'Politics and the English Language,' to adhere to the following rules:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
It's helpful when a competition comes along which encourages students to be inspired and concise. '247 Tales' does just that. It challenges students to create their own stories in 247 words or less. Each month a famous writer creates a 247 tale of their own on a certain theme. This is then posted on the Bloomsbury website: www.247tales.com. The competition is for young writers between 10 and 16 to send in their own masterpieces on the same theme. A variety of prizes are on offer, including having their 247 I tale published on the website. To find out more, visit the website cited above.
Recent research undertaken for Pearson Education has indicated the extent to which the shorter concentration spans, allegedly …