Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)


Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)


Article excerpt

BUDDING authors and creative writers in Years 5 and 6 can win their share of up to $11,750 of prizes in the national Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship that opens on June 2. All they need to do is put pen to paper and handwrite a story of 250-350 words that begins with the sentence, 'I used to believe...'

Launched in support of the Government's National Literacy and Numeracy Week, the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship aims to encourage the use of imagination and to foster a love of handwriting in children.

"The Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship is a great way to encourage children to get away from the laptop or computer, pick up a pen, use their imagination and get writing," said Ms Barbara Oliver, Pilot Pen Australia.

Since launching in 2010, the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship has increased in popularity and last year more than 3000 entries were received.

This year's judges are celebrity author Andy Griffiths and child psychologist Jocelyn Brewer.

Having written more than 20 children's books, including the much-loved 'Just!' series, Andy Griffiths is passionate about inspiring a love of books among children. Andy devised this year's story starter as a way to prompt children's imaginations to get writing.

"Programs such as the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship are instrumental in fostering a love of creative writing, handwriting and the use of imagination among children -- valuable skills that children take with them throughout their lives," said Andy.

He said last year's entries were of a very high standard.

"It was a pleasure to read these funny, surprising and touching short stories by the children of Australia.

"It's great to see so many students exploring their imaginations through the process of story writing.

"I very much look forward to reading this year's stories," he said.

Jocelyn Brewer said creative writing was an important activity for young children to practise and it had many benefits for their educational and psychological development.

"Devising a plot, developing characters and working out a narrative is enormously rewarding for young children.

"It encourages problem solving, the ability to think independently, develops their curiosity and gives them a vehicle to express their individuality in a creative way," said Jocelyn.

She said handwriting was particularly important to practise and that it also encouraged time away from the computer keyboard and modern technology and that can be beneficial.

"Technology has its place, but there is something wonderfully tactile about holding a pen and putting your thoughts on paper," said Jocelyn..

"Not only does this help to develop fine motor skills, research suggests that handwriting actively engages the imaginative part of the brain, which is so important in a young child's development," said Jocelyn. …

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