This year Pentlands Book Festival is again running a writing competition for young people and invites Primary 7 and Secondary 1, 2 and 3 students to participate. The theme of this year’s Scottish Book Week is "Blether" and we will be looking for short stories or pieces of dramatic dialogue up to 500 words long in which a problem is resolved through people talking to one another. Details, including advice on possible interpretations of the theme and the rules of the competition, have been sent out to local schools. However, if a school decides not to participate, parents may wish to encourage children of the appropriate ages living in Balerno, Currie, Juniper Green and Colinton to submit individual entries. All details are given below. Pentlands Book Festival Schools Writing Competition Rules 20191. The competition will be open to young people in Primary 7, Secondary 1, 2 and 3 at schools in the catchment areas of, or resident in, Balerno, Colinton, Currie and Juniper Green. 2. Entrants must be in the first, second or third year of secondary school or in a primary 7 class on 24th November 2019, the last day of Book Week Scotland. Prizes will be awarded to two groups, one being P7/S1, the other S2/S3. The top three entries in each group will be eligible for a prize. In the event that there are two entries of equal merit eligible for a prize, both will receive an award. One or more prizes may be withheld where the judges decide there are too few entries worthy of an award.3. School staff are asked to collect entries from classes in each year group, P7, S1, S2 and S3 and to submit them to the judges. In the case of primary schools, teachers are asked to choose the ten best entries from their primary 7 pupils for submission to the judges.4. Entries should illustrate the theme of ‘Blether’ and take the form of a conversation or dialogue (See Note (a) below). Entrants may choose their own title.5. Each entrant may submit one entry on the theme.6. Entries should have a title and be up to 500 words long. The title will not be included in the line count. 7. Emailed entries, ideally as attachments, are preferred, though paper entries, written legibly or printed on A4 paper, will be accepted. 8. Each entry submitted must include the writer’s name, date of birth and name of her/his school at the head of the first page. Any entrant who expects to leave a local school before the end of November should provide a contact phone number or email address. 9. The deadline for submission of entries is Friday11th October 2019.10. Single copies of entries should preferably be emailed by the deadline to Currie Library at email@example.com or, alternatively, paper entries may be posted or delivered to PBF Schools Writing Competition, c/o Currie Library, 210 Lanark Road West, Currie, EH14 5NX. 11. A winner and two runners-up in each age group will be chosen by a panel of three or more judges.12. The judges’ decision is final.13. The winner and runners up in each of the two groups (P7/S1 and S2/S3) will receive a monetary prize awarded by the sponsors, The Rotary Club of Currie Balerno, £50 for the first prize and £25 each for the two runners up in each group.14. The winners and runners-up, together with their parents, will be invited to the presentation of prizes at an event in Currie Community High School at 1.00 to 2.00pm on Saturday 30th November 2019, at which the three prize winners’ entries in each category will be read to an audience. 15. The prize winning entries will be printed in the community newspaper, the C&B News.16. Writers retain the copyright in their entries but grant to the PBF a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to publish the entry and/or post it online. P. S. The judges’ experience of past competitions suggests that entrants would be well advised to draw on their own experiences and to write about aspects of life they are already familiar with. ENTRIES WILL BE JUDGED BY THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:a) Entries must take the form of a conversation or dialogue between two or more characters, either in continuous prose using direct speech, or in the form of a mini-drama using the conventions of play writing. Essential narrative or stage directions will be included in the word count. b) The conversation or dialogue must be based on a problem, difficulty or disagreement which is resolved through discussion or informal conversation.c) The entry creates a clear sense of setting,d) The entry shows skill in the creation through their speech of distinctive and credible characters,e) the entry has a cohesive structure,f) the entry reveals skill in the conscious and deliberate use of language to reveal character and opinions and in leading characters to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution.