If you’re aged between 11 and 19 and interested in history and writing, the Young Walter Scott Prize is ready to take you on an adventure! This is the UK’s only creative writing prize specifically for budding historical writers.
The Prize runs a series of Imagining History workshops in amazing historical sites throughout the UK, where experts guide you in active historical research, and show you how to start putting your ideas down on paper. Find out how to take part in a workshop near you, or even how to host one, on our website!
If you have a story of between 800 and 2000 words, set in a time before you were born, you can enter the Young Walter Scott Prize – now open for entries, and the closing date is 31st October 2018. Entries are judged in two age groups – 11 to 15 years and 16 to 19 years. Any kind of fiction is accepted – prose, poetry, drama, fictional letters or reportage.
You could win a £500 travel grant, an invitation to one of the UK’s best book festivals to meet published authors, and a chance to see your own work in print. Full terms and conditions, tips for writing and research, and details of the Imagining History workshops are all on the website.
Order of darkness
I have long been a reader of Philippa Gregory’s historical novels and usually have one on my bed side table ready to dive into. They are especially enthralling when you know you can just give yourself up to a good read and only move when you need a fresh cup of tea! The fact the Gregory is a remarkable researcher and yet wears her knowledge lightly always adds to the sense of veracity and authenticity and adds that extra layer to the way she writes and you as reader can enjoy her work. So I was really looking forward to the young adult novel she has just published – Changeling. And she doesn’t disappoint – this is the start of a series Order of Darkness – and is set in the 15th Century when a 17 year old expelled monk is sent off to track and enquire into the evil and darkness in the Christian world and try to find out what is driving man to the end of the world. The sense of the time is again worn lightly, but this is no fictionalised biography of historical characters but a full blooded adventure set at a time when adventure was to invite inherent danger and distrust. A good gripping story, well told and will be a welcome addition to the canon. The website contains all sorts of useful background information as well as extracts and teacher’s resources.
I picked this up in a second hand book-sale in Norfolk one day and then it sat on the reading pile for a while! Once I picked it up – it was a good, if violent and rather bloodthirsty read. Hawkwood is a Bow Street Runner and, with an ex army background, quite the hard man – but with a good heart. His instinct for the crime is unerring and this makes this a light but very enjoyable read.