BUDDING WRITERS…Sometimes all you need is an opportunity and a little prompt to get those words on paper. The family charity, Home-Start South East Dorset, are offering a great opportunity for you to write a poem or short story and exercise your writing skills. And there are prizes too.

Whichever year you are in at school, and if you are a parent, you are invited to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, in some interesting categories.

Go to the website, www.homestartsoutheastdorset.org.uk/shortstory/ for all the details. There’s plenty of time to make notes, edit, scratch out and start again before the deadline 8 November 2021. We’d love to read what you have to say.

In the meantime, here are a few tips on making your words stand out:

~ Write about what’s important to you.

~Use all your senses to bring a subject to life by considering smells, textures and sounds, thoughts and emotions to describe how something is.

~Read what you have written out loud (just to yourself works) and listen carefully to how it sounds. You’ll notice if something doesn’t sound quite right and can change it.

~Edit to make what you have written to make your story or poem clearer and stronger. Keep the theme central and always in mind. Sometimes taking sentences out actually works better than adding more words.

~ Put your story or poem away for a week or two, if you have time, and go back to it and see what you think then.

~If you need to edit again it means you are growing as a writer.

~Enjoy the journey. This is a chance to express yourself and to acknowledge that you were brave enough to try.