Do you want to be a writer or an illustrator? – Megan Rix / Ruth Symes

Are you over 16? Or do you know someone who is? Do you like entering competitions? Is this the year you’re going to published? Or re-published? Is this the year you create the cover of a prize winning book? (You need to be over 18 for the illustrator one.)

Floris Books has two brillianscotbeachx1t competitions that you could enter – one for writers with their Kelpies Award that closes at the end of February and one for illustrators that closes on the 27th of January. The illustrator gets to design a cover for last year’s winning manuscript – Ruby McLacken – Tragic Without Magic – plus cash and a great start to a career.

Have you got a manuscript ready or one that could be ready in time? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been published before or not. There’s two categories – books for 8-11 and teen.  Two authors I know got their start by winning Scottish writing competitions – and they’re still being published years later (neither of them was Scottish although they love Scotland – as do I – and so do my dogs. (The pictures Eric took of us on the
scotbeachx2beach in Scotland just before Christmas – lovely empty beaches 🙂 Our favourite place to be.)

So give it a go – go on I dare you! And let us know how you get on 🙂 And if you’re not the right age but you know someone who is, someone who’s great at telling stories or drawing pictures, someone who you think might secretly want to be a writer or an illustrator – then tell them about it. You’ll be helping someone else with their dream!

PS On a final sad note. I don’t know if you heard that Tilikum the killer whale at the centre of the heartbreaking ‘Blackfish’ documentary died this week. I watched the documentary when I was in hospital earlier this year and will never forget it, or him and what was done to him. RIP Tilikum.