Judging Category: Aged 14.
Your judge, Emma Pass, creates worlds we can only imagine, full of drama and excitement. You can see all her books here.
Emma has been making up stories for as long as she can remember; she reckons it’s the most fun you can have without attracting attention from the authorities. She wrote her first novel, aged 13, in maths lessons with her notebook hidden under her work. After school, she went to art college, but soon realized she wasn’t cut out to be a painter and decided to stick with writing.
By day, Emma works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and crazy greyhound G-Dog in the North East Midlands. Find her at www.emmapass.com or follow her on Twitter – @EmmaPass
Her latest book is ‘The Fearless’
“An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect – anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.
Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother – and when Jory is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.”
Emma’s top writing tips are:
1. Keep a notebook. Write all your ideas down in it, even if you don’t go back to them until later. You never know when they might turn into something!
2. Don’t throw anything away. You’ll probably reach a point in every piece of writing where you think “This is rubbish!” and not know how to carry on. (This always happens to me!) Sometimes you’ll be able to get past this; sometimes you won’t. But even if you abandon something, don’t get rid of it. I first wrote the story which became my novel ACID when I was 14. I abandoned it after a few chapters, but I kept hold of it. Many years later, I re-read it and realised I could turn it into a book.
3. Get your first draft written. First drafts are tough. But once you’ve written a first draft, you can go back to it and make it better. You can’t do that with a blank page.
4. Share your work, preferably with someone you can trust to point out what doesn’t work, but also what does! It’s always helpful to have another pair of eyes on a story or poem, but it’s important that the feedback is not only useful but kind, not just to tear your work apart.
5. HAVE FUN! This is the most important tip of all. Write what you want, how you want, and enjoy it! There’s no right or wrong way to write, only the way that works for you.