GOOD grasp of the mighty pen has these four Murwillumbah East Public School students in the running for prizes of up to $1000.
Year sixers Jessie Wright, Kyle Jeffrey, Ashleigh North and Cherry-Ella Fields are all well ahead of the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship deadline closing on July 31.
These editor or publisher's dreams will contribute, respectively, finished stories Jupiter Junked, Time Travelling, Elizabeth's Secret and Immortal Messup to the contest well ahead of schedule.
Their teacher Helen O'Keefe said three of them were part of Wollumbin High School's gifted and talented program: Think Tank.
"It's an initiative which gives them a purpose through writing," Ms O'Keefe said.
The students regularly engage with the not yet lost art of handwriting when planning or preparing drafts, she said.
But the benefits of pen to paper do not end there.
"It's a great habit to get into, to be able to express themselves through writing.
"It inspires problem solving in a very creative way.
"It also helps them to put themselves in situations they wouldn't normally be."
The national scholarship is open to Years 5 or 6 and requires a 250-350 word story beginning with the sentence: "The letter was only the start. . . ."
Celebrity author Andy Griffith who has written more than 20 books for children is this year's guest judge.
"Programs such as the Pilot Pen Creative Writing Scholarship are instrumental in fostering a love of creative writing and the use of imagination amongst children," Mr Griffith said.
"I very much look forward to reading this year's entries."
Prizes will be announced during National Literacy and Numeracy Week, August 27 - September 2.
First, second and third prizes will be awarded in each state group (NSW/ACT, QLD/NT, WA, SA, and VIC/TAS):
- First prize: $1,000, $150 Pilot pen pack, signed book pack worth $100;
- Second prize: $500, $100 Pilot pen pack, signed book pack;
- Third prize: $250, $50 Pilot pen pack and signed book pack;
- School prize: A Pilot pen pack for every class that enters.
Visit www.pilotpen.com.au for more information.