BESTSELLING children's author Liz Kessler has launched a writing competition based on the opening lines of her latest book.
Liz is the author of the popular Emily Windsnap and Philippa Fisher series who was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award for her previous book, A Year Without Autumn.
The St Ives writer has sold more than a million children's books.
Now she wants to encourage others to write – and has launched a competition based on the start of her new novel North Of Nowhere.
Liz said: "One of my favourite things in the world is writing books. It's both my hobby and my job, a fact for which I'm extremely grateful.
"But another of my favourite things is helping others develop their writing skills, too.
"I was a teacher before becoming a full-time writer and I think there will always be a part of me that loves to pass on my passion for words and stories.
"It was a teacher passing on her passion for literature that first got me interested in books and poetry and writing, and I know how much of an impact all of this had on my life. So there aren't a lot of things that give me more pleasure than being able to do the same for others."
The competition is aimed at budding writers aged 8 to 13. Budding young writers are asked to use these opening lines to tell a story of their own in 500 words or less.
The winner will win a digital camera, £100 worth of Orion Children's Books for their school and will have their story published on the Guardian Children's Books website.
The lines are: "I need to write it all down. That's the only way I will believe it's true. Spring half-term. All those incredible, impossible things. Did they really happen?
"I've tried a hundred times to tell myself that they couldn't have done, that none of it is possible. And I'm right; none of it is possible.
"But that doesn't change the fact that it is true. Everything did happen, exactly as I am going to tell it now."
The closing date for the competition is March 28. Full details can be found at the Guardian's Children's Books website.