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LOCKDOWN! News, competitions and things to do

Posted on April 17, 2020, tagged as competitions, news

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all keeping safe in this strange new world we find ourselves in since coronavirus hit the headlines. I’m wondering when – and if – things will ever get back to normal. It doesn’t feel like it right now, does it? I’m getting a taste of what it’s like being trapped in one place, just like the Widdershins sisters. I’ve got quite a lot to put into this blog, so I’ll keep it brief.

Things to do

The following ideas may help pass some time and are either low cost or free:

Widdershins quiz – how well do you know Betty, Fliss and Charlie?

Draw a map to the secret island in A Sprinkle of Sorcery.

Listen to A Pinch of Magic on audiobook completely FREE on the World Book Day website.

• If you’re a member of a library you can also get A Pinch of Magic and A Sprinkle of Sorcery on the BorrowBox app as audiobook downloads or ebooks, completely free.

Bake some gingerbread! TIP: this dough freezes really well, so you can divide it into 3-4 balls to wrap in clingfilm and put in the freezer. Take it out the night before you want to use it and let it defrost in the fridge. This cuts down on mess and time, and keeps you in a steady supply of fresh gingerbread. WIN!

• Enter some competitions – see below!

 

News

I’m thrilled to say there’s going to be a THIRD book in the Widdershins Adventures! This is due to publish in the UK in February 2021, and here is the title. What do you think?

 

Competitions

To help keep you busy, I’ve been thinking up two exciting competitions for you while we’re on lockdown.

Competition 1: Draw a character from the Widdershins books (CLOSED)

This could be Betty, Fliss, Charlie or anyone who features in the stories. Don’t forget Granny, Colton, Sorsha, Prue, Spit, Ronia, the Winking Witch . . . or even Oi and Hoppit.

Rules

• You can use any medium, eg. pencil, pen & ink, paint, collage, digital artwork (but not photography or 3D artwork).

• You must not copy any existing artwork of the characters from on or inside the books. You may look at these for inspiration, but your entry must be your own original creation.

• You may send up to three entries for this competition, but you can only win or come runner up once.

All art work entries will be displayed in a separate blog gallery on my website along with the entrant’s name and age. They will be added in the order they arrive.

• The competition is open worldwide to anyone aged between 8 – 16. Winners will be chosen in the following age categories: 8-10, 11-13, 14-16.

• The decision of the judge (Michelle Harrison) is final, and no discussion will be entered into.

• Finally, please do not email me asking for character descriptions. That is for you to figure out, and I want to see how you imagine them! If you don’t have a copy of the book to hand, you can currently listen to the audiobook free here if you need to jog your memory.

The Prize

One winner in each category will receive this fabulous pencil case by Chase and Wonder (I have the same one) plus a signed dedicated book of their choice. Runners up will receive a signed, dedicated book of their choice.

Tips

• Most artists cannot draw things right out of their head. They have to look at an object or person in real life, or in photographs, to see how that thing really appears and bring it to life in a convincing way. For example, if you were drawing a fairy you could study the wings of butterflies, birds and insects. This is called using reference. Perhaps you have a friend or sister who would make a great Betty, a cat like Oi, or an uncle who resembles Fingerty?

• Don’t forget the background. Props such as the magical objects, or settings like the prison can make your picture even more exciting, if you want to. If you’ve chosen Charlie, perhaps Hoppit appears too.

To enter

Email your picture as a jpeg or png file to mh@michelleharrisonbooks.com along with your full name, age and address. (Your address won’t be published anywhere).

Closing date 31st May 2020, although this may be extended depending on how long the UK lockdown lasts.

 

Competition 2:  Write a short story or poem of up to 500 words on the theme of ‘family’. (CLOSED)

Your story/poem can be any genre: humour, mystery, adventure, magical . . . it’s up to you.

Rules

• Entries must be no longer than 500 words. Anything longer will not be considered.

• The competition is open worldwide to anyone aged 8-16. Winners will be chosen in three age categories: 8-10, 11-13, 14-16, and displayed on this website.

You may only enter this competition once. Additional entries will not be considered.

• Poems do not have to rhyme.

• Fan fiction (using someone else’s characters/settings) is not allowed. Entries must be your own original idea.

• Regrettably, feedback cannot be given on individual entries, so please do not ask!

• The decision of the judge (Michelle Harrison) is final, and no discussion will be entered into.

 

The Prize

One winner in each category will receive this beautiful magical forest notebook, plus a signed, dedicated book of their choice. Runners up will receive a signed, dedicated book of their choice.

 

Tips

• Think about different ways to tell a story. Will you start at the beginning? Or later on, using flashbacks to build suspense? Could your poem or story take the form of a letter or diary? Be creative! Think about how your favourite stories are told.

• Take your time. All writers have to re-do parts of their work, it’s the best way to improve. Put your work away for a few days after you finish. It’s easier to see mistakes when you’ve had a break from it. Ask someone you trust for their opinion. How do they think you could make it better?

• It can be difficult to write a story without planning it first. Brainstorm. Look at news stories, and talk to your family or friends about interesting things that have happened to them – ideas can come from anywhere.

• Get the story or poem finished, then go back and improve it. If you keep fiddling with the beginning then you’ll find it much harder to complete.

 

To enter

Email your entry to mh@michelleharrisonbooks.com with your full name, age and address. (Your address won’t be published anywhere).

Closing date 31st May 2020, although this may be extended depending on how long the UK lockdown lasts.

Good luck!

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