STORIES should be 1,500-2,500 words. You may enter only once, and entries must be made by the writer, not on his or her behalf. They must be typewritten, double- spaced and on one side of the paper only. Stories cannot be returned, so please take a photocopy.

The stories submitted must be unpublished elsewhere, but the competition is open to previously published writers. We will not accept stories with illustrations. The first page of your entry must consist only of your name, address, daytime and home telephone numbers. The story should start on a separate sheet, with no name on any of the pages, so it can be judged anonymously. The closing date for entries is Saturday 16 April. Send your entry to Story of the Year 2, PO Box 3406, London NW1 0LX only, NOT to the Independent or Scholastic Children's Books.

The winner will receive pounds 2,000 and the winning story will be published in the Independent in early June. Two runners-up will receive pounds 500 each. The top three stories and up to 10 others will be published in the autumn in a Story of the Year 2 anthology by Scholastic Children's Books (a list of stories chosen will be published in the Independent).

The competition is not open to employees or relatives of employees of Scholastic Publications Ltd or Newspaper Publishing plc. The judges' decision will be final, and no correspondence can be entered into. Entry grants Scholastic Publications Ltd and Newspaper Publishing plc the exclusive rights to publish your story throughout the world.

Stories chosen for publication in the anthology that do not win one of the top three cash prizes will receive a flat fee in line with publishing practice. If your story is not published in the anthology or the newspaper by the end of 1994, these rights revert to you.