The Independent/Scholastic Story of the Year

THIS IS the last chance to enter our short story competition for new work for six- to nine-year-old children. The rules appear for the final time today and Saturday is the last day for entries.

One name cropped up repeatedly in our interviews with children and parents about the stories they enjoy - Roald Dahl. So for our grand finale, JENNY GILBERT speaks to Roald Dahl's nieces, Phoebe and Amy Barran, about the scary but sympathetic uncle they called Mold.

What next? A team of readers will select a shortlist of 20 stories. Our judges include the children's writer Anne Fine, the author and film-maker Terry Jones, and Blake Morrison, former literary editor of the Observer and the Independent on Sunday. Groups of school children will also be commenting on your efforts.

Judgement Day is Thursday 9 June, and winners will be announced as soon as possible after that date. First prize is pounds 2,000 and publication in the Independent. Two joint runners-up will receive pounds 500, and the top 10 entries will be printed in an anthology by Scholastic Children's Books available in the autumn.

So get those stories in the post]

RULES: Your story should be 1,500 to 2,500 words. You may enter only once, and entries must be made by the writer, not on his or her behalf. Entries must be typewritten, double-spaced and on one side of the paper only. We regret that 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 The stories submitted must be unpublished elsewhere, but the competition is open to previously published writers.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 that 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. Please do not send entries directly 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 other entries 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 at the same time).

The competition is not open to employees of 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. Any story chosen for publication in the anthology that does not win one of the top three cash prizes will receive a flat fee in accordance with publishing industry practice. If your story is not published in the anthology or the newspaper by the end of 1994, these rights revert to you.

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