The Children's Bookshow competition is a chance for young readers to be writers

The competition, which is backed by The Independent, is is taking to the roads again with a nation-wide tour of 15 major cities

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The Independent Online

Reading, it seems, is in danger of coming back into fashion, if a survey by the National Literacy Trust is to be believed.

It showed that the percentage of children who acknowledge enjoying reading had grown for the first time in eight years.

A survey of nearly 30,000 eight to 16-year-olds showed more than half (53.3 per cent) admitted to enjoying reading "very much" or "quite a lot".

So it's a good time to launch a competition that includes as prizes a shed-load of new books for schools. The Children's Bookshow competition, backed by The Independent, is taking to the roads again from the start of next term, with a nation-wide tour of 15 major cities, featuring a line-up of a dozen children's writers and illustrators aiming to persuade pupils to follow in their footsteps.

The competition, launched by the children's writer and illustrator Jessica Souhami, has two categories: the under-nine's and nine to 13-year-olds.

Children are asked to choose their favourite fairy or folk tale and set it in an extraordinary place.

Then they are to retell it with the aid of drawings and writings – whether it is set at sea, on a distant planet, in the future or in the past. The closing date for the competition is 30 November.

"Tell your tale in pictures and in words," say the organisers of the competition. "It can be in a picture book or comic-book format."

The winner of each competition will receive a signed copy of a book by each of the 12 authors involved in this year's tour, plus £150 worth of books for their school. The runners-up will receive a signed copy of Souhami's new book.

Entries should be emailed to and include the competitor's name, age, address and telephone number and the name of their school. In the meantime, keep scribbling!