Last Friday I was invited to read out my competition winning entry at the end-of-term assembly at the school where I teach. It was about twins, Fergus and Fiona, and some dinosaurs. I was delighted when the 200 or so children (aged 3 to 12) all sat very still and quiet as I read, and then they burst into applause at the end. Quite a buzz!
Competitions are very good discipline for aspiring writers. You have a deadline and a specific brief – very good for focussing the mind. Some judges also provide feedback which is a very useful bonus.