Here’s one way! The RSPCA is having a writing competition for children – but you’ll have to be quick, the deadline is Monday.
I was really happy when they asked me to blog about this competition. I have a big reason (actually he’s small and muddy) to be grateful to the RSPCA – they provided my dog, Rocky, from one of their rehoming centres. After a year, it’s hard to imagine life without him (or my house without the mud).
The competition is for writing inspired by British wildlife. I think the RSPCA approached me because my latest book, Wolfie, does – in a way – contain British wildlife, although wolves have been gone from the UK for over two hundred years. However, when my magical canine Wolfie goes rabbit-hunting in the local park, in the company of her rather shocked owner, Lucie, she is only doing what wolves have always done.
Fictional wolves aside, Britain does have wonderful wildlife, but it often goes unnoticed and unappreciated by our children. After all, it’s not large and colourful, like the jungle animals that they see in zoos or on TV. And it’s timid, especially when clumping children come by. Hedgehogs, badgers, deer, otters, moles, kingfishers, hares, owls : all are out there, but elusive.
My all-time favourite is the classic Watership Down by Richard Adams. Famously, this follows a group of rabbits, led by the brave Hazel, in an attempt to escape the destruction of their old warren and to found a new one. It takes one of the most humble, common and everyday examples of British wildlife – the rabbit - and turns them into protagonists in an epic adventure. And the feeling for the British countryside is wonderful.
So, young writers, get to your keyboards! Maybe it will be the start of the next Watership Down...
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Emma blogged about her favourite Christmas books here
Emma's latest book Wolfie is available from Amazon