allinq budding authors
If getting the first words of that novel down is the hardest part of kickstarting your literary career, now’s your chance to get a top name writer to begin your book for you.
Words: Ruth Hedges
new competition. End of Story. Eight of the country's leading writers —
Fay Weldon. Alexei Sayle. Ian Rankin. Ed McBain. Sue Townsend. Marian Keyes. Joanne Harris and Shaun HutSOn — have written the opening half of a short st0ry which you. dear reader. can complete.
The List has been given a sneak preview of the stories and it's clear the writers haven't dumbed down for anyone. Their stories are demanding. emotionally tough. funny. complex and c0uld take you in any direction. Settings range from Edinburgh (guess who’?). Bristol, Ireland and New York. to a park in which grows a beautiful tree that has become the object of deep love for a middle-aged woman. There's a feminist spin on Cinderella. loneliness. horror. violence and infatuation.
You have just 1.200 words — the size of one of The Li'st's shoner feature articles — to take them on. Just don't be put off by presenter Claudia Winkleman's rather embarrassing script and delivery linking the bits together. Entries Will be judged by a panel that includes Scottish broadcaster Muriel Gray and jOurnalist Giles Coren. who WI” digest. cogitate and conjugate. a la Masterchef. They Will put toward a shod list of entries to the authors. who WI“ then choose their favourite ending.
But where can you find the beginnings? As part of the whole literary adventure. the BBC is launching a treaSure hunt. which involves little bound copies of the eight tales being hidden across the COuntry in secret locations that could be a pub or a bus shelter. Clues will be released after the initial broadcast on Sunday 18 April. Alternatively. you can visit the website Claudia Winkleman www.bbc.co.uk/endofstory/, but where's the fun in that? To be continued . . . holds the clues I End of Story Sun Apr 18. BBC3. 9pm, BB2. 70pm
F inish this . . . That is the challenge the BBC is laying down to you in its
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15—29 Apr 2004 THE LIST 7