A CHILDREN’S author is calling on budding young authors in Wiltshire to get their literary careers off the ground and express themselves in a new national writing competition.

Writer Huw Powell has been chosen by National Express to launch its ‘Express Yourself’ short story competition, launched in conjunction with the coach company’s new on-board entertainment system which launches next week (November 28).

Mr Powell is joining the coach operator in a call for children aged between 7 and 16 to get creative and submit short stories inspired by the theme of ‘happy travelling’.

He said: “This competition is all about journeys and travelling as the people reading it are going to be coach passengers, but the journey you write about can be fictional or real.

“I’d love every child in Wiltshire to have a go, it doesn’t matter if you think you’re not a writer, everyone has a story. Writing is one of the best ways of expressing your ideas, unlocking your creative side, and this is a great opportunity to share it.”

Winning stories will be published in an online storybook in the new entertainment system for passengers to read as they travel and they will also get a £50 cheque as prize money.

Mr Powell, who is known for his ‘Spacejackers’ book series, will judge entries.

Entrants should write a story of up to but no more than 1,000 words and have until the December 31 to submit it to david.wrottesley@nationalexpress.com.