Roald Dahl started writing at the age of 13.

It's said William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, began at age seven. JK Rowling started at six. In other words, there are, out there, children writing, right now, who may be the talent of tomorrow.

The Herald is looking for children who enjoy putting pen to paper as it launches its Herald Children's Story Writing Competition in association with Taylor Wimpey and The Scottish Book Trust.

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There is a lot to be said for sitting down and writing a good story. Apart from anything else, it could mean prizes: an iPad, £500 in cash and £500 worth of books for the winner, and iPad minis, books and money for runners-up. The Herald is inviting writers, aged from five to 17, to send in stories based around three different themes: "match report", "a magical experience" and "life changing events". For terms and conditions please go to our advert on page six.

Commenting at the launch, Audrey Ross, from Taylor Wimpey West Scotland said: "We're delighted to support such an engaging competition that will encourage active participation of children right across the primary and secondary school age-group."

The competition will be judged by Audrey Ross and Karen Armstrong of Taylor Wimpey, Herald writer Vicky Allan and Helen Croney of the Scottish Book Trust.

Nervous about starting your tale? Young people who are not sure how to shape their story can find advice on the Scottish Book Trust site ( which has video masterclasses by top authors.

Storyteller and writer Lari Don, for instance, says she is often askedwhere her ideas come from. "I say I get ideas by keeping my eyes and ears open, asking lots of questions and then playing with the answers."

And when you've got that idea? Janis Mackay suggests: "Decide what your main character wants? Friends? Treasure? To discover the secret? A bike? The way home? Then you make it difficult for them to get it - let them have it eventually… but they have to work for it."

All entries should be sent to:

Children's Story Writing Competition

The Herald Marketing Department

200 Renfield Street

Glasgow G2 3QB

Please state clearly on the envelope your name, age and theme.

Closing date for all entries is April 30, 2014