WE’RE celebrating the wonderful world of reading as we gear up for World Book Day on Saturday, March 8.

To mark World Book Day, Waterstones Taunton is holding a competition for budding young writers in the local area.

They are inviting young people to write a poem or short story about their favourite fictional character.

The competition has two categories:

  • Junior - for those aged nine or under. Write a short story or poem about your favourite fictional character with a word limit of 250 words.
  • Senior - for young people aged 10-16. Write a short story or poem about your favourite fictional character with a word limit of 500 words.

A spokesman said: “Feel free to make your entry as colourful and presentable as possible as we will have all entries displayed in store on Saturday, March 8, during our World Book Day event.”

The first prize winner of each category will have their entry published in the Somerset County Gazette and will receive a £10 Waterstones gift voucher.

Second prize winners of each category will receive a £5 Waterstones gift voucher.

The closing date is 4pm on Sunday, March 2, (so hurry) and the winner will be announced at Waterstones Taunton's World Book Day event on Saturday, March 8, at 3pm when the winners will receive their prize and have their picture taken for the paper.

Budding scribes can get writing tips from some of the biggest names in children’s fiction with the launch of an interactive online Storycraft story writing project on the World Book Day website - www.worldbookday.com

To enter the competition send your entry to Waterstones, The County Hotel, East Street, Taunton, TA1 3LU. You can also hand it to a member of staff at the branch.

As well as your entry, you must also send your:

  • name
  • age
  • contact number (if applicable)
  • state which category you are entering (junior or senior)
  • your parent's/guardian's name
  • parent's/guardian's contact number
  • the title of your creative writing piece
  • Who is your creative writing piece about?
  • Your school

For more details, call Waterstones on 01823 333113.

Terms and conditions: The First Prize Winner of each category will then have their entry published in the Somerset County Gazette and will also receive a £10 Waterstones gift voucher. The Second Prize Winners of each category will receive a £5 Waterstones gift voucher. Winners will be asked to take part in publicity. Entries must be original work. All enquiries about the competition should be directed to Waterstones, County Hotel, East Reach, Taunton, TA1 3LU. Closing date for all entries is Sunday 2nd March 2014 at 4pm. This is an independent advertisement; the Publisher (Somerset County Gazette) makes no representations or warranties in respect of this competition. Usual Newsquest rules apply. For full terms and conditions visit www.newsquest.co.uk/terms.

On March 6, Shakees were due to be holding a fancy dress and create your own book mark competition for toddlers - but unfortunately they have had to pull out of the idea.

On March 8, Waterstones Taunton will be holding an event for customers to come in and enjoy fancy dress, face painting, games and activities.

Readers of the County Gazette will also receive 10% off children’s books in Waterstones on Saturday, March 8 - please present the voucher in the edition of February 27.

Meanwhile, Party On in High Street, Taunton, is giving a discount voucher in this week’s (February 20) County Gazette and next week’s (February 27) for 10% of costumes for children.

Book-lovers can pick up must-reads for free using a £1 World Book Day Book Token being handed out in nurseries and schools across the land.

Little ones can snuggle up with David Melling’s lovable, big brown bear in Hello, Hugless Douglas! or get the party started with Emily Gravett’s Little Book Day Parade.

Youngsters itching for fun can join Jim Smith’s Barry Loser in his latest exploit, I am not nit a Loser, and readers are guaranteed to be left hilariously spellbound by Jill Murphy’s Fun With the Worst Witch.

Martin Brown illustrates WWI trench life in inimitable fashion for the latest in the world’s bestselling series of children’s history books by Terry Deary, Horrible Histories: Terrible Trenches, while those with a taste for thrills and adventure can lose themselves in A Laura Marlin Mystery: The Midnight Picnic by Lauren St John.

Readers can experience the world through the eyes of man’s best friend as they follow Sarah Lean’s canine hero, Jack Pepper, and are set to learn a thing or two from Middle School: How I Got Lost in London, by James Patterson.

Back for 2014, two Young Adult titles join the £1 book list. Plug into World Book Day’s loudest book, Rock War: The Audition by number one bestselling author of Cherub, Robert Muchamore, or The Boy in the Smoke, the prequel to paranormal series The Shades of London by New York Times bestselling author and ‘Queen of Teen’ Maureen Johnson.

All ten books will be available in participating bookshops across the UK from the end of February.

World Book Day director Kirsten Grant says, “The event is set to be bigger and better than ever in 2014, with a delectably wide range of £1 titles on offer to give readers of all ages books they can really sink their teeth into.”