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Children’s Author Calls for Birmingham Youngsters to ‘Express Yourself!’

neA Midlands children’s author is calling on budding young authors in Birmingham to get their literary careers in top gear and ‘Express’ themselves in an all-new national writing competition.

Writer Caryl Hart has been chosen by National Express to launch its ‘Express Yourself’ short story competition, launched in celebration of the coach company’s new onboard entertainment system VUER (View, Unwind, Enjoy, Relax) which has just launched.

Caryl is joining the UK’s largest coach operator in a call for children aged 4-16 to get creative and submit short stories inspired by the theme of ‘happy travelling’.

Youngsters are invited to let their creative juices run riot and submit original travel tales. Inspiration can come from anywhere – be it their own real-life experiences or something from the depths of their imaginations.

The winning stories from the primary school and the secondary school age categories will then be published in an online storybook in ‘VUER’, for passengers to enjoy as they travel - they will have a chance to be read by the millions of people who travel with National Express every year. Each winner will also get a £50 cheque as prize money.

Launching on services in the Midlands, VUER is the UK’s first coach ‘infotainment’ - news and entertainment system – a complimentary service offering films, TV and magazines entirely free of charge.

The app, which allows customers to enjoy hours of free entertainment – as well as news, weather and journey updates and plus free WiFi - on their own devices from the comfort of their seat, affords the ideal platform to enable kids to get creative and have their stories seen by millions.

Caryl is well known for her best-selling and award-winning children's books including "How to Grow a Dinosaur", "Whiffy Wilson", "Don't Dip Your Chips in Your Drink, Kate" and "The Princess and the Giant", which won the Geoffrey Trease prize at the East Midlands Book Awards this year.

“I’d love every child in Birmingham 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. Good luck!”

National Express UK Coach Managing Director Tom Stables said: “Every year we take millions of people on a journey, now to celebrate VUER, we are turning the tables are asking youngsters in Birmingham to take us on a journey. ‘Express Yourself’ is a really unique opportunity for budding young authors to get their literary careers in top gear and we’re looking for really inspiring stories to delight our customers. We can’t wait to start receiving the entries.”

To take advantage of VUER customers simply need to download the app from the Apple or Android app store on their phone or tablet before they get on-board to access the content, which is then streamed over Wi-Fi during the journey.

Entrants should write a story of up to but no more than 1000 words, and they have until the 31st of February 2017 to submit it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Alternatively, children can post stories to The Story Team, National Express House, Mill Lane Birmingham B5 6DD.

For more information about coach travel or to book visit www.nationalexpress.com or call 0871 781 81 81

For more information about Caryl’s work visit: www.carylhart.com

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 08:43

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