Whether you’re a published author, a would-be poet or a brickie with a passion for the written word, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation wants you to get your creative juices flowing.

The Borders Writers’ Forum Open Writing Competition is open to all writers (other than members of the BWF itself), published or unpublished, with all entry fees donated directly to the Edinburgh Charity.

Edinburgh Makar (Poet-Laureate) and acclaimed Scottish writer, poet and playwright, Ron Butlin, will be the final poetry judge, while Ian Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Scottish and Victorian literature and professional fellow at the University of Edinburgh, will be the final prose judge.

The theme of the writing competition is Illness and the Child. Authors can write in any genre, fictional or true-life, that connects a child with illness through either a poem (maximum 60 lines) or a short story (maximum 3,000 words).

The winning entries will be published on The Sick Kids Friends Foundation website and they will also be read out at the Borders Writers’ Forum event at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose in June.

Maureen Harrison, Chief Executive of Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said she is delighted that the Borders Writers’ Forum has so generously offered to donate all entry fees to the charity.

She added: “The Borders Writers’ Forum is doing a wonderful thing by ensuring all money goes to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation – this will contribute greatly to us hitting our fundraising target for 2012, which is also our 20th anniversary.

“I would like to thank the members of the Forum, and every person who enters the writing competition, for their generosity and the part they are playing in the continuing success of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.”

Pamela Gordon, Chair of the Borders Writers Forum, said: – “We are delighted to be running this competition to encourage writers far and wide, to raise money for a good cause and to let people know of our active, innovative Forum which promotes the interests of writers in the Borders.”

The entry fee for each story and poem is £5.00, to be paid directly to The Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Donation may be online, by text, telephone or post:http://www.edinburghsickkids.org/donate.html

There is no limit on the number of entries any one person can make, but no author may win more than one prize. Members of Borders Writers’ Forum, as organisers of the competition, are not eligible to enter.

Winners will each receive a piece of uniquely hand-made Borders Art Glass.

The closing date for entries is Saturday, March 31, with winners being announced at the end of May.

For more information on the competition please click on the following link: www.edinburghsickkids.org/press-and-news/news-archive/open-writing-competition.html