Benchmark Creative Writing Competition


We want you to:

Imagine you had a bench dedicated to you

What would it say on the plaque? (30 words max)

Where would it be?

Why have you chosen that particular place? (200 words max)


We want you to express this in the present tense, celebrating the person that you are now.


Entry opens on Monday 1st November 2014 at 9am.

Entry closes on Sunday 1st February 2015 at midnight.

The winners will be announced in the newsletter

The competition is open to all adults (18 years and over) resident in the UK

The fee to enter will be £5 of which 40% will be donated to Willow Burn Hospice

Submissions must be made via the dedicated entry form

All entries must comply with the Terms and Conditions of the competition


Hints and Tips

Here are some suggestions to help get you started

  • Listen to Benchmark online radio play
  • Dedicate the bench to you.  Write in the present tense as you are now – celebrate your life!
  • Be spontaneous and genuine in what you write
  • Be yourself when you write
  • Write in prose or poetry
  • Tell us which place means the most to you – whether it’s your back garden or the top of a mountain!
  • Why does this place mean so much to you?
  • Keep it simple

Before you start writing it might help to

  •  Make a list of your good qualities – what are the values that you feel others appreciate in you?
  • Make a list describing your special place and its physical qualities – can you use your senses: sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste?
  • Make a list of how it makes you feel to be there – what draws you to it?

Now bring all these ideas together.  Here’s an example for you to look at:


Example Entry

Imagine you had a bench dedicated to you

What would it say on your plaque (30 words maximum)

Dedicated to Jackie who is a loving, Mum and Wife.  A creative individual with amazing ideas.  A brilliant writer who is yet to be discovered!

Where would your bench be?

Sewing Shields Crag, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

Why have you chosen that particular place? (200 words maximum)

The view up here is phenomenal, unchanged for centuries.  Overarching this panorama is the vast Northumberland sky, where you can watch the rain approaching half an hour before it arrives and see the shadow of an entire cloud upon the open land.

Even on a sunny day, the wind takes your breath away as you gaze over rugged fields and moors across the precipitous drop north towards Scotland and The Cheviots. Then you cast your eyes east, over the gentler farmlands to the Wild Hills of Wannie before turning southwards where the Northern Pennines, England’s last wilderness, comes into view.

Wrapped in the timelessness of the landscape, feeling at one with all that has gone before, your tension melts away and a new perspective takes hold.  Turning again, homeward towards the setting sun, your eyes follow the Wall as it rides the Whinstone Sill west to the shores of the Solway Firth and Northern Lakes.