CAN you spin a spooky tale?
Today we are launching The News’s popular Christmas writing competition inspired by our city’s literary legend Charles Dickens.
Just like A Christmas Carol we want your stories to have a festive theme with a scary edge.
Characters, content and storyline are all up to you.
They can be set in times gone by or in our modern world.
There are two age categories — one for authors aged 15 and under and one for those aged 16 and above.
We will be publishing the entries of the winners and runners-up in each category in The News in the lead-up to Christmas.
Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for our readers to show their creative side.
‘We always look forward to reading your festive stories and can’t wait to see this year’s entries.
Your story must be no more than 1,000 words long and it must be all your own work.
Last year’s winner in the 16-and-over category was Jim Forrest with his entry From The Mists Of Time. The 15-and-under winner was Jake Brown, 12, from Havant.
You can e-mail your story to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject heading Christmas Ghost Story. Or post it to: Christmas Ghost Story Competition, Newsdesk, The News, 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth PO6 3EN.
Please ensure you include your full name, address, age and a daytime phone number, plus the category you are entering.
The closing date is midnight on Sunday December 10. The editor’s decision is final.