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Choose ending to a top author's story.

As the old saying goes, there's a book inside everyone of us ( and a new television challenge is aiming to give writers of the future an impressive kick start on the road to literature production.

End of Story...will be launched on BBC Three and BBC2 at the weekend and will be asking budding authors to finish one of eight short stories which have been started by eight of fiction's top names.

Ian Rankin, Alexei Sayle, Sue Townsend, Fay Weldon, Shaun Hutson, Marian Keyes and Ed McBain have all submitted their unfinished 2,500-word manuscript, each of which is just waiting for a 1,200 addition from a member of the public.

Presenter Claudia Winkleman says: "We're not asking people to write War and Peace, just 1,200 words to complete the 2,500 already written by each of the authors.

"And with the names we've lined up there is something for everyone from romance to detective fiction and even the supernatural and a shot of shock horror.

"It is a chance to get writing and become co-author with a really big name and at the same time get your work showcased on television, which isn't bad going for any newcomer to creative writing."

The eight half stories will be fully revealed in a special launch programme on BBC Three at 9pm on Sunday (followed immediately by an airing on terrestrial BBC Two at 10pm) and people across the UK will also be able to find hard copies of the End of Story books available ( featuring all eight half stories ( in many major and independent bookshops, plus at bus and train stations across the country.

The books will also pop up in some bizarre places with Treasure Hunt clues available on the website www.bbc.co.uk/endofstory.

Once these special books are all out in circulation, the half stories will then go `live' on the website with further support available through a phone line (0901) 293-2211.

The competition closes at the end of May and the entries will then be whittled down to three per author by a judging panel.

These three will be reviewed by each author who will choose their winner in an eight-part series which will go out on BBC Three in the autumn.

Ian Rankin says: "The idea that I could sit down and write it without having to come to a conclusion was fantastic, it really freed me up.

"As I wrote it I got ideas[ETH] I could see three or four different ways the story could go.

"But it is open to many interpretations and I look forward to reading some of the results."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 13, 2004
Words:442
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