STARS from the stage, screen and the literary world have helped launch a new writing competition for elderly people aged 90 and more.

As the nation endures another episode of isolation, many old people have reflected on unexpected events and have found themselves holding onto cherished moments.

As a result, a new nationwide writing competition has been launched exclusively for people aged 90 and over.

The Grow Old Disgracefully writing competition is now open to nonagenarians and centenarians, inviting them to write a 500-word maximum short story under the theme of childhood memories.

Jackie Flaherty, who started the Grow Old Disgracefully charity, said: “Younger people now have very little idea of what life was like pre-war, or during the war.

"Please, if you are 90 years plus, will you write down your memories and stories? We are offering a prize of £200 and a tree to be planted close to your home for the best story.

"There must be some amazing tales out there. What was childhood like pre-war? Was “murder in the alps” something to eat or a game to play?

"What was evacuation like? What did children do when allowed to leave the house from dawn to dusk?

"Did you go out to work? What were schools like? Were you poor or well off?

"What was it like to be disabled in those times? Did you have animals?

"Were you brought up in the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Africa? We would love to share your stories.”

One of the five judges, BAFTA-winning film legend Virginia McKenna, said: " I’m looking forward to reading a range of entries which share strength and impart wisdom in this time we’re living in – as well as a good dose of irreverence!”

The competition runs until the January 31 and the winning story will be showcased on the Grow Old Disgracefully website.

The winner will receive £200 and a tree of their choice to be planted near their home.

A similar prize will be given to the best entry from someone living in a care facility.

The competition will judged by Virginia McKenna – famous for Born Free and A Town Called Alice; Lauren St John, the highly-acclaimed children’s author of The White Giraffe and Dead Man’s Cove; BBC broadcaster and author, Nicholas Owen; the UK’s No 1 crime writer, Peter James, and the Scottish literary agent Judy Moir.

To find out more and to enter, go to: