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Stranger Sagas
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Extended Deadline - Closing Date: Friday 20th of April 2018

Creative Writing Competition for Secondary Schools

Your students are invited to enter Stranger Sagas, the latest, fantastic creative writing competition from Young Writers.

We provide a tantalizing selection of story starters each term intended to inspire your students to write a mini-saga, a story written in just 100 words! Each story starter sentence can be interpreted as the students wish, so how will they develop the story? What genre will students choose to write in? After all, every great story deserves a great ending...

See what others think of Stranger Sagas…


  • Only one entry per student
  • Mini sagas can be written or typed
  • 100-word limit (not including the title)
  • Ensure that all students include their name, surname and age on the entry form
  • You can use the 8 brand new story starters for this term, but if you prefer to use the Autumn Term ones, simply download them below!
  • Don't forget to put your school name and postcode on the freepost sticker or the reverse of the envelope so we know who has sent the entries


Winners will be chosen from entries received in the Spring Term 2018 by our editorial team and independent judge.

For Schools

1st Prize - £1,000

+ a trophy

2nd Prize - £500

+ a trophy

3rd Prize - £250

+ a trophy

Stranger Sagas pupil prizes

For Students

1st Prize - £250

2nd Prize - £100

3rd Prize - £50

one highly commended writer will win a selection of books!

Plus a bookmark for every entrant!

How To Enter

  • If you are in need of more entry forms, please go to Downloads / Resources Request
  • Send your entries, along with your school entry form, to:

    Young Writers SS
    Remus House
    PE2 9BF

  • Alternatively, you can upload students' work here

Extended Deadline - Closing Date: Friday 20th of April 2018


To see the competition pack, including Full Competition Information, Poster, Lesson Plan, resources, and more… please fill in the short form below. All download links will appear once the form is sent and the links will also be emailed to you.



Request Additional Resources

I would like further resources posting to me… Please insert 0 if you don't require a particular resource.

Writing Tips

Tip #1

Creative writing is about setting a scene in the reader’s mind, but to help students get writing why not set a scene (or scenes) in your class to bring their imaginations to life!


“You have one chance, use it wisely”– where do students imagine they’d be given this information? Somewhere busy and loud, or somewhere quiet and private? Let them vote and then create that effect. You could use video or audio of a bustling city scene, or the tranquillity of a park to help set the scene so students can think about who would give them their last chance and why, as well as how they’d reached this situation.

A scream echoes outside – make the classroom dark and play the sound of someone screaming – who was screaming and why? Will they discover the cause of it?

The mist clears and my name’s on the moss-covered gravestone – open the window for a breeze, let paper flutter on the windowsill and show students this image -  can they imagine the peace in the cemetery, the stillness? Why would their name appear? Why are they in the cemetery in the first place? Will they solve the mystery of their name appearing?

Tip #2

Encourage your students to think outside the box with their Stranger Sagas. Can they create a twist in the tale, give us an unexpected ending that both thrills and surprises?


  • Someone isn’t who we thought they were
  • A character’s motives have deceived us as they were after something else
  • The world we think is real is in fact fake
  • Fate intervenes… for better or for worse
  • A character achieves something only to have it snatched away at the end

Tip #3

Bookmark the video above – this 90-second video introduces the activity to your students and will leave them eager to get writing!

Make sure you have the lesson plan and the 8 story starter sentences (these are the postcards in your Stranger Sagas pack). If you don’t have these, don’t worry as you can download them for free from the download section on this page.

Now, you’re ready to set the scene in your class… dimmed lights, watch the video, use torches to locate and read the story starter sentences – this create a fantastic atmosphere for writing a mini saga.

Then get students writing – this fun lesson can be completed in an hour, or simply do the introductory work in class and set the mini saga writing as homework.

FREE Weekly Writing Tips

Subscribe to our free writing tips and we'll send a weekly tip straight to your inbox throughout this competition.

Contact Us

Young Writers SS
Remus House

Tel: 01733 890066 / 898110
Fax: 01733 313524

Alternatively, you can upload your entries!

Enter online
For Young Writers entering independently (not via their school)

Send school entries online
For teachers to upload their pupils' submissions

Extended Deadline - Closing Date: Friday 20th of April 2018

Competition Terms & Conditions

Teach in the USA? Then why not visit our American site today!