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Stranger Sagas
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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



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

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

Make sure you have 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 below.

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. 

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

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!


We watched from the Space Station as Earth exploded – you could watch a video of Earth exploding and then discuss why it could have happened, what would you feel in this situation, are they a survivor or did they cause the explosion?

There was a noise coming from the basement – make the classroom dark and play the sound of something screeching – what could it be? Will they discover the noise or are they the cause of it?

The sun was blazing, I took out the map, I must be close – turn up the heating or have a fan heater on, bright lights and have maps out on the table. Where are students going? Or where did they come from? Are they running away, looking for something or about to make a discovery?

Tip #4

Split your class into 8 groups and give each group one of the story starters. One student writes the next line, then passes it on to the next student who also writes a sentence and so on until they have the rough draft of a mini saga.

Work together to edit the work down to 100 words and each group then presents their piece to the class before writing their own mini saga inspired by the story starter of their choice.

Tip #5

It’s an easy tip – whichever story starter sentence students decide to use, ask them to include a link to Christmas in their mini saga. From Santa lost in the desert to unwrapping the family portrait as a Xmas present, challenge students to try adding a festive twist!

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


Competition Terms & Conditions

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