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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 Summer 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 or your students can submit their entries through our brand new Student Typing Portal!

Student Typing Portal
Login to your teacher account to add your students



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!


My torch flickered and went out… where do students imagine they’d be when this happens? A forest? A graveyard? Going down to the basement? Camping? Are they looking for something or somewhere after dark, or has there been a power cut? Somewhere busy and loud, or somewhere quiet and private? Let their imaginations run riot!

I knew there would be consequences, but I did it anyway...  – this is an intriguing story starter, what did they do? Why? Where were they? What were the consequences? Were they worse than they thought? What made them decide that the consequences were worth their actions… Get your students to discuss this story starter, it’s thought-provoking and sure to generate an excitement around writing!

I looked around, desperately searching for an escape... – this story starter suggests an air of panic – what would make your students feel like this? Trapped underground? In a dark room? In a small space? Underwater? Suspended from a cliff side? What physical traits would they display in this situation, screaming? Scratching at walls? Kicking? Sweating? Shaking?

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

World Cup fever is in full swing, so why not tie it in with writing activity! Here’s a few suggestions on how to incorporate it into Stranger Sagas…

  • I looked around, desperately searching for an escape… - what if a star player was kidnapped, or a natural disaster hit the stadium at the World Cup final?
  • Please let this be a dream, I thought… - What would losing in the World Cup final feel like, especially if you’d let in a goal or been sent off! If you can’t bear football, this is a great story starter too – imagine being stuck at a match or everyone you spoke to only talked about football!
  • Don’t go into the woods, they told me – what’s in the woods? The stolen World Cup? Footballers rigging the matches? Androids that look like footballers as this is how machines will take over the world?

Tip #4

Put students into groups of 8 and give each group a story starter…

The group has to think of two ideas for a mini sagas – one obvious, one not so.

E.g. Don’t go into the woods they told me

Obvious: The woods are haunted
Not so: A rare flower that grants everlasting life grows there

Now ask each group to write a mini saga based on each of their ideas, read them to the class and discuss what they liked and why. Then ask students to write their own mini saga based on one of the story starters that inspired them during this activity.

Tip #5

It’s an easy tip – whichever story starter sentence students decide to use, ask them to include the theme of summer in their mini saga. From hazy summer days, school’s out and holidays to adventure, boredom and summer jobs – there’s lots of ways this season can add a new angle to the story starters!

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

Student Typing Portal
Login to your teacher account to add your students


Competition Terms & Conditions

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