There is nothing better than reading a thrilling story, one that grips you so tightly and puts your senses on alert simply through the power of words. Spooky Sagas is a fantastic way to get your students writing in this way by using tension, suspense, and atmosphere. Download the (optional) lesson plan that covers these techniques. Inspire your students to create their own original mini saga and become published writers!
Mini sagas (a story told in up to 100 words) can be funny or creepy, scary or odd, but must be your students' own work. If you’d like further graphic organizers they can be copied or downloaded. If you prefer to go paperless, check out the Online Writing Portal where your students type their work during your lesson!
Why Take Part? 🧟♂️ Engaging way to teach constrained writing 👾 Lesson plan and graphic organizer for easy integration into lessons 👹 Fun spooky theme to inspire your students (ideal for 6-13 year-olds) 👻 Your students could be published in a real book 🎃 Opportunity for both students and schools to win prizes 🦇 Complimentary copy of the book your students feature in (the more students you enter the more free books you'll receive!) 💀 Free to enter 🧛🏻♀️ Fangtastic way to showcase your school's writing talent
There are lots of resources to help your students get writing including examples, a lesson plan & PowerPoint (or use the Google Slides version instead!).
We look forward to reading your students' work!
To make sure your entries are valid, please follow the rules listed below:
Only one entry per student, there is no limit to the number of entries per school. Teachers please submit your entries altogether where possible!
This exciting contest is ideal for students aged 6-13, but any student aged 5-18 is welcome to enter.
100-word limit (extracts are allowed). Titles are not included in the word count.
Each student's name, age and school name must be included on their entry.
Entries can be a photocopy, typed, handwritten or scribed by an adult.
An entry must be the student's own original work.
USA entrants only.
Free to enter.
If you are unsure on any rules or have any queries, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.
The Young Writers’ Award of Excellence is awarded to the school that submits the best set of entries for this contest.
PLUS every participating school receives a free copy of the book their students feature in.
(The more entries you send, the more free books you’ll receive: E.g. Send 1-30 entries & you'll receive 1 free copy, send 31-60 entries you'll receive 2 free copies, etc.)
Our favorite 3 writers will each win a fantastic creative writing goody bag!
PLUS every entrant receives a bookmark for taking part. Students chosen for publication also receive a certificate.
(The school & student winners will be chosen from the entries received in Sept-Nov 2023 and prizes awarded the following semester.)
Here are the ways you can enter digitally - please choose one:
Put your students into small groups. Ask them to discuss the scariest places they have ever been and why they found them so scary. Was the location dark? Were there strange noises there? Did they have a spooky experience in this scary place?
Get feedback from your students on what they discussed and create a list of creepy places. This should give your students a great range of settings to pick from when they write their spooky saga!
Start a class discussion on scary creatures and monsters. Give an example of a monster (e.g. a vampire) and give reason(s) why it is scary (‘they can shapeshift, have fangs and human blood is their favorite food!’). Once you’ve given your example, ask your students to come up with examples of their own. Some children may have different ideas about why certain monsters are scary – there are no wrong answers!
When you’re finished, your students should have a good idea about what makes a spooky creature scary – and that should show in their completed mini sagas!
Ask your students to close their eyes and think about what they can hear, smell, touch and taste. Ask them to feedback what they experienced. Next, ask your students what they might see, hear, smell, feel and/or taste in a scary situation – if they encountered a zombie, what would it smell like? If they were in a misty graveyard, what might they hear? If they were in a mysterious, dark room, what might they touch on the walls?
By focusing on a character’s senses, your students will be able to create great moments of tension in their spooky mini sagas!
Allow your students a few minutes to make a mindmap of things they like – anything from their favorite animal, to video games, sports, movies, etc. Next, ask them to expand their mindmap by linking these topics to spooky themes. They can do this however they please, whether it be using setting (e.g. a deserted football stadium), a person or animal (e.g. a favorite celebrity turned into a zombie, a pet which has transformed into a monster) or an activity (e.g. a drawing comes to life as they are creating it).
Encouraging your students to write what they love will engage their creativity and foster enthusiasm for their work.
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