Creative Writing Competition Sparks Students Imagination

A national creative writing competition ‘Stranger Sagas,’ has fuelled the imagination of young writers at St Helens College. A number of mini-sagas were written by students across the College with some being selected for publication in a young writer’s anthology.

The competition, which was open to all students aged 16 – 19 across the College, required students to submit a 100-word mini saga based on an inspiring sentence starter. The ‘Stranger Sagas’ entry form listed eight pre-wrote sentences that the students had to choose from, to ensure all stories were different.

The competition saw over 20,000 entries from schools and colleges across the country, with the aim to encourage young adults to enjoy creative writing. Thirty of our students, from various courses, including GCSE English and A level English, who entered the competition have successfully been selected for publishing – a fantastic achievement for our students to celebrate.

The Stranger Sagas book will be published in April 2018, along with the announcement of the overall competition winner. The editors will gather to select their favourite published writers, who will win an array of prizes.
The school or college with the best set of entries will also win £1,000 and the Young Writers Award of Excellence, which will be awarded shortly after the publication of this year’s series.

The standard of entries this year wowed the editors who have learnt to expect the unexpected. The pieces were judged on a number of elements, taking into consideration what criteria makes a good story, with perception, imagination and creativity all taken into account, along with expression, originality and use of language.

The competition was part of the College’s ongoing enrichment strategy. Cara Turner, English Programme Leader, commented: “I’m extremely proud of all the students that entered, I think this is a fantastic accomplishment. The creative writing skills they used are things we teach in class, however I didn’t give my students much help in regards to what they did. It was their imagination that came up with their individual stories. Some of them were absolutely wonderful in their creativeness.”

A Level Academy student, Katie Moffat, was one of the lucky students to have her work picked for publication. Her involvement with the competition came about through her English Literature A Level, where she was able to utilise her love for writing with the techniques she had learnt on her course. Katie who has hopes of being a journalist, produced a crime murder mini saga, taking inspiration from the many books she’s read.

Speaking to Katie on her involvement, she commented: “I was so pleased to be involved with the Stranger Sagas competition. I absolutely love writing, so for me it was a real pleasure. To have the opportunity to have my work published in a book is a real achievement for me. It’ll be great to use towards my CV as well as on my University personal statement. Being able to say I’ve had my work published, will give me a real advantage when applying for Universities, especially as I want to go in to journalism which is such a competitive subject.”


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