Hello Detectives – thank you so much for your responses to Prompt 12, Protest. I was so impressed with your thoughtfulness and creativity, and the way you’re learning about history and inequality. Well done! Some of the stories that caught my eye were Niamh’s story about Emily Davison, Zoe’s story about the Harbour Bridge Reconciliation Walk, Amelie May’s witch trials story, Polly’s story about a protester at this month’s Black Lives Matter protests and Inaya’s story set during the Spanish Civil War.
This week, in honour of the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams, which I took part in over the weekend, I’m giving you the prompt dreams. We’ve chosen the winners of the Puffin Big Dreamers competition – but when I was judging my category with Yassmin Abdel-Magied, we both wished all of the entries could be winners, and in these prompts you all can be!
Your dream can be big or little (or you can create a character with very different dreams than your own), it can come true or not, it can be funny or surprising or important or silly. Your story can be scary, romantic, fantastic, mysterious – anything you like! And you can also post the entry you sent in to the competition – that way we can all see and support your brilliant work! The thing to remember about competitions is that they’re really subjective (which means from one person’s point of view). We can’t possibly choose the ‘best’ story because there’s no such thing as a ‘best’ story – so we just had to choose one we liked. So if you don’t win a writing competition, please don’t think it’s because you’re no good at writing. I promise you, you really are!
As usual, the rules …
- It can be as long or as short as you like, and take you as much or as little time as you want.
- It can be any genre (type) of story you want. If you have an idea for something that I haven’t mentioned (writing a poem! Being inspired by a song you love! Writing non-fiction!), don’t wait for my permission – just go for it! This is your creativity working!
- You are not allowed to worry about grammar or spelling.
- You are not allowed to worry if it isn’t perfect, or criticise yourself as you’re writing.
- You are encouraged to make a plan before you begin, to make it easier for you to get to the end of the story. This can be two words or a whole page! But if you don’t want to do this, you don’t have to.
- Get to the end of the story without stopping to go back and fix bits you don’t like. Once you’ve finished, read it through again. If you still don’t like those bits, you can edit them now!
- If you want (and only if you want!) you’re allowed to post the first 500 words of your story in the comments below. I have to moderate the comments so it may take a while for them to show up – please be patient. I don’t want to see you apologising for your story or minimising what you’ve done when you post – writing a story is a triumph and you should be proud!
- Please do not use your full name when you comment – first names are fine, or you can make up a username that you like! Also remember to stay safe online and not get into private discussions with anyone you don’t know in real life without telling an adult first.
- If you like someone else’s story, you are allowed to comment to say so! If you’d like to give them ideas that might make their story even stronger, that’s OK, but please be kind and remember how deeply we all care about our writing. A good format for feedback might be something like: ‘I loved ****! Have you thought of ****? I think it might make your story even better!’ I will delete any comment if I feel it’s critical without being constructive.
- I can’t promise to give feedback on any individual stories – I’m not marking them!
- This isn’t a competition, and there will be no winners and no prizes, though I may choose a story or two to highlight in future posts.
Good luck, Detectives, and remember to always dream big!