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Creative Writing Tips

Did you know that you can enter a story or poem that you already wrote for a school assignment? You can re-write or even recycle anything that is your own work, as long as it follows all our rules.

Want to enter this contest but need help getting started?
  • Make us laugh! Tell us the funniest thing you’ve ever heard, or the funniest thing that has ever happened to you.
  • An exciting adventure – a daring rescue or a close escape. Who knows what will happen next!
  • Write a story or poem so frightening it will scare even the bravest kid.
Still stuck? Here are ten tips to help you write a winning story or poem:
  1. The more you read, the easier it’ll be for you to write a good story or poem yourself. Try to read lots of different kinds of books. Don’t forget to look for story and poem ideas in newspapers, magazines and online resources. Search for words or phrases that interest you, like "shark attack" or "volcano." Start reading and soon you’ll be writing too!
  2. Do you have a friend who also likes to write? Why not exchange stories? Keep your advice friendly and helpful. For example, maybe a character in their story could be described better or maybe something happens in their poem that doesn’t make sense to you. Your suggestions can help them and may make you a better writer, too.
  3. Don’t know where to start? Write the ending first and try to build your story backwards.
  4. Don't expect to write it perfect the first time. Most writers work on the same story or poem for a long time. Feel like giving the main character a different name? Would it help the story to add a new character who could fill in some missing information? Go ahead. It isn’t done until you say it is!
  5. Read what you've written out loud. This is especially important if you are writing a conversation between two characters. You may realize that you need to change a few words so that it sounds more natural.
  6. Keep a journal that you write in every day. Write down ideas for stories and poems and also descriptions of things that happen to you. Write about how you feel. Having a better idea of what makes you happy or sad will help you make the characters in your stories more realistic.
  7. Most writers find it easiest to describe people, places and things that they know. There are lots of great stories and poems to be found in your own backyard! If you decide to write about a real place where you’ve never been, do some reading and research so you get the details right.
  8. You don’t have to write your story or poem with perfect spelling or grammar the first time, but don’t forget to fix these details before you’re finished. Do this whether you’re handing your writing in to a teacher, sending it to a contest or giving it to a friend to read. Why? Good spelling and grammar make it easier for people to read your writing and concentrate on your ideas.
  9. Don’t feel like you have to explain everything. If your story takes place in a kitchen, you don’t have to write ‘Tom was in the kitchen’. You can write ‘Tom opened the refrigerator’ and your reader will be able to figure out where Tom is. Instead of writing ‘the refrigerator was empty,’ have Tom open the refrigerator and say ‘Mom, there’s nothing to eat in here!’ Use dialogue and the actions of your characters to tell readers details they need to know.
  10. If you’re stuck in the middle of a story or you don’t know where to start, take a break and try doing something completely different. ‘Writer’s block’ happens to everyone. Listen to some music, go for a walk or bake some cookies. Taking a break may actually help!