Can you feel the chill in the air? Can you sense the darkness falling?
Halloween is just around the corner, so now’s the perfect time for children to get even more creative with their story writing!
Perhaps your fledgling authors can think of an eerie take on a well-known classic? Like Old Mother Goosebump. The Elves and the Boo-Maker. Or Ali Baba and the Frightened Thieves?
Remember, we’re looking for stories that celebrate diversity, and show young writers channeling their sense of self – so could their stories include them encountering these scary characters? Do they befriend them and show them around their town? Or introduce them to their favorite hobby?
To help inspire some spooky twists on tales to enter into our competition, or for something fun and engaging to do over half term, we’ve put together some twisted tips to help get you started, PLUS free downloadable activity packs with writing activities, recipes and much more!
Below are a few twisted tips for getting started, either in class or at home:
The 1, 2, 3, eeee! guide to spooky story writing
1. Kick off your tale with a chilling first line, like ‘It was a dark, stormy night in the forest’, ‘There was a howling through the window pane’, or ‘A tall shadow stood against the palace wall.’
2. Swap your story’s location to make it creepy: put your character in a haunted house instead of a cosy cottage; an abandoned graveyard instead of a magical garden.
3. Introduce a spooky character to a fairytale that doesn’t have one. Imagine the Pied Piper leading a line of zombies to the mountain, for example. Or Cinderella’s prince being a vampire. Maybe Cinderella is the vampire! What would happen next?!
Remember: this is YOUR story, so go wherever your imagination leads…
Send them on a Haunting Halloween Treasure Hunt to find the following, and then write about one of them:
- a picture they think is scary (it might be in a newspaper or magazine, on the wall, or even in a museum)
- a spooky place they’ve visited
- a character in a fairy tale or fable who gives them goosebumps
- a Halloween story that you could share with them
Expressing their thoughts in a personal way could help young writers add more vivid details and emotions to the characters in their My Twist on a Tale entry, so encourage them to really pay attention to how they feel when they’re taking part in the Haunting Hunt.
And if their competition entry is ready? Send their spine-tingling stories to us by owl or broomstick.*
Happy Halloween – and happy writing!
*Can’t get hold of a delivery owl or broomstick? Download our competition entry pack for all the information you need, including details of how to submit online or by post.