Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

06 July 2019

Posted by Lucy Pearce

Short Stories

11-14 Age Group, 11 Attending

What 'weird' thing has happened to you this week?

This is the question that we opened the Short Story session with, to bring forward some interesting and unusual tales. Answers ranged from Scarlett buying a bag that can fit anything, to the ironic story of a tuna sandwich at a sea-life centre.

As an exercise of trying to cut down word count, the young writers all chose a fairy tale e.g. Billy Goat's Gruff, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, etc., and had to tell it in as few words as possible, ensuring all the key points were mentioned. 

To then shorten these further, the young writers then tried to turn the stories into newspaper headlines. Examples of these include: 

Slave goes to ball - Cinderella 

Boy's nose used as skipping rope - Pinocchio 

Then, to generate a short story as a group, we passed would write two lines of action on a paper, and pass it on to the next person. The results of this were hilarious, with pregnant horses who can somehow fly and eat a roasted marshmallow at the same time. 

To get the young writers writing full-length, they each wrote the first line of a short story (e.g. "What's that?" said betty, her hair now completely on fire"), for another writer to complete. 

15-18 Age Group, 10 Attending

Looking through cut-outs from this weeks newspapers (such as 'Woman's body is no longer her own'), the young writers used these to create short stories from. James wrote (and read in a fantastic David Attenborough impression): 

Humans: the creatures of supreme being. We often turn a blind eye to our relationship with the animal kingdom and find often too much a disassociation from our primitive form. The world would simply be different without us and so would those who share out planet.

Now, following my altercation with the BBC, and the job of narrator of Blue Planet 3 going to Mary Berry, join me now in my first key stage three personal education booth, where we will discuss how to mate with your mate, the four step guide to puberty. 

After this, we played a game called Man Bites Dog, where we each pick five cards that give us the elements of a headline - see picture. 

From these, the writers could then go on and develop the headlines into longer length stories, or they could do the same activity as the younger group, where they wrote an opening line for each other. 


Back to blog

What's on

Find out more

Our projects

Find out more

Our films

Watch now

Headlight Press

Find out more

Latest news

29 June 2022

The Hub at Holyrood

THE HUB AT HOLYROODThursday 23 June 2022Antosh Wojcik (ArtfulScribe) sharing creative writing stimulus.“So great to see things like this happening on our...

Read more

Our blogs

Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

Find out more


Why not get in touch?