This year, we’ve teamed up with children’s author, Jeremy Strong, to find Britain’s best young story writers.

We’re scouring the country for aspiring writers, encouraging them to submit a story no longer than 500 words about a journey, whether real or imaginary by March 31st. Who knows, you could be crowned the winner of a fantastic, all expenses paid family holiday of a lifetime.

But, if you need a helping hand with how to get started, Jeremy has jotted down his five top tips. Check them out here!

1.   Create memorable characters – make them so real they come alive in your mind; you can almost see them wandering about in your brain! Good, strong characters will help you actually write the story. Think about what they look like, how they dress, behave, speak and so on.

2.   Don’t write too much! Making your story really long does not make it a good story. Your story should only be as long as it takes to tell it well. A one-page, well written story is a hundred times better than a ten page waste of words!

3.  Get your story off to a good start – don’t spend too much time on setting things up or writing descriptions of place – get the action going as soon as possible so that your story grabs the reader and carries them away.

4.   Always go for the unexpected. In other words don’t write things that the reader will expect to read. Every so often put in something a bit different, odd, unusual or unexpected. Here’s a very simple example.

 “I went to the zoo. I saw a monkey.” 

You can see that that is not very interesting. What about this?

“I went to the zoo. I saw a monkey. It was wearing underpants.”  

Get the idea?!

5.   When your story is finished read it out loud to yourself. This will help you notice where you have written things that don’t make sense, or they’re boring. It will help you notice spelling mistakes. You will think of better words to use and sometimes better ideas to put in. Work on your story to improve it and make it as good as you can before you show it to anyone. And finally – listen to useful criticism – it’s hard to do, but worthwhile!


Budding writers have until March 31st to submit a story no longer than 500 words about a journey, whether real or imaginary. A random entry a day will be uploaded onto the kidz blog on the Al Fresco Holidays website for everyone to read. The top five will be judged for the chance to win a holiday to an Al Fresco parc of their choice and all will receive runners up prizes.


(View details on how to enter the Young Story Writer competition here

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