Tag Archives: childrens fiction


Write a short story (aimed at any age group within the children or YA genre) but your story must include the child in this photo. Remember, it is quite a short story, as you have a maximum of 1000 words. 

I was quite happy with this assignment, as I loved the cheeky little boy photo, he reminded me of my grandson!

My answer:

Archie was always getting in trouble.  He liked to splash in puddles when he didn’t have his wellies on, he liked to take his shoes off when his mummy had just put them on him, he liked to put his hands in his dinner and squidge them up and down and he loved to jump up and down on his mummy and daddy’s bed.  

One day, Archie had been particularly naughty and his mummy and daddy put him upstairs in his bedroom, mummy had said to him, “Stay in there until you can become a good little boy.”

Archie was confused by this, he didn’t want to be a good little boy, so he decided to stay in his room forever.

He looked around at his room, his books were stacked neatly on the shelf, his toys were packed away nicely in their box and his bed looked very snuggly as it had just been made.

Archie took out his colouring pencils, but after colouring in some pictures for a while, he got bored of that without his mummy sat next to him and colouring in too.

He set up his train track, it was hard without his daddy to help him, he sort of managed it, but when he let the train go, it sped up the train tracks and crashed when it ran out of train tracks.  Archie picked up the train which now had a bent funnel. He was sad as this was his favourite train.

Archie went over to his bookshelf and chose a book, The Gruffalo, his mummy would read it to him before he went to sleep, but not this time, she wasn’t there. Archie tried to read it to himself, but he didn’t like doing that, he liked his mummy reading it to him and when he tried to turn a page, it ripped. Archie was upset as this was his favourite book.

He went to his toy box in his bedroom, it was full of cars, fire engines, trucks and diggers. He took out a few to play with, making the different sounds they made, but by himself it was a little boring. Usually his daddy would play cars with him, they would set up the car mat and drive through pretend cities and towns. Archie loved it when his daddy played with him, it made him feel very special.

Archie sat down on his bed, his legs dangling over the side, he could play hide and seek and so he jumped off the bed and hid underneath the bed waiting for mummy or daddy to find him. But after a little while he realised that they wouldn’t be coming, they didn’t know he was hiding as he was in his bedroom alone.

Archie was very sad, being in his bedroom by himself wasn’t as much fun as he thought it was going to be and he missed his mummy and daddy.

He opened the bedroom door and went to the top of the stairs, behind the stair gate, he could hear his mummy and daddy downstairs talking as they were making lunch. Archie shouted, “I’m sorry mummy and daddy, can I come downstairs now?” The talking stopped downstairs and his mummy appeared at the bottom of the stairs, “What are you doing, Archie, you should be in your bedroom,” she scolded him. “I don’t want to be in my bedroom any more, I’m sorry I’ve been naughty, I’ll be good from now on.”

With that, mummy came upstairs and opened the stair gate, “Give mummy a hug,” she said to him and Archie immediately hugged her.

That afternoon he coloured in with his mummy, played with his train set and cars with his daddy, played hide and seek with both of his parents and at the end of the day, mummy mended The Gruffalo book and read it to him until he fell asleep.

Now Archie was never an angel, he was a normal small boy who sometimes  liked to jump in puddles without any wellies!

Using the photo below, write a short story about this character. Creative interpretation is welcome, but do not extend the word count. Maximum 500 words. 

The challenge for this assignment was to write a story not exceeding 500 words, so a short, snappy story was what was required.

My answer:

It was nearly time for Connor to leave to go to the concert. He couldn’t remember when he last felt this excited about anything at all. He’d listened to their music for as long as he could remember and couldn’t quite believe that he was going to see them actually perform in person.

“Connor, will you sit still,” his mother asked him, they were sat on the train and he couldn’t hide his excitement. He looked at his watch, “Only two hours to go and I’ll be listening to those songs on my iPod live.”

The concert venue was packed with children about the same age as Connor, they were all equally as excited and had parents in tow whose faces did not display the same amount of excitement as their children’s.

You could feel the excitement grow as the stadium gradually filled up. Connor had purchased the programme, ignoring his mother’s protests that £8 was far too much money, he had saved his money for exactly this occasion.

As they sat in their seats the fans did their best to entertain themselves, stamping their feet on the ground, creating a Mexican wave, booing the section of audience who didn’t join in. A voice announced that there was only ten minutes to go…

Connor jumped up in his seat, strained his neck to see if he could see any movement on the stage, no, not yet.

Then the band struck the first chord, the first chord of one of their most popular songs, the crowd immediately started to sing, Connor did as well, shouting out the lyrics as loud as his voice would let him.  His mother sat next to him, swapping glances with the other mothers, all wondering how they had let their children talk them into this.

The band came on stage, it was almost too much to bear for Connor, he let out a very loud, “Whoop, whoop, whoop,” and danced on the spot. After what seemed like an eternity for Connor, the lead singer popped up from a trap door in the stage, grabbed the microphone and started singing. 

The mothers couldn’t contain themselves any longer, gone were the strained faces, the bored glances at each other, up they jumped, dancing and singing with their children.

Everyone had a wonderful time, they all danced to every song and sang every word to each song and on the way home Connor stole a look at his mum’s iPhone, yep, every single song by his group was on there!

Using the characters given as examples under "A secret", write full character profiles for (a) Thomas and (b) Janey.
A Secret
Thomas, the eight-year-old, has to keep his older brother's secret drink habit from their parents, as he is scared of the consequences.
Janey knows her mum's holiday plans and is trying very hard to keep the secret from her father, who works too many hours. 

This is something that i’ve not done before, I have in my mind what my characters are going to be like, but never actually written it down before, which I think I will do in the future.

My answer:

Thomas is an eight year old, who is older than his years, he feels a responsibility towards his family, he is a worrier and feels like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. He tries to please his parents all the time, as he wants to belong to a big happy family, he is worried that they will discover his big brother’s drinking habit. He is a clever boy and his parents favour him above his older brother. He enjoys normal eight year old boy activities, he plays football for his school and likes playing computer games. Thomas is small for his age, has short blonde hair and blue eyes.

Janey is a 12 year old girl, she is medium height, has brown hair which is normally tied back ino a tight pony tail. She is a good student and has lots of friends at school. She is a happy-go-lucky child, who is very close to her parents. She spends a lot of time with her mother as her father works long hours. She doesn’t like to keep anything from her parents, but when she found out that her mother was taking them away on holiday, she knew this was a good secret and that her dad deserved a holiday. She is outgoing and cares about animals and enjoys horse riding.

Your Grade: 100%

Your Mark: Distinction

So that’s Module 3 completed – I have had a sneaky peak at Module 4 and it’s definitely a step up from what I’ve been doing so far.


Create a fantasy story for the 8-12 years age range. Even though the theme is magic, it must still be believable. The story should be approximately 1,000 words. 

I was excited to do this assignment – a chance to let my imagination go wild for a while – I have already published this story on my blog, The Magic Jigsaw but I will show it again.

My answer:

Harry is ten years old, he lives with his mother and father and he is an only child. Harry loves jigsaw puzzles, he loves sorting the pieces out into corners, straight edges and the different shaped ones. He loves jigsaws with cartoons, scenery, people, animals, in fact, Harry loves jigsaws of any sort, so you can imagine how pleased he was when he saw that a new jigsaw shop had opened on his high street.

The Jolly Jigsaw Shop was squeezed in between the Chinese Takeaway and the Fish and Chip shop, it was hard to spot their front door, but Harry noticed it and excitedly opened the door and stepped into a world of jigsaw puzzles.

The shop had every kind of jigsaw imaginable; 500 pieces, 1000 pieces, large pieces, wooden and 3D. The shelves were stacked from floor to ceiling, he had never seen so many puzzles in one place. Harry had a hard time choosing which one he was going to buy, each time he chose one, he found another one he liked better.  Whilst he was trying to make a decision, the owner of the shop came up to him, “Hello, young boy,” he boomed, “What are you looking for today?” Harry looked up to see a large man, with bright ginger hair and a ginger moustache and beard.

“I’m not really sure.” Harry replied and added, “Do you have any favourites?”  “Well, I do like historical jigsaws, ones that show events in history, like this one for instance,” and the shop owner held up a puzzle which showed a picture of the Battle of Waterloo.

Harry thought that it did look interesting and so he decided to buy it. “No, no, young man, I won’t take any money for it, you are my first customer and I’d like to show my appreciation.” Harry did not want to accept this man’s kind offer and offered to pay, but the shop owner insisted, he just asked if Harry could return the puzzle once he had completed it, so Harry walked out of the shop with the puzzle under his arm.

Once home, Harry started to complete the jigsaw puzzle, it was 1000 pieces and the picture was very detailed; there were horses and soldiers fighting and a lot of gun smoke, so it took him a little while to complete.

A couple of days later, Harry had one final piece to put in the jigsaw puzzle. He placed it in its position and leaned back to admire the picture.

Then, a strange thing happened, the puzzle began to sway quickly from side to side, the picture became blurred and Harry felt as though he was being swallowed up into the puzzle and then everything went black…

Suddenly, Harry saw a bright light and he could hear voices, he looked around and he was no longer in his bedroom, it seemed as though he was in the middle of a muddy field. There were soldiers everywhere, shouting and rushing around, orders were being shouted by men on horses and then Harry saw a man sat in a tent, the tent had the English flag above it and he was surrounded by important looking men, Harry looked closer and couldn’t believe his eyes, it was the Duke of Wellington, whom Harry had just seen in his jigsaw puzzle. The Duke was deep in conversation with these men and they were earnestly pointing at a large map in the middle of the table. Harry moved closer and strained to hear what they were saying.

“But we are drastically outnumbered,” one soldier said, “We need to wait until the Prussians get here before we go into battle,” The Duke of Wellington replied, “The Prussians will be bringing about 45,000 soldiers, which will help us in battle because at the moment we are outnumbered by Napoleon’s army.” 

At that moment, Harry heard soldiers shouting, “The French are attacking, everyone to the battlefield,” and he could hear gunfire and cannon shots. Harry ran down to the battlefield and found a safe place to hide, he watched as the battle raged on and eventually the Duke of Wellington’s army managed to force the French to retreat.

Harry once again saw the Duke of Wellington, “We have lost lots of soldiers during this fighting,” he informed his generals, “But we need to stop defending our position and attack the French,” and his generals nodded in agreement.

This was the last time that Harry saw the Duke of Wellington as everything began to sway and Harry felt as though he was falling again. This time when he looked around, Harry was back in his bedroom, he looked at the jigsaw puzzle and the picture had changed, it showed the Duke of Wellington riding his horse in celebration of his victory.

Harry rushed to his computer, he looked up The Battle of Waterloo and sure enough, what he had seen and heard had actually happened, he was amazed. He immediately broke up the puzzle and went back to the jigsaw puzzle shop.

When Harry arrived at the shop, the owner was there, he was completing a puzzle himself and he looked up when he heard the shop bell tinkle and smiled when he saw it was Harry. “Did you enjoy that puzzle?” he asked, “Did it teach you anything?”

Harry reached into his bag and placed the puzzle on the counter, surprised that it was now again showing the Battle of Waterloo on the cover. “That puzzle was amazing, I learnt a lot about The Battle of Waterloo, do you have any others I could do?”

The shop owner reached up to a shelf above him and pulled out another puzzle, this time it was a scene depicting The Boston Tea Party. “How would you like to do this one?” he said, “There’s a lot you could learn from this one.”

Harry nodded, he couldn’t wait to get home and see what would happen when he completed this puzzle.

Assessor Comment:

Really enjoyed this short story, excellent idea.

Grade needed to pass: 60%

Your grade: 100%

Your mark: Distinction

Module 2 assessment: Creating tension

Create tension for a character through an event that puts the character under pressure or causes a dilemma. Create a 500-word sample of writing that depicts the problem and the escalating tension.  This can be for any age group within the children's book category.

As this was my first assignment, it took a little while to come up with a concept for this and the fact that I had to stick to 500 words was a little worrying.

My answer:

Sissy woke up and for a split second all was right with the world, that split second was wonderful, the sun was shining through the window and her pet cat was purring next to her, the sound was soothing. Then, a feeling of impending doom came over her, the sun went behind a cloud and her cat’s purring was suddenly irritating, she remembered it was the day of her exam.

The studying she had done for the past year, it was now the time that all this would come to fruition, either she would ace it or at the very worst, she wouldn’t be going to the college that she had dreamed about ever since she had decided to become a vet.

She stroked Tommy, apologising for even thinking that his purring was irritating and made her way down to breakfast.

Her mum was busy in the kitchen, popping bread in the toaster, pouring out orange juice, “Do you want the usual this morning?” she enquired, Sissy nodded, even though she was sure she wouldn’t be able to stomach the toast as her stomach felt like it was in knots. “There you go, my lovely,” her mum said cheerily, “You need to have a good breakfast before you smash this exam!” Sissy replied with a smile which she thought showed the utmost confidence, but her mum wasn’t fooled, “Are you okay, my lovely? You’re not nervous, are you?” Sissy shook her head, not trusting herself to speak as she was sure the waver in her voice would give her away.

She managed to force down a slice of toast and a gulp of orange juice before saying goodbye to her mum, who shouted after her as she walked down the hallway, “You go get ‘em darling, you’ll be amazing!”  “No pressure there then,” Sissy thought to herself.

As Sissy entered the school gates, she met up with her fellow classmates, some looked confident, others looked like Sissy felt.  She sought out her best friend, Amy, who by the looks of her, was feeling the same as Sissy. “How are you feeling?” Sissy whispered, “Nervous, you?” Sissy nodded in agreement, “My whole future rests on this exam and I don’t know if I’m prepared for it or not,” she replied.

It had been Sissy’s dream to become a vet ever since she could remember, ever since her goldfish, Ringo, had died and they had a funeral in the bathroom, as she had watched Ringo disappear into his watery grave she had vowed to find out why he’d died and prevent it from happening to another goldfish that she may own in the future.

As they filed single line into the main hall and found their desks, Sissy felt slightly sick, she wished she’d never eaten that toast now. She sat down, waited for the adjudicator to tell them to start, and then she turned over the question paper. Quickly scanning the questions, her mother’s words came into her head, “Go get ‘em darling, you’ll be amazing,” and after looking at the questions, Sissy agreed with her!

Assessor Comment:

Great idea.

Grade needed to pass: 60%

Your grade: 100%

Your mark: Distinction.