Some Top Tips For Your Stories For Our WW1 Writing Competition From Judge, Daniel Ingram-Brown

It’s still not too late to enter our WW1 Children’s Writing Competition. Here are some top writing tips from judge, Daniel Ingram-Brown in what he’s looking for in the winning stories.


I’m looking for a story that builds a bridge between 1914-18 and our own time. I want to know why the First World War matters now. Why should we tell its stories? What does that time have to say to us? Why is remembering important?

I get inspired by a story when I feel that the author has time-travelled: not just memorised the history or got all the facts right, but connected with the people who lived at that time, hoped with them, laughed with them and cried with them. Atmosphere is really important. I love it when a story makes me feel like I’m there, by describing the sights and sounds, feelings and smells.

And I love stories that make me think. What do you think about the First World War and about war in general? Is it sometimes necessary, or is war always wrong?

Most of all, write a story about something that interests you – a character you’re drawn to or an event that makes you think. If you’re interested in what you’re writing, somebody else will be!

Have fun and good luck with your story. I look forward to reading it! Entries close on 14th October!

Dan is the author of The Firebird Chronicles: Rise of the Shadow Stealers which was published in 2013. Book 2 is out early next year.

You can read more top tips from judge, Susan Burnett here.

WW1 comp copy


Fiona Gell

Fiona is a lifelong reading enthusiast and book lover. Her career started as a bookseller and has never really veered away from the written and spoken word. It was a dream for her to be a founder member of The Leeds Big Bookend. Fiona is its Coordinator and Marketing Director of the Northern Short Story Festival.

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