Peta’s fun things to do at home

18: Write a story!

I love the fact that, however a story starts, there are millions and millions of possible middles and just as many potential endings.

I have used the opening of my only non-rhyming book, Jamie and the Joke Factory, as the starting-point for writing activities in a number of schools: ‘Jamie was SO excited! He was going on a surprise outing with Grandad!’

At this time of lockdown, I think it would be fun to write a story about a surprise outing. Why don’t you have a go? Use my first line as the first line of your own story.

I’d love to see how different your story is from mine – you can email a photo to, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford

Top tip: decide what type of story you want to write before you start: is it set in a ‘real life’ situation, or a fantasy world? Is it exciting/scary or madcap/funny? Or all of those things?!

Then think about the following:

  • Where is Jamie when he starts his outing? Who is he with?
  • Is it just Jamie and Grandad that go on the outing, or do other people/animals/things go with them?
  • What is the surprise?
  • What happens when they get there (something funny, exciting or scary)?
  • How do Jamie and Grandad get home?


What are you waiting for?

On this school visit, children told their stories through pictures, rather than writing. It’s a great way to encourage ‘reluctant writers’ to get creative!

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