The Golden Pen Award

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Our 2021 Golden Pen Award has launched and we are thrilled by the submissions we’ve received so far. We encourage entries from anyone who loves to write, and we’ll be releasing a series of tips and tricks right here on the Blog to help unleash your creativity.

Starting your story can often be the hardest part,of writing. Not knowing what words to put on the page is commonly referred to as ‘writer’s block’ but we’re here to help walk you through that blank page staring back at you! So grab a notebook, and open your mind to the BIG ideas to come...



The 2021 theme for The Golden Pen Award is Big & Small.

Now the key to writing great works is to develop your own unique and original idea. Many writers take their ideas from their own experience of everyday life, so let’s think BIG about what first comes to mind when you think of the theme Big and Small. Do you think about someone small with a big idea, or a giant object that is usually very small? Is it an exploration of a tiny undiscovered city, or a tale that traverses the far-flung corners of our enormous universe? Is it all about the big adventure of a small animal with a giant heart? Roald Dahl wrote many stories around the idea of Big and Small. Some of our favourites include James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Danny the Champion of the World. Perhaps you’ve read them too!



Your story is only limited by your imagination, so now that we’ve got you thinking about the theme, here are some ways to help kickstart your creativity:

·      Go for a walk. Nature is inspiring, so head outside and observe your surroundings. Exercise also gets the blood and oxygen flowing to the brain, which can help declutter the mind and make way for new ideas.

·      Listen to music or podcasts. Creativity can be sparked through any of our senses – sight,sound, touch, smell and even taste!

·      Make an inspiration board. Read through the newspaper or a magazine, and clip out images or articles that interest you. Add your own photos or findings from your nature walk!

·      Brainstorm! – In a journal, or on a whiteboard, let your imagination run wild and use a mind map to capture your thoughts.There are no bad ideas when you brainstorm – get everything out of your head. Even better, brainstorm with and bounce your ideas off someone else!



There are many ways to tell a story. Now that you have some ideas bubbling, you need to think about how you would like to tell yours. Think about the genres of the stories you love most and check out some examples below:


Thrillers can include crime, ghost or horror stories. There is always a protagonist (hero) who takes on the antagonist (villain). The antagonist isn’t always human - it can be an organisation, a made up creature, a real-world problem or an object, and there are plot twists and cliff-hangers that keep you guessing until the very end.


These types of stories leave you wanting to know more. They are one giant puzzle that hooks you in, which needs to be read in order to be solved. The best mysteries strategically build suspense and are real page-turners.


Stories steeped in history transport you to the past, taking inspiration from real-world events, historical figures and settings of a bygone era.


Sci-Fi’s need not only be about aliens, planets and galaxies far, far away. This genre also includes stories inspired by, well, science. Think technology, chemistry, physics and speculation about what may happen in the distant or not-so-distant future.


Fantasy stories consist of imaginary characters living in imaginary worlds. They’re often inspired by mythology and contain magic.



Next you need to determine the way in which you would like to present your written work. The list below is by no means exhaustive, but shows you how stories come in many shapes and forms:

·      Poetry - a literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas make use of a distinctive style and rhythm

·      Graphic Novel - a full-length story told in a comic book format using both pictures and text

·      Fiction - written literature that describes imaginary events or people

·      Non-Fiction - stories about real facts, people and events

·      Comic – a shorter story told in pictures and minimal words


And finally, PRACTICE,PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Hone your literary skills by putting aside a set amount of time each day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, to write.

We’ll be releasing more tips and tricks to help with your creative journey, so make sure you check-in with the Blog. Learn more about how to submit your story to The Golden Pen Writing Award.

Now it’s time to start YOUR story!