'War & Peace' The 2018 Prior Park College Creative Writing Competition

Brought to you by the English and History Departments, with able assistance from the Library and Marketing division of Prior Park College.

What is it?
A celebration of writing in all its many, wonderful forms. Writing is something almost everyone does, but creative writing is a passion too often kept hidden and personal. We would therefore like to celebrate the work of creative writers of all ages.

Why are we doing this?
Historians love dates and November 2018 represents a significant milestone in the history of Britain and the wider world. One hundred years after the guns fell silent in the First World War, we want participants to consider the monumental social, political and economic changes that the Great War brought, as well as the dramatic and often painful return from total war to peace time. In a broader sense, we want the theme of conflict to be a driving force in propelling writers, young and old, into considering conflicts personal and public, local and international, while exploring their ideas in a variety of formats.

How can I participate?
Start by looking through the stimulus material – sentence starters and phrases that could spark an idea that, with careful nurturing, could turn into the basis of a piece of creative writing.

How can I get started?
The sentence starters should offer a way into the creative writing process. For pupils at Prior Park College, there will also be regular lunchtime Creative Writing sessions running on Friday lunchtimes throughout the Michaelmas Term, offering inspiration, encouragement and, above all, a space to write freely and creatively.

What can I write?
We will be considering a wide range of creative writing formats, including:

  • Prose – short-story, oration (e.g. debate speech), article
  • Letters – a re-creative task
  • Poetry
  • Screenplay/Treatment
  • Monologue
  • Cartoon/graphic novel – including political cartoons
  • Spoken word entries

How much can I write?
We don't believe in artificial word limits to cramp the style of any budding writer. That said, we would suggest a target number of words depending on your age:

  • Under 10 years old – Target – 500 words
  • 10-13 years old – Target – 500-800 words
  • 14-16 years old – Target - 1500 words
  • 17-18 years old – 3000 words
  • Adult (over 18) – Limitless

When do I need to submit my entry?
We will be accepting submissions until the end of the first half term on Wednesday 24th October, 2018. You are very welcome to start writing at any time before the submission window.

What's this about a celebration?
Over the autumn half term, we will consider all the entries that have been submitted and select from them a range of submissions that we feel best embody the themes of war and peace, public and private conflict. We will invite the authors to join us for a Creative Writing Celebration Evening on Tuesday 6th November, 2018 at the Julian Slade Theatre at Prior Park College in Bath. That will be a chance to read and hear excerpts from the best works produced, celebrating the hard work that goes into crafting a piece of creative writing. By the time of this evening, we will also provide a representative sample of submissions in an online format to share the work with a wider audience.

What happens afterwards?
We will be commissioning an anthology of entries – in numbers considerably beyond those selected for the Celebration Evening – that will be bestowed upon the invitees in recognition of their efforts. The anthology will then be available to purchase for anyone interested in seeing the full range and scope of writing produced.

For more information and to submit your entry – or entries if you are feeling particularly adventurous – please use the following email address:

Alternatively, handwritten entries can be sent to: 2018 Creative Writing Competition, Prior Park College, Ralph Allen Drive, Bath BA2 5AH

Sentence Starters and Stimulus Material

War and Peace

“He returned from the war a changed man...

“While the war was going on, her life had changed beyond recognition...

 "He dreaded peace even more than he hated war...

When the guns at last fell silent…” 

Sounds of War, Sounds of Peace 

Children of War, Children of Peace 

'This House believes that the horrors of the Great War, 1914-1918, pale in comparison to the horrors that came afterwards.' 

Women in the war


Assimilation into post-war world 

Personal Conflict

Conflict at work

Conflict at school

Conflict in the home

Conflict within oneself

Remember that these are just thoughts and ideas to get you started – the main goal of creative writing is to be creative!

If you are struggling to find inspiration, get in touch:

Good luck!
Dr K McGowran, Head of English & Mr C Bartlett, Head of History & Politics