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1001 Brilliant Writing Ideas
Ron Shaw
1001 Brilliant Writing Ideas offers teachers endless ideas and inventive suggestions, opening up new opportunities for creative writing lessons. With over a thousand different 'story-starters' across a vast range of genres and narrative styles, this versatile book provides food for thought for pupils of a wide range of ages and abilities.

This highly practical and richly illustrated photocopiable resource:
  • addresses the 'blank mind' problem, offering pupils a plethora of story-writing ideas and suggestions;
  • enables teachers to inspire pupils who struggle with creative writing;
  • provides prompts to set ideas into motion, whilst leaving plenty of scope for original and creative thought;
  • challenges pupils, encouraging them to use higher-level thinking skills;
  • offers mix-and-match stimulus pieces that can be used independently or put together to give pupils more or less support as required.

Any teacher whose inventiveness is flagging, and whose pupils are running out of ideas, will find this an essential classroom resource.


1001 Brilliant Writing Ideas aims to provide 'endless ideas and inventive suggestions' for creative writing sessions with children. It is organized into topics and includes everything from Fairies and Fantasies to Curious Combinations, where the author selects several smaller ideas and fuses them together to create an original starting point for a story. The presentation of the book makes it easily accessible to both teachers and children alike, and ideas for writing are grouped together in a clear format.

In his introduction, Ron Shaw states that the book offers prompts and ideas for story-writing as well as opportunities for high-level thinking. Indeed, this versatile book provides numerous initial prompts for writing and some sections of the book provide 'additional challenges' which could be good at prompting advanced writing skills such as dialogue, description and development of characters. However, many of the ideas are repetitive and any experienced teacher could take the first few and evolve them far beyond Shaw's suggestions.   

The book also claims to provide ideas for story-writing for all ages. However, on closer inspection many of the suggested prompts are based on animals or everyday situations and in some cases the characters or scenes suggested lead the writer into pre-conceived endings, making them - in my opinion - a good resource for Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 but too basic for older Primary School children.

As a ready-to-use resource, 1001 Brilliant Writing Ideas would be of value to those new to teaching or those that want to incorporate something new into literacy sessions that may have become mundane or repetitive. It is a useful resource for teachers wanting to introduce more creativity into their pupils' writing, and should help to inspire and capture their attention. It does not, however, provide all the answers. As suggested earlier, some of the ideas are unintentionally restrictive and it is worth noting that the book aims only to provide initial prompts and does not grapple with the further development or structure of the writing produced. For the best results, teachers will need to reflect and devise their own further support when using it as a resource.

Fiona Oxley

Additional Information:
£17.99, paperback
Routledge (David Fulton Publishers
Issue Number:
ISBN: 9780415447096
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