I am designing a writing contest for 13 and 14-year old EFL students. The students have very limited experience with creative writing and I will not have any time to give them practice on brainstorming, so I need to define the contest's theme very carefully. I hope each entrant can write an simple fictional story.
I have some ideas for methods of framing the theme, but have limited experience with this, so I am not sure how well they work:
- Give a key word or phrase, e.g., “Treasure Hunt.”
- Provide a starting sentence to begin every story.
- Provide a picture, which should form the basis for the story.
Do any of these, or other methods, work particularly well? If the theme is not narrowly defined, will this increase problems with writers block?