Screen-Free Ideas: Creative Writing Competition

The department of English of The British School of Barcelona came up with a great idea to reduce the screen time of students during confinement. In a time when digital devices have become one the most powerful sources of social interaction and a most cherished tool for online learning as well as indoor entertainment, being able to unplug from technology is not only healthy but also fosters creativity.

To stimulate this screen-free creative energy among students, Ms Duarte, BSB Head of English in Secondary, and her team launched the “Creative Writing competition” for students in Years 7, 8 and 10 over two weeks. Students spent the first week planning their stories and writing them up on paper (away from the screens!), and over the second week, their works were peer-assessed before typing up their final piece.

With over 120 entrants, the competition has been a real success! And a real challenge for the jury, who highlighted the excellent control of language, the rich vocabulary, the originality of voice and approach, and the genuineness of ideas.


The Winners 

Congratulations to Clara and Arnau in Year 7, to Rosa and Miguel in Year 8, and to Daniel and Paula in Year 10 (first and second prizes, respectively)

And thanks to all the participants!

Jury: Mr Petrie, Head of Secondary and Pre-University, Ms Kelly, Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning and Ms Duarte, Head of English.


The Jury’s Statements


Year 7 – Fantasy Story: Clara (Y7C) and Arnau (Y7D)

The judges enjoyed being transported to an array of fantasy worlds this weekend.

From chocolate waterfalls to fairies and from sphinxes to submarines, the creativity of our Year 7 pupils never failed to impress.

We were impressed with your rich vocabulary and the way you are beginning to think like writers, making choices that create a range of effects for your readers.

After much debate, the winners are Clara and Arnau who both crafted fantasy worlds and characters which were highly original.

Congratulations Year 7 on such fantastic work!


Year 8 – Dystopian Story: Rosa (Y8E) and Miguel (Y8E)

Inspired by their study of dystopian fiction in English lessons, the Year 8 students produced a selection of outstanding short stories and made the judges’ job a really tricky one.

All the finalists displayed excellent control of language, included some wonderful description and included a fantastic grasp of what a dystopia might look like. It was a real pleasure to read such a range of creative responses.

In the end, the judges were won over by Rosa‘s originality of voice and approach, and her vivid descriptions and by Miguel´s individual take on the task and the atmosphere he succeeded in developing in his writing.

However, it really has to be said that all the entries were of a very high standard and the message from the judges to all of you is to keep on writing!


Year 10 – Poetry: Daniel (Y10A) and Paula (Y10A)

The judges were moved to both laughter and tears while reading through some truly inspirational Year 10 poetry that came through in a wide range of different structures and forms.

We were so impressed by the way every entry had embraced the challenge in such a brave and fearless way. Many of the entries grappled with challenging themes of identity and loss; often drawing on ideas from personal experiences and making the poetry raw and genuine.

After much debate, the overall winner is Daniel with his poem ‘Burial’, and second place goes to Paula with her poem, ‘Shine’.



Click the image to read the winning pieces