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Current students and staff
The University Centre Grimsby
Professional and Creative Writing

Are you a budding writer?

Week 2

Do you enjoy writing? Perhaps we can help you develop your skills and think about writing professionally. We’re very excited to present 3 different authors over the next 3 weeks who will be talking about different aspects of writing and techniques that you might like to use in your own writing.

Email your story to [email protected]

Week 2

Your piece of writing should be no more than 500 words and start in the third person for as many words as you like and then continue to the end in the first person.

You should choose one character, place and item from the following lists and include all three in your piece.


A lone child

An old dog

A teenager who can hear the thoughts of others

A clown being hunted down

A librarian who discovers something

A scientist hiding from someone

A shy lion tamer


A cemetery

A dockside

The woods

A motorway

A bookshop

A café

A street corner


A rose

A hook

A broken watch

A secretbook

A mixtape

A bracelet

A nailgun

Send your 500 word submission to [email protected]

Week 1

Genre writing: making your characters suffer

Your task is to describe being trapped.

You have a maximum of 500 words.
To plan your writing, you should consider:

  • Perspective? Tense? Dialogue? Pace? How will you ensure suffering?
  • The physical setting – how can you make it difficult, uncomfortable and even painful for your character(s)? Can you include the weather, the temperature, the air itself?
  • The sounds – what can your character(s) hear? Can your character(s) be heard? How do they keep themselves quiet if need be?
  • While it is sensible to have an idea of what world you’re going to create, don’t worry about back story within the 500 words – if the world has ended and the zombies shuffle and stumble and gnash their teeth, your reader will accept it. Same thing with a monster in a maze, a vampire so hungry he will tear this place apart or an abusive partner who’s had too much to drink.
  • While it is sensible to have a clear idea of who your character(s) is, don’t worry too much about giving details about them within the 500 words – you’re describing one event in their lives. Yes, it’s significant and traumatic, but the reader does not need to know their relationship with their parents or their own children or their siblings or their workmates. Their hobbies, their shoe sizes, even the clothes they wear should only be included if they affect this scenario.

Send your 500 word submission to [email protected]

You can find more information about our Professional and Creative Writing degree programme