Imagine a Story: a writing project for schools

Southbank Centre invites primary schools to write a new novel with celebrated author Sharna Jackson in this year’s Imagine a Story.

In this writing project, which is based on the game of consequences, Sharna Jackson (High-Rise Mystery) sets a framework for an exciting and adventurous multi-part story that she needs your help to write.

Each participating school writes one of the chapters in response to a brief set by the author, without knowing what comes before or after! Each school submits their chapter to be a part of the final book, which will be compiled and completed by Sharna Jackson. The completed novel will then be professionally illustrated by Dapo Adeola and printed in partnership with Lambeth-based Knights Of publishing.

Imagine a Story

All of the participating children become published authors and receive a copy of their published book. They are invited to hear the complete story performed at Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival, where they get to meet their fellow young authors and receive their copy of the Imagine a Story book.

The project aims to inspire and support children as creative writers and motivate them to continue to develop their writing and reading back in school and beyond, as well as support teachers to guide creative writing in the classroom.


How does the project work?

Step 1: Apply online for your school to take part in the project

Step 2: All teachers are required to take part in the professional development workshop with the author to introduce the story outline and workshop techniques for whole-class creative writing. Supporting resources will be provided

Step 3: Write your chapter with your class back at school

Step 4: Submit your chapter of the story

Step 5: Come and hear a live reading of your chapter performed at Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival, where you’ll receive your copies of the published book


Key dates

Fri 4 Oct 2019
Online application closes

Tue 15 Oct 2019, 4.30pm – 7pm 
Teachers’ CPD evening with our children’s author at Southbank Centre*

Wed 13 Nov 2019
Return your chapter to Southbank Centre by this date

Mon 10, Wed 12 or Thu 13 Feb 2019
The whole class of writers attends Imagine Children's Festival to hear their story read aloud and meet their fellow contributing writers on one of the early festival days (you’ll be allocated to one of the three days).

*Please plan to hold some in-classroom time directly after the October half-term to write your chapter with your pupils.

This project supports the following areas of the KS2 curriculum:

  • developing understanding and enjoyment of reading and writing
  • planning, drafting and evaluating their writing
  • discussing words and phrases that capture the reader’s interest and imagination
  • developing well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives
  • using language to develop understanding through imagining and exploring ideas
  • predicting what might happen from details stated and implied

download project framework

download themed writing paper


Get to know Imagine a Story author Sharna Jackson

Imagine a Story: Behind the Scenes with Author Sharna Jackson