Developing children's writing abilities boosts their confidence, creates enjoyment and relevance in the task and cultivates a range of decision-making and problem-solving skills that can then be applied across the curriculum. The Countdown series provides all the support you need in helping children to improve their prose, poetry and non-fiction writing.

Countdown to Creative Writing is a comprehensive and flexible resource that you can use in different ways:

  • 60 stand-alone modules that cover all the essential aspects of writing a story
  • countdown flowchart providing an overview showing how modules are linked and how teachers can progress through them with the children
  • photocopiable activity sheets for each module that show how to make the decisions and solve the problems that all writers face along the road from first idea to finished piece of work
  • teachers' notes for each module with tips and guidance including how modules could be used as stand-alone units, but also with suggestions for useful links between modules, and curriculum links
  • a self-study component so that children can make their own progress through the materials, giving young writers a sense of independence in thinking about their work
  • 'headers' for each module showing where along the 'countdown path' you are at that point.

In short Countdown to Creative Writing saves valuable planning time and gives you all the flexibility you need - teachers might want to utilise either the self-study or 'countdown' aspects of the book, or simply dip into it for individual lesson activities to fit in with their own programmes of work.


chapter |2 pages

Overview – How to use the book

chapter 60|4 pages

Getting started

chapter 59|3 pages

A few tips

chapter 58|3 pages

Good writing habits

chapter 57|2 pages

A writer's rights

chapter 56|1 pages

What is a story?

chapter 55|4 pages

Having ideas

chapter 54|4 pages

Ideas for a reason

chapter 53|3 pages

Plot bank

chapter 52|4 pages

Plot, characters and background

chapter 51|2 pages


chapter 50|2 pages

All of your senses

chapter 49|4 pages


chapter 48|4 pages

‘Sounds as it says’

chapter 47|3 pages

The structure of a story

chapter 46|3 pages


chapter 45|2 pages


chapter 44|5 pages

Play format

chapter 43|3 pages

Letters, texts and other ideas

chapter 42|3 pages

Basic narrative elements

chapter 41|5 pages


chapter 40|3 pages

Tips on planning

chapter 39|5 pages

The six big important questions

chapter 38|5 pages

Narrative lines

chapter 37|7 pages


chapter 36|5 pages


chapter 35|4 pages

Science fiction

chapter 34|4 pages


chapter 33|5 pages


chapter 32|4 pages


chapter 31|2 pages

Animal adventures

chapter 30|2 pages

Further ideas for genre

chapter 29|3 pages

Audience and purpose

chapter 28|3 pages


chapter 27|2 pages


chapter 26|2 pages

SF and fantasy names

chapter 25|2 pages

Picture a person

chapter 24|2 pages

A bagful of games

chapter 23|2 pages

Character ticklist

chapter 22|1 pages

Personality profile

chapter 21|4 pages


chapter 20|4 pages


chapter 19|3 pages

Map making

chapter 18|2 pages

Place names

chapter 17|2 pages


chapter 16|1 pages

Word grid

chapter 15|2 pages

Mix and match

chapter 14|2 pages

–10 Getting ready to write

Part 1

chapter 14|3 pages


chapter 13|3 pages


chapter 12|2 pages


chapter 11|2 pages

Story arcs

chapter 10|3 pages

Story path

chapter 9|2 pages

–4 Getting ready to write

Part 2

chapter 9|3 pages

Length of story

chapter 8|1 pages

Economy of language

chapter 8|1 pages

Economy of language

chapter 7|4 pages


chapter 6|5 pages


chapter 5|3 pages


chapter 4|1 pages

Strong start and finish

chapter 4|2 pages

Strong start and finish

chapter 3|1 pages


chapter 3|2 pages


chapter 2|1 pages

A writer's responsibilities

chapter 1|2 pages

In the mood for writing