Words Awry, Stories Told
Inspiring Young Writers.
Words Awry: Stories Told is an innovative writing project for Year 7 students. It began life as a pilot project in 2017, when a team of students from 7R worked together to craft their own story, ‘Trapped!’. Over the next two years, the stories they created have fired up the imagination of our students – and led to an unprecedented interest in creative writing.
Words Awry: Stories Told complements the KS3 English curriculum and is completely inclusive, so we’re very pleased to say that it’s now been extended to all Year 7 students – with thanks to a generous grant from the John Lyon’s Charity.
Each week, the group meet in the Library, where they look for inspiration in their English curriculum books. Working individually, each child finds characters, themes and words that interest them. They discuss these as a group. And finally the children work together to weave their ideas into one brilliant shared story.
Their stories will be published in a book in 2020, but you can get a sneak preview of their work on the links below! Keep visiting, as we'll be publishing more work throughout the year.
'Our story Trapped is excellent! I imagined I had Bear on the Chair on my lap, and it helped me relax and get writing.' Mohammad
'We all enjoyed the work. I was able to really let my imagination rip!' Emine
The Kitten And The Dragon.
A touching, imaginative and well thought–out new story by writers' project students Helen, Alyssa and Lema...
I was putting out the rubbish when I heard little mews from the bin, so I quickly took out the rubbish from the bin and there was a tiny kitten, covered in mud and wrapping paper, she looked at me with eyes as bright blue as the Indian Ocean. She is very, very cute. The kitten had a bleeding paw so I found a clean towel and went to the PDSA in the High Street. They said I had to come back with an adult and we would have to pay. They wanted to take her from me…
I felt nervous and scared and ran off home I thought:
“I will keep her for myself.”
When I washed the kitten, pinky ginger and white fluff appeared and as I bandaged her paw, I just knew she was a girl because she is so feminine.
Then I put her on some of my twin, Yasmine’s – Oh I forgot to tidy - clothes on her side of the wardrobe. Her clothes lay in a heap on my side everything is on hangers.
Later that day, Maltilda our babysitter gave us chicken soup for supper and I pinched some of Yasmine’s when she wasn't looking because she hates chicken soup – well actually she hates everything I like:
“No! Ugh! Chicken soup!”
I don’t like anything she likes either…
I put the chicken soup into my little sister Erica’s tiny doll's bottle for the kitten. When I gave it to her she really enjoyed it, so I’ve called her Soupy:
When Yasmine met Soupy she was so surprised she forgot to dislike her.Everything was fine until the next day when Yasmine discovered that Soupy had peed on her clothes. I did say sorry and I then went out and bought a litter tray with my pocket money and used old newspapers to fill it. I put Soupy under my bed and made a nest for her out of old blankets. Later that afternoon, when I opened the bedroom door, I unexpectedly saw Yasmine’s face before me and heard Yasmine’s screams of fury again. Soupy has peed on the pink dress she had worn to the wedding, the last outing with Mum… Suddenly I felt frightened.
There was no sign of Soupy. I started to call.
Slowly I surveyed Yasmine’s side of our bedroom. The piles of clothes, nail varnish, streaked, stained carpet and our shared wardrobe Yasmine’s beloved Ed Sherin posters, stared down at me on her side of the wall.
Felling more and more worried I started to rummage through my sister’s pile of clothes, whispering:
From the hall outside I heard screams of:
My eldest sister Lyra was shouting a magic spell again and then heard her shout:
“You rotten muggles! I hate you! I’m going to Hogwarts!”
I knew it was bathtime again for my youngest brother, Roger aged 4 he has refused to have a bath for days and is getting smelly. He only wears his dragon outfit which is equally dirty… When Matilda and Lyra managed to undress him he had a massive tantrum, rushed to the wash basket found it and put it back on. Mum made him his Dragon costume..
I don’t like to think about him being little and not really understanding what’s happened to Mum…
Quickly I started calling very loudly,
A rustling noise from under the bed Soupy’s ball of fluff, pinky ginger and white head appeared. I felt angry but relieved.
“Soupy! Why didn’t you come?”
I scooped her up and sat on the bed hugging her. Slam! The bedroom door flung open, Roger in his muddy, bedraggled, Dragon Costume, clutching his Teddy, rushed in screaming:
“No bath! Dragons don’t have baths!”
He went to dive under the bed, saw Soupie and stopped.
One filthy, green, clawed little hand shot out:
“Ooh fluffy Kitty!”
The sound of Lyra stomping and shouting was now so loud that he then leapt under the bed. I thought quickly and gently put Soupy in my bed. The door flung open, Lyra her long, brown hair swishing like a snake stuck her head around the door:
“Yasmine, have you seen Markie, he has to have a bath tonight!”
“No I think he might be in Abdi and Abdina’s room.”
Lyra let out a groan and muttering again about spells to turn little brothers into rats marched off.
Soupy moved under the duvet cover and gave a mew so I quickly got her out and stroked her.
Markie crawled out from under the bed he took his dragon hood off and slowly approached and started to gently stroke her to, then he said :
“Mama no like cats.”
I thought it is true, she loved JoJo our dog. I had asked for a kitten and Mum said:
“No I hate cats!”
Gently I sat Markie down on the bed and put Soupy on his lap. I whispered.
“This is Soupy because she likes chicken soup.
And Markie, Mum isn’t here.”
Trapped! Part 3: The Conflagration Sparks.
Read the latest episode of our young writers' project story...
Slam! Drop! Slam Drop! Slam Drop!
Little Abdi Trapta’s feet struck the pavement of Rowdon Avenue. The ugly faces of the bullies he had just confronted stared up from the pavement slabs.
He felt exhausted and very hungry and he failed to understand why everyone directed their uncontrollable laughter at him and his twin sister, Abdina just because they had Achondroplasia, a disability that prevented them growing.
The bullie’s uncontrollable laughter echoed in his ears and their shouts of:
“Hey Dwarf! My two year old sister’s bigger than you.” Hit him like a wrecking ball!
He waved at Marie their neighbour she was in her car outside his house. A 70 year old lady dressed in pink with pink hair she looked like a fluffy marshmallow had baked a huge chocolate cake for the Trapta children and delivered it early that morning.
He entered the house and went straight into the kitchen, there on the table was his slice of cake but Soupy the kitten was on the table with her paw in it! Abdi shouted:
Nooo! My cake! Soupy!
He thought to himself:
WHY is this happening to me?!
Lyra entered the kitchen:
“Hello. I saved you, your slice of cake...”
Abdi looked at her and Lyra looked at the cake and shrugged her shoulders:
“Well how many times have I told you to come straight home? Abdina always manages it!”
She then picked up Soupy and departed:
He called after her, “Lyra, what’s for supper?” Lyra stuck her head around the door:
“Bread and cheese.”
Abdi stormed. “I’m not having bread and cheese again. I’m going to make myself some fried chicken!”
Lyra said harshly:
“No you’re not! You can only cook with me, Matilda or Dad.
Abdi muttered under his breath:
Lyra rushed into the kitchen braying like a Donkey: “What did you say?”
Abdi looked down.
Soupie gave a huge meow and leapt out from Lyra’s arms.
Abdi picked up the stool and dragged it to the shelve he stood on it and got down the cooking oil, taking it over to an empty sauce -pan on the stove he then climbed up on stool and poured oil a lot of it hit the floor.
Lyra entered her bedroom and felt a cold wave as the image of herself dead in a coffin hit her and hot tears welled up. She had found the drawing under her bed the day before.
Suddenly Hogwarts castle appeared on the other side of a dark lake. Lyra in Hogwarts uniform was laughed and chatting with new friends.
Lyra came to and said out loud. ‘I’m going’.
‘Purse. I can’t go. What about Markie’s medicine? Oyster Card? Yes I can. I’ve tried my best. I’m not meant to be their mother. Oh where is Dad!’ Make up bag?’
She looked under her bed it had gone. Standing in the centre of her bedroom she shouted :
Soupy jumped from top of the wardrobe. Delighted she scooped her up and put her in a bag doing up the zip she whispered:
“Don’t worry you’re Cruickshanks now. Lyra strode out of the bedroom.
Out loud she said:
“I’ll be alright now.”
Little did she know.
Lyra reached the front door the keys were always kept on a small table by it. They were gone. Markie suddenly popped his head out of the basement door and with a smile said:
A snarl erupted:
“You sneaky little rat!” And went to grab him. Markie slammed the basement door shut. Standing like Super Girl Lyra yelled:
“I’m going to Hogwarts and NO ONE can stop me now give me the keys!”
Suddenly a high pitched squeaking noise hit her ears as Yasmine and Jasmine came sliding down the bannisters and leaping off said in unison:
“We don’t mind you going but Soupy stays”.
They went to grab Soupie’s bag but Lyra the head of the school hockey team beat them to it. Three sets of angry eyes. Then Yasmin spoke gently:
“Lyra, Soupy isn’t Cruikshanks and she needs to stay with us.”
Lyra gave a shout of frustration and Abdina leapt down the stairs, simultaneously the living room door opened and Mackenzie appeared, and Roger from the downstairs bathroom and Erica’s head appeared in between the second floor bannisters, her round face like a clown with Lyra’s favourite lipstick all over it. Lyra went very calm and said:
“Ok just give me my makeup!”
A huge Chuckey like grin spread over Erica’s face:
“If you want it you can have it!” And then she hurled the opened make up bag at her through the bannisters.
Lyra was hit on the head by her lipstick. Losing it she went to run up the stairs. Jasmine and Yasmine went for the bag with Soupy in. Lyra realised and managed to get there before them. Soupy gave a huge meow and started to scratch at the bag.
Mackenzie appeared from the living room she stood and stared at Lyra and said:
Mackenzie fixed her with a gentle stare and said: “Hogwarts doesn’t exist.”
Lyra said impatiently: “You know it exists we were going together.”
Mackenzie sighed and said: “We were playing a game.”
A red cloud swooned in front of Lyra. She dropped Soupie’s bag. Eyes flashing, and moved towards her and in a frenzied scream yelled.
Markie stood there and from the depths of his Dragon costume produced a cigarette lighter.
Lyra’s hands went towards Mackenzies throat. Markie roared:
“No!” and threw the lighter, The flame ignited the trickle of oil and it erupted into flames. The children screamed and made for the stairs.
They say McDonalds food isn’t good for you but on that day it saved lives. Mrs Marshmallow had heard the screams, seen the smoke and as fast as her little chubby legs could carry her rushed indoors and dialled 999.
The Fire Brigade got there in three minutes and put out the fire. The eight children had been in the attic screaming out of the windows were all relieved but Abdina was distraught. Then they remembered. Little Abdi.
Fortunately, Abdi had realised there wasn’t time to get his stool to reach the door knob and hid in the cupboard under the sink.
Police and Social services all flocked to 10 Rowdon Avenue the children were brought back together by the disastrous event . Social Services wanted to take the children into Care but Mrs Mashmallow, persuaded her, husband Josh to take them in. And every one of the siblings grew closer together as they waited for Abdi Trapta father of nine to come home.
Trapped! Part 1.
The first instalment of our young writers' group story...
Monday Morning. Abdi Trapa Father of Nine stood in the lift at the Sony Headquarter Offices. He was feeling depressed: yet another babysitter had left because his children were so naughty. All of a sudden he blacked out. He came to, as the elevator ground to a rapid halt.
The lights began to flicker overhead. Abdi’s ears began to pick up a low moaning sound, like a constipated baby: Errughmmm. Slowly the lift descended. The floor indicator lights flashed:
A metal–sounding noise startled him, like an anvil dropping to the ground. Ching Ching. Ching. Abruptly the lift gathered speed, like a Ferrarri on a racing track. Abdi hit his head against the lift wall with the thought: “I’m going to die...”
Shaking and crying, a high pitched whistling sound hit his ears, like an explosion in a child’s cartoon. PEYOWW PPHHEW!! Abdi Trapa Father of Nine toppled over.
The thought “What will my wife do now? What will my wife do now?" was like a strangling anaconda. A wave of devastation hit him for the umpteenth time since his wife Shakana had died five months ago in a car crash.
Sunday had almost been a normal day. Abdi had taken seven of his children to the Park. Markie aged two, the youngest, and Lyra aged 12, the oldest, had colds so he left them with Maltilda the baby sitter.
A homework book floated before him:
‘On Sunday I went to the Park with Dad and my brothers and sisters. We played football and everyone laughed and laughed and then it rained so we decided to go home and play Monopoly. When we got back, Dad opened the door and Roger came downstairs screaming – he had a toilet seat on his head! My Dad tried to pull it off but Roger just screamed even louder. Dad then put butter on the toilet seat and it came off. Afterwards Dad put his coat away and discovered Lyra and Maltilda had put Mum’s coats in plastic bags outside for Oxfam. Dad went mad! When he had finished, I gave him the Monopoly set so we could play, but he threw it out of the house too.'
Abdi Trapa Father of Nine didn’t want to remember...
Something moved in the corner of the lift. It was a little green goblin. Yet he had seen those eyes before, they were his son Roger’s eyes.
Abdi felt a wave of guilt.
Slowly the little green goblin lifted his arm and a part of the wall cracked open. Abdi gradually moved towards it. Ahead of him was a seemingly endless black tunnel. He crawled through the tiny gap like a mole. Rats scurried past him and he heard the distant sounds of people outside. A cockroach ran over him he felt sick. A faint light appeared. His head turned to the walls beside him showing images of his children all lined up, smiling and waving and running in beautiful grassy, green meadows.
“Hi Daddy. Hi Daddy.”
Turning away he felt tears flow, his wife Shakana appeared at the end of the tunnel. She looked like a beautiful Princess. He crawled towards her but she kept moving back. So near but so far.
“My wife, she is my life. My wife, she is my life,” he muttered.
The little green goblin with the eyes of Roger appeared: “No Dad. She is a ghost.”
Rage flowed through him and a huge black oval mist descended and attacked him. It was as if a bomb had detonated in his head. Silence. Then golden lights flashed through the darkness.
Abdi Trapta Father of Nine was in a lift in the Sony Building. His hand went to press the button and stopped. A decision had been made.
Trapped! The Movie.
In 2018, Year 7 students worked together to turn their group story into a movie. 25 students worked through the year to create all the characters and themes and to write the story. They then chose Kahin (right) and Jack to read it to camera. Finally, the film was edited and fun green screen effects were added to bring the story zinging into life. Their brilliant movie is now ready to enjoy on the link below!