Competition time! – with Anna Hoghton


Have you watched Anna Hoghton’s masterclass on how to write magical, impossible settings in a way that makes them feel believable? If so, then it’s time for YOU to have a go at writing your OWN magical setting using the tips and tricks Anna has shared. 

You can watch Anna’s Storytale Festival 2020 event here.

Step one: Choose what TYPE of magical world you want to write about.

  • a) A completely magical world that is not our world (e.g. The Northern Lights)
  • b) A magical world that is reached through a portal in our world (e.g. Alice in Wonderland
  • c) A magical world that is part of our world and exists alongside/ within (e.g. Harry Potter/The Mask of Aribella)

Step two: Decide what your magic setting looks and feels like.

Get creative with this! Brainstorm! Doodle. BE MESSY and let your imagination run WILD. 

Step three: Do some research on places similar to your magical setting to help inspire you. 

You never know what ideas this will spark! 

Step four (and MOST important): Decide on the RULES of your magical world.

There need to be RESTRICTIONS. Ask yourself: what CAN happen? And what are the LIMITATIONS? 

Step five: Ask WHY questions about your world.

E.g. WHY is the sky blue and the grass purple? Make up/change the answers. 

Step six: Think of a main character and put pen to paper as you imagine them inside your world.

Use your senses to describe your character’s experience of your setting (smell, touch, taste, feel, sight etc). Remember to SHOW the reader the AMAZING details of your world, as well as the rules, rather than just telling them everything.


You can only submit ONE PAGE OF A4 so don’t worry about including ALL the rules and details of your magical world, just enough to get your reader hooked! Email entries to with the subject ‘STORYTALE COMPETITION’ by Sunday 15th November 5pm.

Remember it MUST be one-side of A4/ one Word Doc page ONLY.

Anna will be judging the entries on IMAGINATION, CLARITY and ORIGINALITY

Good luck!
Twitter: @AnnaHoghton

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