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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > January 2017 > Writing for children: A winter’s tale

Writing for children: A winter’s tale

Set the scene for a magical children’s winter’s tale with Amy Sparkes

Silent snow falls unseen behind the curtains and house lights warm the darkness. Flickering flame sends you drifting off to another place and delicate ice patterns are a morning gift from the frost fairies…

There is something special about winter; perhaps the ever-stretching nights add mystery to the world, or the coldness reminds us of magical childhood Christmases. The coldest season is a wonderful time for reading and writing magical stories, especially those set in winter. So what ingredients do you need for a magical winter’s tale?


The best setting is one which has the potential to enhance both the wintery and magical elements of your story. Think about how and where you should set your tale. Here are some suggestions:

Remote locations

If you are writing for older children, settings which are isolated or remote could add an extra kick to your story. For example, imagine your story is set in an old Scottish castle on a small, uninhabited island which has become your protagonist’s Christmas holiday home. How does this setting work well?

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About Writing Magazine

• STAR INTERVIEW WITH LEE CHILD, the multi-million selling creator of the Jack Reacher novels • Writing wisdom from the great Greek thinkers – rules that have stood the test of time • How to make your historical fiction stand out, and top tips on the genre from author Nicola Cornick • Study the short story masters to learn the art of the unreliable narrator • The magazine sleuth - how every magazine tells you exactly what its editor needs

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