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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > July 2017 > All aboard

All aboard

Whip your crew into shape to delight young readers with tales of adventure on the high seas, with advice from author Amy Sparkes

Let me give you a word: Pirates. What springs to mind? Do you see a galleon sailing on the sea? Or a person with an eye patch and hook? A map where X marks the spot? Phrases like ‘yo ho ho’, ‘me hearties’ and ‘shiver me timbers’? And what feelings do you associate with pirates? Fearlessness? Bravery? Freedom? The chances are the word ‘pirates’ elicits a strong reaction because, from children’s dressing-up costumes to blockbuster films, pirates are undeniably part of our culture.

The world of children’s fiction responds to and nurtures our love of pirates. The ageless appeal of pirates makes them suitable material for fiction across all age ranges and reading levels, from picture books to young adult fiction.

How can you create your own pirate story to captivate children? First of all, have a look at why exactly pirates are so successful in children’s fiction.

Adventure

Children love an adventure, whether experiencing one first-hand or living it through someone else’s eyes. Pirates and adventure are extremely happy shipmates. Although few children will have the opportunity to jump aboard and sail the high seas in search of adventure, they can live this experience through the characters of a story. The ocean is seemingly boundless, providing endless opportunities for exploration. No barriers, just freedom.

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About Writing Magazine

How do you follow up one of the biggest books of the decade? The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins tells us about changing tracks and writing the book that matters to you in our star interview. What do editors want? There can't be anyone in a better position to tell you than debut novelist Anna Pitoniak, who worked as a Big Five editor before landing her book deal. How is your year's writing plan going? As 2017 hits the halfway mark, we help you stay on target. Look for leads, find the most up-to-date markets for your work and enter the latest writing competitions, with more than £50,000 in writing prizes, in the Writers' News pages, packed with news you can use.

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