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Living in the shadows: how a teenager with erythropoietic porphyria inspired Ali Sparkes’ book Night Walker

Ali Sparkes’ latest book, Night Walker (publishing on 4th April), is inspired by the incredible true story of 18-year-old Sam Taylor. On the surface, Sam leads the life of a typical teenager, going to college, working and playing football. But Sam experiences the world very differently to most of us. He has erythropoietic porphyria – … Read more

Roald Dahl

Book of the Month: Roald Dahl’s Rotsome & Repulsant Words

Roald Dahl’s Rotsome & Repulsant Words Illustrated by the razztwizzler Quentin Blake, this is the perfect introduction to the naughtiest words and phrases invented by the World’s No. 1 Storyteller, from the creators of the bestselling Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary. This gleeful guide will help children develop their language and literacy skills, as well as … Read more

How to edit your 500 Words story

So you’ve finished your story, but are you sure it’s the best it can be? Editing your first draft can help you to make sure that every line of your story keeps a reader glued to the edge of their seat. Here are my top tips for polishing your story to perfection. When your story … Read more

How to write your 500 Words story

So you’ve got your great idea, and you’ve planned the plot. Now comes the hardest (but most rewarding) part – actually writing your story. Here are my top tips on how to get started. Don’t forget to enter your finished tale into the BBC’s 500 Words competition! 1. Find a space to write This could … Read more

Why does your child need a dictionary?

Dictionaries can be a great way for your child to find out new words and improve their vocabulary – but not just any will do. For your child to get the most out of a dictionary, it has to include words they are likely to hear and use at home and school. It also needs … Read more

How to plan your 500 Words story

Is your child going to enter BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words competition? Author and creative writing expert Christopher Edge shares his tips for planning a top-tier tale. 1. Planning your story Some authors plot their stories in intricate detail while others like to fly by the seat of their pants, making up the whole story … Read more

What to do if you’re worried about your child’s mental health

Here at Oxford Owl, we know that children’s mental health is a very important issue, so we’ve teamed up with the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) to put together some advice about how you can support your child to cope with stress and anxiety, information about children’s mental health and … Read more

Book of the Month: My Best Short Story in 500 Words

My Best Short Story in 500 Words By Christopher Edge Discover the perfect write-in notebook to help your child craft their best short story in 500 words or less – ideal if they’re planning to enter this year’s BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition. My Best Short Story in 500 Words features colourful illustrations, interactive … Read more

Story sparks: find inspiration for your short story

Every story starts with a spark. This is a spark of inspiration – the beginning of an idea – from which a story can grow. But sometimes when you look down at a blank piece of paper, inspiration can seem a long way away. So where can you find a story spark? Keeping your eyes … Read more