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A funny thing happened - (Writing Competition)

In Paper 2, Part 2 you may be asked to write an entry to a competition of some kind. 'Competition entries' are not a separate text type but can involve writing a description, an article, a review or a narrative. It is important to make what you write as interesting and engaging for the reader as possible.

Look at these different examples of "Competition entry" tasks. Discuss with another student which one you would prefer to do and why.
Read the writing competition entry and answer these questions about it.
  1. Does it include varied and interesting vocabulary? Give some examples.
  2. How is the writing organised? What is the purpose of the first and last paragraphs?
  3. What linking words/phrases are used. Find examples.
  4. What effect does the entry have on the target reader? Do you think it would have a chance of winning the competition? If so, why?
  5. Is the entry written in a relatively formal or informal style? Do you feel this is appropriate?


I have always been an addict of soap operas. In fact, my favourite is 'East Ender' which I have been watching avidly now for 10 years.

As it happens, a few weeks ago, I was watching an episode where Michelle (my favourite character) had just been shot in the leg. It was very dramatic and I was glued to the set. After it had finished I was a absolutely exhausted from the stress of it all. Nevertheless, I'd promised my friend Jo that I'd go out with her to see a movie that she's been wanting to see for ages. 'Come on or we'll be late' she pleaded in exasperation.

It was pouring with rain and we splashed through the puddles until finally we arrived at the cinema. To our intense annoyance there was an extremely long queue and we had to wait in line for over 2 minutes. Finally we got in, bought an enormous box of popcorn and stumbled through the darkness until we gratefully discovered two seats together.

After a minute though I suddenly thought that I was hallucinating. I could quite definitely hear Michelle from EastEnders talking. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I listened harder. It was definitely her. Slowly I looked around and there she was, sitting right behind me. At first I just couldn't understand why she wasn't in hospital having her leg seen to and then it dawned on me............

Now write your own entry for one of the competitions in Exercise 2
  1. Make sure you read the question carefully. Highlight key words/phrases.
  2. Brainstorm all possible ideas for what you might include in your answer.
  3. Select the best ideas. Then try to organise them into possible paragraphs. Make sure your answer has a clear structure.
  4. Write your draft. Include linking words within and between the paragraphs as appropriate.

Show your draft to another student. Ask them if they think the text is engaging. Does it capture the reader's attention? Discuss places in the text where you could make the language more varied and interesting.

Write your final version of the competition entry. Make your handwriting so clear and easy to read as possible. Make sure you avoid basic mistakes of grammar, spelling and punctuation.

What do you think?

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