Written Storytelling

Find out about the power of storytelling, get top tips from 'How to Train Your Dragon' author and learn how to submit your own story about a Historic Scotland site.

A well written story has the power to transport us to another world, time, and dimension...and also to spark a wide range of emotions.  

Many Historic Scotland sites have played a major role in decisive moments in history, from attacks and sieges, to romance and inspiring speeches. These historic sites continue to inspire professional writers and storytellers today, and we believe that young creatives are no different.  

View the stories below to help stir your imagination and start writing down your ideas based on historic sites that you have visited. Tell us your tale featuring one of our castles, palaces or abbeys, and be in with a chance to win one of our great prizes. 

Learn more about the prize draw and how to enter.

How to write the perfect story

Cressida Cowell is the current Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author of the 'How to Train Your Dragon' and 'The Wizards of Once' series.

As an adventure writer herself, she is joining us in our quest to collate stories that feature a Historic Scotland site and is inviting young storytellers to submit their tales! 

Starting your own story

Want to write your own tale but don’t know where to start? Read Archie’s and Maddie’s stories below for some storytelling inspiration.  

The Hobbits’s Pizza Party

By Archie, aged 9

Once upon a time there were four kid hobbits called Archie, Maddie, Scarlett and Freja. They lived in warm and cosy hobbit holes at Mavisbank policies. The kid hobbits had lots of fun there and spent their days running around the grounds in their bare feet, climbing trees and eating brambles.  

But one day, disaster struck. After lots of heavy rain the ground above their hobbit holes got so water-logged that the old, soft wood they’d used to build the roof couldn’t take the weight. They heard a creaking and scratching sound, so they ran outside, and just in time. Suddenly their hobbit holes collapsed with a crash and a cloud of dust. 

The kid hobbits were really upset, but then they started to think about what they could do. They all loved pizza, and because they were cold, wet, and hungry they decided to turn the rubble into pizza ovens.  That way they could have a nice feed and get warm and dry at the same time. They also loved camping, so they bought some tents to live in! Then they held a big pizza party with all their friends in the policies. 

Something Suspicious is Going On at Melrose Abbey

By Maddie, aged 8.

Once upon a time there was an evil fairy called Kit who lived at Melrose Abbey.  She wanted the Abbey all to herself so she would play tricks on visitors to frighten them away. Her favourite time of year was the Easter chocolate egg hunt around the Abbey. Kit would disguise herself as a tour guide and lead all the visitors the wrong way before trapping them in the drain tunnels. Then she stole all their answer sheets and took them to the gift shop to claim all the chocolate egg prizes for herself! 

This worked well until one Easter a little girl called Amy decided she didn’t trust Kit and wouldn’t follow the evil fairy. Amy snuck away from the rest of the tour group and went to hide in the museum.  In the very last room, she saw the grand prize golden chocolate egg shining in the corner. But just as she picked it up Kit came up the stairs towards her whistling a happy tune. She just trapped the latest tour group and was on her way to get the golden egg for herself.   

Amy had a brilliant idea. She remembered her book about fairies, and how they couldn’t look at mirrors. She took out her pocket hairbrush mirror and pointed it at Kit. When Kit was distracted, Amy found some rope and tied her up!  

Kit cried when she realised she was trapped, but Amy was kind and took pity on her. She offered Kit some of the golden egg to cheer her up. This was the first time anyone had ever been kind to her and Kit realised that she had been lonely.  She said sorry to Amy, they became friends and they both helped everyone out of the tunnels to share the Easter Eggs.