What is 100WC?

‘The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.’     Ursula K. Le Guin

We ask children to write in school but often there is no apparent purpose that they can see other than pleasing their teacher! This can prompt some very reluctant writers in our classrooms. The 100 Word Challenge seeks to address this problem.

It is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16 years of age. Each week a prompt is given, which can be a picture or a series of individual words and the children can use up to 100 words to write a creative piece. This should be posted on a class blog and then linked to the 100 Word Challenge blog. The link is usually open from midday on Sundays until midnight the following Saturday.

By setting a limited word count with a focused theme and a guaranteed audience beyond the class teacher, children have far greater motivation for writing. Those who are reluctant writers feel safe with only 100 words to write, whilst those more advanced writers can really extend themselves with the word restriction.

One of the special things about 100WC is that those entering a piece are encouraged to visit other blogs and leave a constructive comment. Peer ‘talking’ to peer is very powerful and we have seen a real improvement in some writing that has come from suggestions from other children. It also provides another teaching point for teachers to show children how to comment constructively.

The 100 Word Challenge has been used for homework tasks and up leveling practice as well as a regular writing activity. Teachers have found that this has helped with their workload. It certainly helps drive traffic to a blog which in turn helps the motivation for blogging in general. The Quadblogging phenomenon has been able to use 100 Word Challenge for a shared activity. This of course provides an international audience.

Above all – it is fun! Children feel challenged and then really rewarded when they see the comments (please see Team 100WC). Do join in and see writing improve!

34 thoughts on “What is 100WC?

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  12. This sounds like really good fun. I hope my school can start doing this. I am sure they will enjoy this every week!

  13. Hi, we have been doing our own 100 Word Challenge as I was not aware of this but noticed it on a Quad Blogging buddy. We would love people to go onto our blog and read our writing and hopefully we can get involved as well. We are a class of 28 7 and 8 year olds in New Zealand. Our blog address is http://room10stclair.blogspot.co.nz/


    • Hello there!

      Same here! This will be my the first year my 7 & 8 year olds blog and they will start this week! They are incredibly static! Would love to visit your blog and show them your great posts! Will share link once we have some posts and are ready to go:)

  14. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  15. Hi Julie,
    Im an NQT this year with year 4’s and this challenge sounds really appealing how can I get my class involved and join up please?
    Many thanks

  16. This is great! Our class is doing the 100wc and it’s really enjoyable. It’s really awesome and language enriching.

  17. This is the coolest challenge. I am going to make my daughter start doing this to keep up her writing skills over the summer! It will help keep her writing skills in top shape.

  18. Hello – I have signed up for the 2014-15 100 WC using the form. What will be the next step that happens? Thank you so much!

    • You will get an email towards the middle / end of August giving you the first prompt to go ahead & write about. Are you quite happy about linking and posting? If you have any quyestions please drop me a line & I can ‘talk you through it’!

    • Your number has been allocated to a Team 100 Member. Do let me know if you do not get a comment Yamin!

  19. Hi,
    We have had one entry commented on but not another. Also, I am happy to be a reader/commenter could you please let me know how I go about this

  20. true. 100 WC is a great motivation for young creative writers because the child has divergent purposes for writing besides impressing the teacher. I think it also brings the concept of competition among writers which is healthy. I am thinking of introducing a similar platform for my young creative learners. thank you for the post

    • Good luck in your venture Fay. Just a word of warning setting up the comments takes quite a bit of doing. I do hope you will sign up here to get started!

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