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One thing I am glad of with the new GCSEs is that the writing requirements seem in some ways to be more realistic than some of the over-stylised demands of the old descriptive writing, for example. Using professional writers as models will always be useful in exemplifying current practice, as well as allowing stealth recommendations of good current work (and justifying contemporary writers) that might be more to students’ tastes).

Developing Writing

My regular #ReadingTeacher recommendations on Twitter may be useful as some explicitly reference writing skills, but all are chosen as well-written recent releases. These are books which KS4 (mostly) will enjoy, but which also have a curriculum link or some connection to a school-wide topic of relevance (e.g. SMSC), or something topical. The ‘view on Twitter’ button at the bottom will take you to a lot more of them.

For currently-publishing writers for young people who write lyrically, try:


For ‘clean’ and crisp writing which still conveys emotional subtleties, look to:


Note: all recommended authors above write for teens and there may be occasional strong language and content. All are UK writers (no Americanisms).

For more specific recommendations, see the Writing-related recommendations page in the Reading area.