Hello everyone! I’ve been in Singapore this week meeting up with Mensa Singapore and also attending Singapore’s most prominent technology event, ATxSingapore.

With Cerventus and Johann from Malaysia
With Mensa Singapore (we went to Korea together!)

It’s been a wonderful time of learning and experiencing, and needless to say, it’s been a busy time, but this week, it’s also been a pleasure to welcome a few of you into the group class that I’ve been conducting; I’ll speak more about that later, and look forward to welcoming more of you soon!

Anyway, here are two free narrative essays for you today, reflecting as always a deep emphasis on what is needed for you to succeed according to Cambridge’s criteria for excellence, which I hope you’ll find is very much aligned with the process of creating an engaging and entertaining story and which I hope you’ll remember to look at as you practice.

The first essay is provided on a free access basis to every single one of you, and to read the second one, you’ll need to have a free or premium site membership; do sign up, and enjoy the benefits!

Premium membership provides you with full access to essay samples published on the site. To sign up for premium, click here!

If you’d like to purchase our extremely well-reviewed book of essay samples (encompassing 2021 and 2022 narrative and descriptive essays), feel free to pick up your copy here 🙂

Meanwhile, enjoy the essays!

Prompt: Write a story which involves a mistake in the sending or receiving of a message.


Amidst the cacophony of the bustling train station, Clara clutched her telegram with a fervor that turned her knuckles white. Time slipped like sand through fingers as the weight of the ink-laden paper bore into her soul. An unforeseen error in the telegram she sent to her brother, Anthony, during the Great War had summoned him to this very platform, moments away from embarking on his final mission.

Fleetingly, Clara recalled the hours spent crafting her message, each word imbued with love, comfort, and hope. A rogue tear traced its way down her pale cheek as she pondered the cruel twist of fate that a typographical mistake could wield such a devastating consequence.

Through the throngs of soot-stained travelers, a familiar silhouette took form. An ethereal beam of light seemed to crown Anthony’s war-weary head as they locked eyes. Embracing, the world around them momentarily faded into oblivion. His coarse uniform stood in stark contrast to the warmth of his presence.

“I’m here,” he whispered. “Your message, it brought me back.”

Clara’s heart throbbed painfully against her ribcage, each beat a plea for time to halt. The shrill whistle of the departing train gnawed at the air, and as they parted, she pressed a small envelope into his hand. “My heart goes with you,” she murmured.

Months later, a letter arrived, clad in military regalia. Her hands shook as she read the words of her brother’s comrade: “He spoke of you every night, and your letters were his sanctuary.”

As she clutched the envelope Anthony never opened, Clara realized the profundity of her unintended message. It had summoned him back to the tender embrace of love, if only for a fleeting moment.

Days turned to weeks and weeks to months, as Clara felt a part of her soul cleaved with her brother’s absence. In her room, the air heavy with dust and memories, she penned letters, one after the other, like laying bricks in the walls of a house she would never live in. They remained sealed, addresses blank; these were letters she could never send.

In the tapestry of her heart, each thread was woven with echoes of their last goodbye, and how an error, a mere butterfly, had sent ripples through their lives.

As the first snow of winter settled upon the graves of the soldiers, Clara stood before Anthony’s grave. She finally felt that the weight she had been carrying for months had lessened, as if the snow was taking some of it upon itself.

In her hand was the last letter she would ever write to him. She buried it there, with him, and whispered to the wind, “Wherever you are, find peace, for in your heart, I found mine.”


The content (W1) is engaging and has depth, portraying the emotional journey of Clara. The additional details such as “letters she could never send” add layers to her character.

The structure (W2) is secure and well-balanced, with the addition of Clara’s life after receiving the military letter and her final act, providing a complete arc.

Precise vocabulary (W3) is used, such as “the tapestry of her heart”, evoking imagery. The register (W4) is consistent with a historical and emotional tone. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are accurate (W5).

To improve, the essay could delve into the moment of the error to enhance suspense. The phrase “the air heavy with dust and memories” could have included more sensory details.

A book such as “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr could be an invaluable resource for the writer. The novel’s use of intricate imagery, rich character development, and its ability to weave emotions through the tapestry of war could be especially beneficial. Emulating Doerr’s writing, the writer can further imbue the narrative with textured descriptions that breathe life into each scene.

Mark awarded for content and structure = 15/16
Mark awarded for style and accuracy = 23/24
Total marks awarded = 38/40

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