CBSE Budding Authors Programme 2022 for CBSE Students

CBSE Budding Authors Programme

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 refocuses on the ideal path from Learn-To- Read to Read-To-Learn. The policy clearly states that languages will be taught in an enjoyable and interactive style, with plenty of vibrant and proactive conversations, early reading and subsequent writing.

On the occasion of the second anniversary of the NEP 2020, CBSE announces the CBSE Budding Authors Programme in partnership with Central Square Foundation, Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver and National Book Trust. The CBSE Budding Authors Programme is an extension of the CBSE Reading Mission which was launched on 13th September 2021 (Circular No. Acad – 82/2021).

The CBSE Budding Authors Programme aims to provide students a platform to engage in reading different types of stories and learning to write effectively. As students write and submit short stories under this programme, they would have an opportunity to express their creativity and get a chance to see them published.

The students can submit their stories in Hindi or English in the following three categories:


Category Classes Length of Submissions
I Classes 5-6 500- 600 words
II Classes 7-8 600- 900 words
III Classes 9-10 1000- 1500 words

Steps of the Programme:

  • First Phase: Conduct of the Programme at the School Level Timeline 24thAugust- 16thSeptember 2022

      • Schools shall organise the programme at their end from 24th August 2022 to 16thSeptember 2022. Schools to nominate 01 teacher to coordinate this activity.
      • Sharing of information about this activity to all students.
      • The teachers and students can register on the CBSE Reading Mission Platform and access exemplar stories/ books in Hindi and English.
      • Hindi/ English/ Language teachers to encourage students to read at least 7 stories (available in the school library or at CBSE Reading Mission Platform) to aid them to participate in this activity.
      • Schools to give one week to students to read extensively with a view to prepare for the Budding Author’s Programme. Some inputs for writing are at Annexure I. These may be shared with students.
      • Later, the schools to conduct the contest within school hours where students to create and write short stories, in either English or Hindi.
      • Schools shall complete the evaluation of entries and shortlist two students/ participants per category for the next round of this programme.
      • Guidelines for submission of entries by the students and the evaluation criteria to be shared as given at Annexure II.
      • Schools to submit information regarding student participation at First Phase of the Programme at the link –
  • Second Phase

  • Registration and Onboarding on the Technology Platform Timeline: 16th September – 30th September 2022
  • The schools shall register the shortlisted students (2 winners of each category) for the second phase on the CBSE Budding Authors Programme at the link on the CBSE Academic website . The nodal teacher can facilitate the registration of students (maximum 6 students per school).
  • As the nominated students register for Round 2 on CBSE Budding Authors Programme at the link they would be provided unique login ids.
  • The Second Phase of the Programme would commence as soon as the students register. They would be provided some interesting reading assignments on the technology platform.
  • The registration would be open from 16th September to 30th September 2022 only.


  • Contest on the Technology Platform

Timeline: 30h September – 02nd November 2022

  • As the registered participants complete the reading assignments with writing tips, they may proceed to create short stories on the platform.
  • CBSE will organize a webinar for registered students on the art of developing writing skills and the details of this would be informed to schools on their official email.
  • The students may develop, edit and finally submit their entries till 2ndNovember 2022.
  • All students who successfully submit their created short story at this phase will get an online certificate of participation at the schools e-mail ID.
  • The terms and conditions for participation in the second phase are provided at

Annexure III.


  • Evaluation and Publication
    • The entries submitted by students at the Second Phase would be evaluated by a panel of experts.
    • Shortlisted entries of each category will be provided editorial support to finalise their creation.
    • Best entries selected at the national level will be published by CBSE as a collection of short stories for each category.

Webinar for School Heads and Teachers:

  • To support schools better understand the programme, a webinar for school heads, teachers (classes 5-10) and librarians is being organized on the 23rd of August 2022 at 3:00 pm.


For any query, you may send an email to or call at 011-23211575.

All the Heads of Schools are requested to use this opportunity for promotion of Reading Mission in their schools and encourage maximum participation of students in the Budding Authors Programme for promotion reading and writing skills among students.

With best wishes.

(Dr. Joseph Emmanuel) Director (Academics)

Copy to the respective Heads of Directorates, Organizations and Institutions as indicated below with a request to disseminate the information to all the schools under their jurisdiction:

  1. All Regional Directors/Regional Officers of CBSE with their quest to send this circular to all the Heads of the affiliated schools of the Board in their respective Regions
  2. All Joint Secretary/Deputy Secretary/Assistant Secretary/SPS/Analyst, CBSE
  3. All Head(s)/In-Charge(s), Centre of Excellence, CBSE
  4. In-charge IT Unit with the request to put this circular on the CBSE Academic Website
  5. In-Charge, Library
  6. The Head(Media & Public Relations),CBSE
  7. DS to Chairman, CBSE
  8. SPS to Secretary, CBSE
  9. SPS to Director (Academics), CBSE
  10. SPS to Director (Information Technology), CBSE
  11. PPS to Controller of Examinations, CBSE
  12. SPS to Director (Training and Skill Education), CBSE
  13. PPS to Director (Professional Examinations),CBSE
  14. PPS to Director (CTET), CBSE
  15. SPS to Director (EDUSAT), CBSE
  16. Record File

Director (Academics)


Annexure I

CBSE Budding Author’s Programme: Guidelines for Phase I


Writing a story is one of the most amazing, joyous and expressive things one can do. While developing up a story, there are several ingredients that are needed. They can be divided into three categories.

  • Story Elements

Most stories are made up of five elements to help determine whom the story is about, where it’s set and how a story progresses. These elements are explained in detail below.

  • Story Structure

The structure of a story is its backbone. It is the order in which events flow within a story.

  • The Process:

The process of writing a story is different for each writer but broadly involves ideation, organization and structuring of an idea before building it into a story by using the various story elements.

  • Story Elements

There are five major elements to keep in mind while writing a story. They can also be used as broad guidelines for writers working on their story.


While these elements form a rough guide on how to write a story, not all elements have equal weightage in a story. Not having an element in a story does not necessarily mean that it would be a poor story. What is important is an understanding of which element(s)work best for a story and adequately presenting them.


These elements are:


Let’s understand each element in a little more detail with examples from the famous Harry Potter series.

  • Characters: The person / people/ organisms /objects that are a part of the story.

For example, the main character in the popular Harry Potter series is Harry Potter. The sorting hat, which is an object, is also a character in the story.


A character can:

  • be living or non-living
  • have any gender or not have a gender at all!
  • propel the story through their actions
  • cause a problem
  • solve a problem
  • add a twist to the story
  • be positive, negative, or neither
A well-sketched character can have the following attributes:

  • looks and mannerisms
  • personality
  • traits
  • behaviour
  • attitudes

Characters in a story can also be divided into various groups according to their role in the story. Some of the broad categories include:

Primary characters: They are the one(s) not only experiencing all the events in the story but also heavily influencing how the story progresses. For readers, the story unfolds through the experiences of the main characters. Their arc forms an intricate part of the story.

Secondary characters: These characters are mainly defined through their interactions with the main characters. They too have their own arc and own ways of influencing the events in the story but in most cases, it is not as prominent as that of the main character. These characters can be used to build up the main character, criticize them, as a foil to them…the possibilities are endless.

Background characters: These characters contribute in many different ways to influence both the characters and the events in the story. They could help develop the story background, could be affected by an event in the story that could then set in motion the other events in the story, or could only have a single interaction with one of the main characters. They need not be as well developed as the main and side characters but they contribute to making the stories more believable.

  • Setting:

This is the environment in which the story takes place. The environment of the story gives us more information about the protagonist’s worlds and their world views. For example, one of the main settings of the Harry Potter stories is their school, Hogwarts. Some other settings include Diagon Alley, The Forbidden Forest and Platform number nine and three quarters.


A setting can be:

    a specific place, fantastical location, and/ or time-period

A setting can be used to:

  • Provide a backdrop for the story and the characters
  • add more context and details to a story
  • help the reader imagine the story better

  • Key Events:

This is the central plot of the story and can be of various types. It can be centered around one moment or a series of moments–an interruption of a pattern, a turning point, or an action–that disrupts the regular flow of events. This can be done in several forms, such as

a question raised in the story that would need to be answered by the end of the story or a conflict (internal or external) introduced that raises dramatic tension and would need to be resolved throughout the course of the story. All stories need not be dramatic or centered around a conflict, they could also be simple, slice-of-life stories that just describe an event or a day.

For example, in the first book of the Harry Potter series, Harry receiving letters from an unknown source, talking to a snake in the zoo, and going to Hogwarts disrupts how his life had been for the previous 11 years. The search for the sorcerer’s stone and the associated events with it form the main plot of the book, with the confrontation between Harry and Voldermort and Harry’s discovery of the stone being a resolution to the events of the first book and the beginning of the second book.

A story could also contain various subplots that contribute to the development of the main plot.

For example: While the main plot in the Harry Potter series is the conflict between Voldermort and Harry and the ideologies they represent, the entire series is filled with other developments that contribute to how the whole plot progresses, the relationship between the characters, the death of some important characters, the revelation of the motivation of some characters etc.

  • Problem

This can be the disruption of events in the story that adversely impacts the characters or events in the story. How the characters interact with the problem influences the events in the story and how they take place.

For example: The petrification of the students in the second book of the Harry Potter series is a severe problem that almost leads to Hogwarts being closed down. Different characters react differently to this problem, the professors work to ensure the safety of the students, several students choose to prepare to go home, while Harry and Ron decide to go in search of the Basilisk and save Ginny. They all were posed with the same problem but how they reacted to it was what influenced how they experienced the problem. And as readers, since we experience the story through Harry’s point of view, we experience his reaction to the problem.


The problem must:

  • be presented such that it makes sense in the context of the story.
  • Well set up and backed by the key events. It must have an impact.
The function of the problem is to:

    Move the story forward, acting like a crossroads which allows for the elements in the story to develop further.

  • Resolution

The final element of a story answers the questions raised and resolves the problem/ issue that was faced by the characters thus far. In cases where the stories don’t have a well defined plot or conflict, the resolution is the conclusion or the logical end of the story.

  • Story Structure

All stories have a beginning, middle and end that are made up of the key events that have been identified, and each of these sections highlight an important part of the plot. However, writers need not follow the order: some writers might choose to start from the end, and some might choose the middle. Structuring the story in advance helps ensure that the different components of the story are explained clearly.


Experiment with different forms of structuring to create a story structure that would be the most suitable for the story that’s being told.


Here is a short exercise on story structuring:


  1. Create a story where the narrative is structured around the time of day:


Graphic organisers are also a good way to plan a story. See this example.

Source: Stones2Milestones Edu Services Pvt Ltd.


Incorporate this diagram’s prompts into the story by clearly defining the action, climax and the final solution to the conflict at the centre of a story.

  • From ideation to writing – the process


Every story starts with an idea or maybe multiple ideas that merge into one. The first step in the writing process is to select one core idea from which a story can grow. A great technique for this is brainstorming. Brainstorming allows you to record your initial thoughts and ideas.


Say, for example, you would like to write a story on the Indian cricket team winning the world cup. You can note down all your ideas in a graphic organizer, such as this one:


After you have an idea, you can flesh it out with details, which could include the story elements explained above. Once you have an idea in place, you can begin to work on the structure of the


story and create a draft. Usually it takes multiple rounds and revisions before a story is finalised.


It is crucial to remember that the process of creating a story, from ideation to the final product, is not as straightforward as the explanation above indicates. Constantly going back and forth between the ideas and the structure, working and revising at every step and making decisions on what can work in the overall story and what has to be removed, is fundamental to the process of writing a story. While the linear process explained above can be used as a checkpoint to measure one’s progress or set writing goals, the writer must never be afraid to go back to the drawing board and alter everything that they have set up if they feel it is necessary to do so for their story.

Suggestive Cues

Create a theme-based storyline based on these cues or your own ideas. Classes 5-6 (Word Limit: 500-600 words)


Theme Story cues: Hero Story Element


An alien ship lands in school during maths period. Plot
The school garden is being raided by someone who leaves behind square footprints. Investigate. Characters and Problem
On a trek, a mysterious sound leads one of you away. What do you do next. Plot and Setting

Love (for pets, for nature, for your school, for yourself)

Monkeys appear in the lockdown in a building society. Problem
Someone is regularly bullying animals in school. A gang of kids stand up to them. Problem, Characters
A baby gets stuck in a locked house. Design a rescue scenario. Problem, Setting

Heroes around us

A quarreling family meets a Kargil war hero in their building society. Characters
A child usually scared of the dark overcomes their fear in a crisis situation. Characters, Setting, Solution
A policewoman helps people in a new city who are unable to speak the language. Problem, Solution
A failed invention suddenly finds new use. Plot


Two magnets are sucking up the world’s energies. Only one child can save the planet using science. Character, Problem, Solution
It’s 2025 and the world has no electricity. What will life be like? Character, Problem, Solution
Your friend makes a robot that does whatever you need. What do you make him do? Character, Plot


Classes 7-8 (Word Limit: 500-600 words)


Themes Story cues: Hero Story Element
When I…

(A theme that makes you fantasize or imagine about a certain point in time)

When I found ancient treasure buried in my school playground. Plot, Problem, Solution
When I…

(A theme that makes you fantasize or imagine about a certain point in time)

When I dialed 100 by mistake and the police came rushing to my house. Plot
When I…

(A theme that makes you fantasize or imagine about a certain point in time)

When I got to be the Prime Minister of India for a day. Problem, Solution
When I…

(A theme that makes you fantasize or imagine about a certain point in time)

When I had to host a foreign exchange student from Spain at my house. Characters
Weird and Whacky (All things out of the ordinary) A strange island forms in your bathroom. What can be done? Character, Problem, Solution
Weird and Whacky (All things out of the ordinary) My upside-down day, when I went to work and my mom went to school (in my classroom.) Plot
Weird and Whacky (All things out of the ordinary) Zombies take over your school while you are playing a game of zombies. Character, Plot, Problem, Solution
Weird and Whacky (All things out of the ordinary) You are in the forest when you come face to face with the snow dragon: an adorable, furry, and surprisingly tiny creature who breathes fire. Plot

Kindness A poacher who has a change of heart and devotes their life to helping animals. Character
Kindness A friend forgives another who makes a rash mistake, and what happens when the tables are turned. Characters, Problem, Solution
Kindness Being kind is hard, but worth it. Problem, Solution
Self-confidence Someone who always loses races but participates in them again and again. Character (traits)
Self-confidence I was terrified. Butterflies filled my stomach. But I took a deep breath and finally stepped out onto the stage Character (traits/actions), problem, solution
Self-confidence When I say it, I do it Character, Problem, Solution
Self-confidence One day a 14 year old teenager wakes up and realizes that they are 22. Plot


Classes 9-10 (Word Limit: 1000-1500 words)


Themes Story cues: Hero Story Element
War and Peace How a town rebuilds itself after war Characters, Plot, Problem, Solution
War and Peace There are two major groups of people who live on a mythical planet, the water people and the land people. Can they learn to co-exist peacefully when the lines start blurring? Plot, Problem, Solution
War and Peace Write a story about a child your age, and their contribution to an important event in India’s struggle for independence. Character, Plot

(All things out of the ordinary)

You are at a Coin Show when you meet a coin dealer who specializes in collecting mythical currencies. Character (appearance, traits, attitudes)

(All things out of the ordinary)

Ghostly creatures have taken over a school. Plot, Character


(All things out of the ordinary)

The world has turned upside down, bats are sitting and humans are hanging by their toes. Mice are going to the office and cats are hiding in holes. How would a human being live in this world? Plot, Problem, Solution
The (not so distant) Future A typical day in 2030. Problem, Solution
The (not so distant) Future You see a cake in a photo, and can suddenly taste it. Is this a dream, or technology? Plot
The (not so distant) Future The adventures of my 3D printed car. Character, Plot


Annexure II


CBSE Budding Author’s Programme: Evaluation Rubrics


S. no. Criteria Average: 1 Fair: 3 Very Good: 5
1. Creativity

(Evidence of originality and imagination)

2. Plot and structure

(Setting, rising action, clear falling action, resolution)

3. Conflict

(Clear and embedded in the plot)

4. Character(s)

(Well-developed characters, characters arc)

5. Organization and Expression

(Coherence and cohesion of ideas, sensory language, figure of speech, use of narrative techniques- varying short & long sentences, transitions etc.)

6. Accuracy

(Grammatical structure, punctuations and spellings)

Annexure III

Terms and Conditions (for participation)


  • Students are expected to submit an original, unpublished short story written in English or Hindi (Phase 2). This shall be certified by the head if the school. Plagiarism check and Principal recommendation would be taken before the winners are published.
  • Budding authors may submit short stories on all themes (all styles, genres, and types of writing) in compliance with the content guidelines of the CBSE Budding Authors Program.
  • Registration and submissions for the second round are to be made on the tech platform only.
  • There is NO FEE for participation.


  • Stories submitted on will be licensed under the CC BY4.0 licence

<>. Copyright remains with the author but CBSE reserves the right to be the first to publish the selected works.

  • Submissions will be judged on literary merit, originality, and readability. All final decisions rest with CBSE.

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