Scenario Writing Component

What is Scenario Writing?

Scenario Writing is an individual competition in which students develop short stories related to one of the five FPS topics for the year. The story is set at least 20 years in the future and is an imagined, but logical, outgrowth of actions or events taking place in the world today. The story should focus on one main character and develop that character through the plot of the story.

2018-2019 Scenario Topics


PP #1 Mission to Moon, Mars and Beyond

PP #2    Drones

QP    Food Loss & Waste

Affiliate   Coping With Stress


Suggested Readings for each topic can be found at

Why Scenario Writing?

Today’s students will spend most of their lives in the 21st century. Our job as educators is to prepare students to think critically about the future and to create images of what the future may be like. Through scenario writing, students are able to enlarge, enrich, and make more accurate those images of the future while honing their creative writing skills.

Who can participate in Scenario Writing?

Students may participate in Scenario Writing in three divisions: Junior (grades 4 – 6), Middle (grades 7 – 9), and Senior (grades 10 – 12). For students who participate in the GIPS booklet component of Future Problem Solving, Scenario Writing can serve as an excellent complement to their work on any of the topics used during the year, and it may be used with students who do not participate in other components of FPS; the creative writing involved may appeal to students who are not drawn to the team orientation of the other components.  Scenario Writing can be used as a stand-alone activity by an FPS coach, an English teacher, or any other instructor with students who are interested in creative writing.

Do students need to know the 6-step process for Scenarios?

Although knowing the process can help students to think about the future, it is not a prerequisite for Scenario Writing. The scenarios must relate to one of the year’s topics, so students should do some background reading about the topic they select for their stories. The Readings, Research, & Resources from the FPSPI Catalog contains article summaries for four of the topics, but students may use their own research. Any student wishing to participate in the Multi-School Competition at State MUST be proficient in the six-step problem solving process and must have formally practiced the Global Issues problem solving process during the current school year.

How do I register students for Scenario Writing?

All Scenario Writing materials are available free of charge by emailing  The packet includes guidelines for electronic submission, tips for coaches and students, evaluation information, sample scenarios, and official entry forms. The fee of $30 per entry is due by January 18, 2018. This year’s “in the Scenario Writing Coordinator’s hands” date is January 18, 2018. Scenarios may be submitted as early as December 15, 2017, but must be received by the Coordinator no later than January 18, 2018.

Coaches MUST abide by ALL submission guidelines in order for scenarios to be accepted.


How can I get started with my students? The best way to become acquainted with scenarios is for you and your students to read many of them. In addition to carrying the Scenario Writing Guide at, FPSI publishes the stories of the International winners each year. The Florida FPSP website has additional examples (, plus extensive guidelines and tips for preparing for the Scenario Writing Competition.

How are scenarios evaluated? Scenario Writing Evaluators score the scenarios during January and February. The top scenarios in each division are published by FLFPSP and distributed at the State Competition. The winning stories are submitted for consideration in the International Level competition, and the first place authors are invited to attend the International FPS Conference.  All Individual Scenario Writers are invited to attend the State Competition to participate in the on-site Group Scenario Writing Competition.

All Scenario Writing coaches will be required to certify in evaluating scenarios. The certification materials will be included in the Scenario Writing registration packet. Once coaches evaluate, they grow as a coach and often find evaluation to be enjoyable. Depending on the number of submissions, you may be asked to evaluate Group Scenarios at the State Competition.

How do I handle the Scenario Writing Competition material? The registration packet includes all the information needed by coaches for submitting scenarios to the Scenario Writing Coordinator and has files that pertain to preparing and submitting Individual Scenarios for evaluation. An Individual Scenario Writing submission results in the writer’s invitation to participate in the on-site Group Scenario Writing event at the State Competition. (Writers may also participate in the Multi-School Competition at the FLFPSP State Competition, if desired and qualified.) Each Coach must also submit one “Publication Release & Statement of Authenticity” pertaining to his or her students’ submissions.

What is the difference between Individual Scenario Writing and on-site Group Scenario Writing?

The website contains information on both the Individual Scenario Writing Competition and the on-site Group Scenario Writing Competition for coaches to be able to prepare competitors for both events. The Individual Scenario Writing Competition is the initial step required for Scenario Writers to be able to attend the Florida Future Problem State Competition. At the State Competition the writer may participate in the Group Scenario Writing Competition.

What is the on-site Group Scenario Writing Competition? Individual Scenario Writers who have submitted a scenario to be evaluated by the deadline are invited to participate in the group writing competition at the State Competition. In this contest, three to four students from different schools in their division (Junior, Middle, or Senior) will write a story together (by chapters or individual character viewpoints, etc.) based on the topic presented at the State Competition. Each writer is scored individually, and the writing team receives a group score. Awards are given based on the team’s writing, as well as an individual “Best Writer” in each age division.

Coordinator:  Mary Krause