Abstract The language learning potential of writing has been an under-researched topic in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context. The present study investigates what Basque-Spanish EFL teenage learners (n = 60) notice when writing a composition in response to visual stimuli in a three-stage writing task including output, comparison and delayed revision. The present study also explores how this noticing and feedback processing affects their subsequent revisions. The findings revealed that participants noticed mainly lexical problems, although they also paid attention to content features. Moreover, more proficient learners and guided learners noticed more features. A qualitative analysis of the results indicated that, overall, learners had a negative attitude towards writing and modelling but those with more positive beliefs incorporated more items in subsequent revisions. A number of implications for research and pedagogy will be discussed.