Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New FABO Story Starter By Jane Bloomfield!

A new FABO Story competition is here! Author Jane Bloomfield has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to finish the story.

Instructions

1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.

4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday July 5th.

5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.

6. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.

7. The competition is open to kids aged 13 and under.

Jane Bloomfield’s Story Starter: Weird Tuesday

This is how weird Tuesday began …

I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating my usual breakfast of Fruit Loops with milk. My big brother Raymond, as per, had helped himself to two-thirds of the box, leaving me with only colourful crumbs. The crumbs floated on top of my bowl of milk like a pixellated rainbow. I spun my spoon round and round, swirling the colours together. My stomach rumbled. I reached for the perfect banana from the fruit bowl, but not before Raymond jammed his fist down hard onto its blunt end.

‘You love smashed banana don’t you, midget-person?’ he said, and laughed. Milk dribbled down his chin, tracking past his volcanic pimples. I had to look away.

Right then, there was a loud rap on the front door. I instantly stood up from the table to go and see who it was. But Raymond did too and we collided at the kitchen door. He held me against the frame. I raised my hands in surrender and let him go in front of me.

On the front steps was a medium-sized brown paper parcel tied with white string. Raymond picked it up, then he shoved it at me and stomped off.

The package was addressed to me:

“Mark Malcolm-Jones”

The writing was green and wild and swirly like seaweed washed up on the beach. The postmark was a place I’d never heard of before. Catatonia. The package had an interesting smell. I couldn’t make it out. Cinnamon perhaps? Or turmeric? It felt warm in my hands. I tensed a little.

Then the package started to squirm.

Now You Finish The Story…

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Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Ready to write? Melinda Szymanik has a new FABO Story Starter!

Another FABO Story competition is here! Author Melinda Szymanik has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to finish the story.

Instructions

1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.

4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday June 21st.

5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.

6. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.

Melinda’s Story Starter: Once, on a Dark and Stormy Night

Every light in the house was on, but the darkness outside still forced its way in through the windows, and past the curtains. Except when lightening blazed jaggedly through the sky, momentarily lighting everything up with a shocking whiteness, like a camera flash.

Sitting in the lounge downstairs, Isabelle counted the seconds between the flare of light and the crash of thunder. Only two. Two measly seconds. The storm was almost right overhead.

Why did they have to live at the end of a long, long driveway? On the very furthest edge of town? Why did both her parents have to go with Jojo? They didn’t want to wait for an ambulance when her little brother fell out of the biggest tree in the backyard. That tree was evil. Isabelle and Jojo both knew it. They never clambered up through its branches, or lay beneath it, even when the shade beckoned them during the hottest summer months. And they both refused to sleep in the middle upstairs bedroom where the branches clawed at the windows, even when there was no breath of wind. Isabelle didn’t even know why Jojo had climbed the tree that afternoon. Or if he even had.

He’d looked so pale lying in the grass, his eyes closed, his body limp.

Dad said, “I’ll drive,” and Mum said, “I’ll sit with him in the back and make sure he’s okay.”

“Don’t worry Isabelle,” Dad said. “I’ll ring Mrs McGreevy and get her to mind you.”

And Isabelle said the words she now deeply regretted and would never forget. “I’m fourteen now. I can mind myself. But call me as soon as you get to the hospital.” She’d smiled bravely then, and waved as the car pulled away, throwing up dust as Dad put his foot down.

Now she was alone in the house at night, with a storm raging all around.

BOOM! An almighty clap of thunder shook the house.

All at once, every single light went off. Everything went dead quiet.

And in the dark Isabelle heard a determined tapping sound coming from upstairs. And then she heard a new sound. A voice. Rasping, and low.

“Let me in.”

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Sharpen your pencils for a new FABO Story competition!

Are you ready for another FABO Story competition? Author Kathy White has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to finish it off.

Instructions

1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.

4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday June 7th.

5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.

6. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.

Kathy’s Story Starter: They. Are. US.

The headline on the news said it all. CAT BAN BEGINS.

“The government says the new Cat Eradication law comes into force from the 1st of June,” the newsreader said. “All cats must be surrendered to the Department of Conservation or council office in your closest town before the 1st July. Anyone caught with a cat after that date will pay a $50,000 fine or face five years imprisonment. The War on Pests is ramping up.”

“I know who the pests are, and it’s not the cats,” Dad muttered. He pushed the button on the TV remote. The screen went black and silent.

“They can’t take Fwankie,” Tim sobbed, squeezing Frankie hard against his chest. “Fwankie’s my fwend. My best fwend.” Frankie poked his furry ginger kiss-coloured head out from between Tim’s chubby fingers and smiled at everyone. He clearly didn’t understand his days were numbered.

“What’s wrong with these people?” I asked, pointing at the TV. “Frankie’s part of our family. What makes them think it’s okay to kill our pets?”

Dad gave a deep sigh. “The only difference between a pet and a pest is the letter S,” Dad said. He always comes out with random and profound philosophical statements at times of family stress.

Mum plonked a steaming bowl of spaghetti bolognaise on the table. “Its not okay,” she said, slamming the knives and forks on the table. Her hands were shaking with rage. “Frankie … is … us. Do you understand? It’s not okay.”

I frowned (although I’d plucked my eyebrows so much this afternoon, that no one could tell I was frowning). Mum’s eyes seemed to be glowing in the dim light, and her skin was turning a pale shade of olive green. “Are you … okay, Mum?”

“We love him. We feed him. We worm him. We take him to the vet.” She looked at Dad defiantly, clenching her greening fists, like this was his fault. “He wears a bell so the birds know he’s in the garden. He’s a good cat and this is a BAD law. We’re NOT giving him up.”

Tim climbed off the couch. “We’re not?”

Mum put her hands on her hips. “We’re not.”
She was now as tall and wide as the Eiffel Tower and Tim was dancing around her.

She made me think of that moment in The Lord of the Rings when Gandalf slammed his staff into the ground and bellowed at the balrog “You shall not pass.” It was scary when it was my own mother. I mean, this woman puts gummy bears in my lunchbox.

Dad took a deep breath: “Josie, Tim … there’s something we’ve never told you … about your mother ….”

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New Fabo Story Competition Is Here!

A new FABO Story Competition is here!

Author Sue Copsey has written a story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

Instructions

1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.

4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday May 24th.

5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.

6. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.

Sue’s Story Starter

Did you see that story in the news back in January, about the meteorite or broken Russian satellite or whatever it was that loads of people in New Zealand saw? What do you think it was? Most people seemed to swallow the Russian satellite story – they got scientists to say that was what it was. THEY being the people who wanted to keep the truth a secret. The Authorities. I bet they paid that Auckland University physics professor to say it was a Russian satellite.

Me and my friend Archie know what it REALLY was. Because we were there when it landed.

We were at a campsite on the East Coast, and we’d been playing football on the beach. It was about nine o’clock at night, and everyone else had gone back to their tents. Me and Archie were just leaving when it appeared in the sky – a really bright light with a long tail. It flew straight for a while, then it dipped towards the earth. It came pretty close to where we were. It disappeared behind some trees, and then we heard this dull thud, and the ground shook a little. We set off running for those trees, and soon saw a column of grey smoke, so we made our way over to that and … wow. You wouldn’t BELIEVE what we found!

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter the first FABO Story Competition for 2019!

Are you ready for the first FABO Story Competition of 2019?

Author Maureen Crisp has written a story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

Instructions

1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.

4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday May 10th.

5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.

6. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.

Maureen’s Story Starter

The class trip had started off badly when Jody fell in the water getting off the boat. Everybody had laughed. But he did look funny as he clambered out of the water onto the sand. Byron fished his bag out of the sea. ‘Lucky we’re only here for a day,’ he said handing the dripping bag over to Jody.

Jody squelched along behind us on the island trail. We were trying our best to be quiet so that the birds we had come to see would come closer. Everytime a bird swooped down there was a squelch from Jody’s shoes and it flew away again. You could see Mrs Fraser was trying not to get angry at Jody.

When we came to a clearing Mrs Fraser asked us to sit quietly and maybe the birds would come to us. Jody sat on a rock and opened his schoolbag. He pulled out his Aquaman lunchbox which was full of water and tipped his soggy sandwiches on the ground. We all sat in a circle trying to be quiet and feeling sorry for Jody. But he ended up having the best day ever and the island trip became a school legend.

The bush surrounding us was cool and dark and shady from the hot sun. In the distance we could hear a weird cry. We looked at each other, wondering what type of bird made such a cry. Mrs Fraser looked excited and put her finger to her lips. The sound came closer…

Now it’s up to you to finish the story!

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New FABO Story Starter By Sue Copsey!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Sue Copsey has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to write the rest of the story!

(Elena De Roo is judging the last competition and will announce her winners soon).

Instructions

1. Read the story starter and finish the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.

4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday September 28. A winner will be announced a few days later.

Sue’s Story Starter

Do you think it’s true, that people look like their pets? The lady next door (who never throws our ball back) has got black hair and mean eyes, and she has this black cat with piercing green eyes. It sits on the fence and hisses at me. My dad reckons they’re actually the same person-animal, because we never see them both at the same time. He’s only joking, of course.

I think.

Normally, I love cats, and for my birthday this year I asked for a kitten. But my mum’s allergic to cats so they got me – brace yourselves – a rat.

It sat there in its cage, a browny colour with beady dark eyes, a twitchy nose and long droopy whiskers. Gross.

“Rat rhymes with cat, perhaps Mum and Dad didn’t hear you properly,” said my sister Lottie with a smirk.

“They make wonderful pets, they’re really intelligent,” said Dad in this enthusiastic-with-a-hint-of-apology voice.

There were no words to describe my disappointment. “They’re vermin,” I replied, in a voice that sounded dead. “They spread disease.”

The rat swivelled its head and looked at me, and I’d swear it looked hurt.

“You can tame it and then it can sit on your shoulder, have a run around in the garden,” said Mum.

“As long as next-door’s psycho-cat isn’t around,” said Lottie. “Dad, can we go now?”

He was taking her to her netball match. Lottie’s good at sport. Unlike me. She’s also tall and has swishy blonde hair and blue eyes and round rosy cheeks, while I’m small and have mousy brown hair and brown eyes, and my nose is a bit long and pointy. I’m also getting braces as my teeth stick out a bit.

Mum left the room too, and I was alone with … rat. I couldn’t be bothered to think of a name. I looked over at it, and it sat up on its back legs, its little pink hands held in front of it, its nose doing the twitchy thing. Then, the strangest thing happened …

Now You Finish The Story…