We give you the beginning of the story and you write what happens next!

★ The ninth FABO Story competition for 2021 has finished and author Michele Powles has chosen a winner! Click here to read her report.

★ The final FABO Story competition for this year is a fun poetry competition. Enter now!

Click here to take a look at the schedule for this year’s competitions.

Pop-up Poetry Challenge

With Elena de Roo and Melinda Szymanik

Using any of the starters below, or one of the pictures as inspiration, write a poem no longer than 25 lines. (It can be as short as you want). It’s okay to be inspired by a picture and use one of the starters.

Have fun – there are no rules in poetry! Your poems don’t have to rhyme but they can if you want them to. They don’t have to tell a story or even make sense, unless you want them to. You can have long lines or lines that are just one word or something in the middle. You can even make up new words just because they sound good.

Read your poem out loud — listen to the words and the rhythm they make. How does your poem make you feel? What shape does your poem make on the page?

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

Send your poem to us by 7pm Friday October 1st (NZ time).

You can enter TWO poems (at most).

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

Here are some poetry prompts to get you started on your poem – they could be the title, the first line, the last line or somewhere in the middle.

• The last polar bear
• Everything was melting
• I held the golden ticket
• The moon was a frown, upside down
• One cup of plain words
• I climbed until the sky turned inky blue
• It smelled of green
• As quiet as the tiniest whisper
• Like a shiny marble
• The boom of moon tubers*
(*You can change the spelling to “moon tubas” if you prefer).

You must:
1. EITHER use one of the poetry prompt lines somewhere in your poem,
2. OR write a poem using one of the pictures on this page as inspiration.
3. OR you can use BOTH a poetry prompt line and a picture to inspire you.

Send Us Your Poem Here…

830 thoughts on “We give you the beginning of the story and you write what happens next!

  1. Hello .
    I have wondered on what will it be judged on, like will it be who’s story is the most entertaining or who uses better spelling and grammar, etc.

  2. Hello there,
    What if I write my ending and the judges take it as a cliffhanger when it’s not supposed to be? I’ve read that the judges don’t like cliffhangers so how do I make sure my end isn’t perceived as one?

  3. Hi there, does your age impact on whether you will win or not? like, will a 7 year old have a better chance at winning than a 13 year old?

    1. I don’t think so, you don’t get disqualified if you don’t have good grammar.I was on the last competition!

  4. when and where will the winner of the competition be announced because I have entered and I am wondering when I should be checking to see?

  5. Am I allowed to submit a story that’s over 500 words by a lot, and not be judged but just have you guys read it? I would really love to share my work. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi there. Michele will have a lot of entries to read in a very short time, so if yours is too long she may not have time to read it. If you stick to the word limit, the judges will be able to read your work.

    1. Hi Harper. If you copy your story into Word you can see how many words it is. (Click on Tools, then Word Count). Or if it seems around or under 500 words, you can just send it to us.

  6. How do I save my work cause every time I log off I loose what I have just written. Can you help me?

  7. When is the judges going to announce the winners?I submitted mine to the competition.And how will we know that we didnt win or we won?Will we be sent a email?

  8. Does the story have to be written a certain about a certain factor or can we take any way relating to the story starter

    1. It’s your story, so it’s up to you how you end it. But our judges prefer endings. A cliff hanger isn’t usually a satisfying way to finish a story for your reader.

    1. The competition is open to NZ and Australian kids aged 13 and under. You need to be of primary or intermediate school age to enter. If that describes you, then you are welcome to enter.

  9. Hello there,
    I’ve already submitted my writing and then i saw that the judges didn’t like cliffhangers and i have one on mine. will i be disqualified for having one or am i still in the comp?

  10. does it have to be a certain genre? like can it be horror, comedy, fantasy…. or does it have to be a certain genre??

    1. Hi Catherine. We like reading good stories, and that’s the most important thing for our judges. You don’t need to use big words if you don’t want to.

  11. Is it okay if your story is precisely 500 words or will you be disqualified if its 500 words exactly?


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