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. omg i love this site its so cool and i like to just sit at home and write cause of this site it is so good

  2. Ah! It’s so sad that this is the last competition… I love these! Will there be more next year? Please, please, please say yes…

  3. OMG I just noticed that it was melinda szymanik is judging the story and she came to my school. I actually didn’t remember her name but I remembered her book ‘time machine’

  4. I just entered my entry. I really love this site, I’ve been using it since lockdown first started.
    My question:
    Can a story winner become one of the authors? Just wondering!

    1. Hi there. We’re glad you’re enjoying the stories. Our judges are all published authors so perhaps in a few years we may see story winners becoming judges. We hope so! Good luck with your entry.

  5. hi who was the winner of the one with the liberty in the room, with Marco and uncle Tobey, during lockdown?

  6. Is it OK if I use names of my family? Also, I love this site. Another quick question – can I use published material that is in a book?

    1. Hi there. You can use any names you like in your story, but please don’t plagiarise, which means that you can’t copy sentences or passages from anyone else, including published books. Your story should be in your own words.

  7. Is there a way we can count how many words we have used, or do we have to count them ourself?

    1. You could write your story in Microsoft Word or Google Docs which have counters that will tell you how many words you’ve written. Then copy it into the form on the website to send it to us.

    1. You could write your story in Microsoft Word or Google Docs which have counters that will tell you how many words you’ve written. Then copy it into the form on the website to send it to us.

  8. Hi,
    Are you allowed to do this if you have just turned 14? And if you aren’t do you know of any places that do things like this just for older kids

  9. Hello! I really like this website and I enter every single time. Thank you soooo much for doing this for all of us! It can be really nice to come home from school and work on a short story! Thanks again! 🙂

  10. Thank you very much Fabo Authors for creating this website! I really enjoy entering all the competitions and letting my imagination go wild!

    Thanks again. : )

  11. Quick query. If you win one competition, are you allowed to participate in the next one?

    1. Hi there. I’m sorry we have no way to receive pictures (you can’t put them in the form). Also, we would prefer to do the judging based solely on the story.

  12. my story goes away when i sign out of my computer and now i cant see it any more and i allready submited it

  13. Excuse me. About the prize, are we allowed the Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself book? Thanks,

  14. For privacy reasons, we can’t allow email addresses to be shown in the comments section of this site. If you post a comment asking anyone to email you, we will delete your comment.

  15. I absolutely L♥VE these contests. I think I am going to participate in EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM now. 🙂

    1. If you want to get notified by email when the judges’ reports are published, use the ‘Follow Blog Via Email’ box on the right side of the page to subscribe.

  16. Hi, I have worked really hard on my story and only just realised that it is over 550 words. Will I still be disqualified?

  17. Also, can we have holes in the story or ending? Like a cliff hanger? With and ending sorta like, ‘I don’t know what that man wanted with the wand, I think it’s just a toy or something. I found someone who was interested in it, so I sold it for a good $3.50. Maybe I’ll find out about that wand soon. However, I do not yet know.’ Can I do an ending something like that? Thank you.

  18. hi,
    I have a question if the story does not say the persons name are you allowed to make it up??????????

  19. I miss read the date and thought it was today I was supposed to submit it. Could I submit my writing still?

    1. Each competition has a different judge so there is no cross-over between competitions. It’s up to that week’s judge to choose the best story, and they could choose a story written by someone who has won before.

    1. There is no word counter on the website. We recommend you write your story in Word or another text editing program, then copy it into the form on the website.

  20. Hi, I entered an older comp, do you get an email if you don’t win? Or was my one missed out? Thanks


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