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. It’s different for every competition. Sometimes there can be as few as 30 entries, and sometimes there can be as many as 150 entries. We never know how many we’ll get.

  1. i didn’t mean to but i pressed on older comments and it restarted my whole story because i was just looking around and it happened so how do i get my story back???????

    1. A cliffhanger isn’t a satisfying ending for the reader because they want to know what comes next. You can finish your story any way you like, but our judges prefer satisfying endings, so you have a better chance of winning if you finish your story accordingly.

    1. Hi there. If you go to the BLOG section of the website, you can look at all the past reports from the judges. Read the winning stories and the judges’ comments from a few of those past reports, and you will get a good idea of what the judges are looking for.

  2. I already did the story and pushed submit and the next day when i logged in and it has that stuff where i have to put my name down and everything like that, is it supposed to do that?

  3. Kia Ora Fabo Story
    I love this competition, and it was a great boredom-buster in lockdown. I looked forward to the end of every week because of this.I’m so glad Fabo is still going strong!
    Thanks for everything!

    1. You can use emojis if you want to, but the story needs to stand in its own right without them. If something in the story is scary, you still need to show the fear in your writing, rather than just putting a scared emoji.

    1. There is no minimum word length for your story, but a very short story of just a few sentences is unlikely to win. Have a look at past winners for a good indication of how long your story should be.

      1. Click on the ‘Blog’ link at the top of this website and read the judges’ reports from previous competitions. The winner’s story for the competition is at the bottom of each report.

  4. Hello. When we write the ending of the story, does the story have to finish or can we leave the story at a cliffhanger?

    1. HI there. I’m sorry, we’ve never counted. There are usually around ten competitions each year and entry numbers vary for each one. Usually we might get anywhere between around 30 to 150 entries for each competition.

    1. Hi there. We’re happy you enjoy entering, but please enter each competition only once. Check the FAQ section of the website if you need more information about FABO rules.

  5. Oh i see a lot of people have already asked when its starting 2021. But idk what term 2 is. Could you explain?

    1. where i live and many other places, there are 4 school terms for around 10 weeks. so by saying term 2 ur basically saying the second term of the school year

    1. You can EITHER use one of the poetry prompt lines somewhere in your poem, OR write a poem using one of the pictures as inspiration INSTEAD of one of the poetry prompt lines.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.