FABO Story is taking a break…

★ We’re sorry to announce that the FABO authors are taking a break and will not be running the FABO Story competitions in 2022. 

★ The FABO Story competitions will be back in 2023.

★ In the meantime, why not enter the Unsung Heroes Writing Tournament. You could win a cash prize and see your story in print!

★ Or enter The Elsie Locke Writing Prize for young writers ages 5-13. You could win $250 and have your story published in Toitoi 29!  

Books by the Fabulous FABO Authors!

Check out these amazing books by the authors who judge the FABO competitions.


BatKiwi /Ko PekaKiwi (Scholastic), by Melinda Szymanik & illustrated by Izzy Joy Te Aho-White.

Kind-hearted Kiwi wants to rescue any forest friend in need, but he can never quite make it on his own. Who will help Kiwi be a hero?


Moon and Sun (Upstart Press), by Melinda Szymanik & illustrated by Malene Laugesen.

Moon knows she can never be as bright and warm and beloved as her sister, Sun. She hides away, shy and sad, only coming out at night. But maybe Moon is more important than she realises …


Melinda Szymanik’s books are available from The Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop or any good independent bookstore

My Elephant is Blue (Puffin [Penguin NZ]), by Melinda Szymanik & illustrated by Vasanti Unka.

‘One morning I woke to find an elephant sitting on my chest. I found it hard to get up or move around, to breathe or talk. “I’m Blue,” the Elephant said.’ 

My elephant is Blue is an empathetic, heart-warming story written to help tamariki cope with heavy feelings.


The Trespassers Club by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Trespassers Club was just supposed to be a game, but sometimes going places you shouldn’t has consequences…

(Middle grade novel)


There’s No Such Thing As Humans by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Grub is a little monster with a big problem – he’s absolutely terrified of humans, especially the one his brother says lives under his bed.

(Junior novel/early reader)


Underwater by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Bailey has a lot of secrets, and a lot of scars, both of which she’d like to keep hidden. Unfortunately, Pine Hills Resort isn’t the kind of place where anyone can keep anything hidden for long…

(Young adult novel)


Reactive by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Deadly magic. Scheming teachers. A spell growing out of control. Can Toby save his friends, or will his magic claim all their lives?

(Young adult novella)


The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head by Sue Copsey

Book 1 in the Spooky Adventures series.

Who’s haunting the house on the cliffs? Ghost-busting duo Joe and Eddie set out to solve this spooky mystery, set on the remote cliffs of Young Nick’s Head on Aotearoa’s East Coast.


The Ghosts of Tarawera by Sue Copsey

Book 2 in the Spooky Adventures series.

Strange encounters on the misty lake, apparitions in the Buried Village, and signs that Mt Tarawera is awakening. Can Joe and Eddie convince the scientists to raise the alert, before it’s too late?


The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek by Sue Copsey

Book 3 in the Spooky Adventures series.

Just this once, Joe would like a spook-free holiday. But it soon becomes clear there’s more than one reason Moonlight, in the hills behind Queenstown, is known as a ghost town.


When Bo Bimble Went Elsewhere by Sue Copsey

The heartwarming tale of a curious, kakapo-like creature who wants to visit Elsewhere – the world beyond the predator fence – and the bird-nerd boy who befriends her. A tale of adventure, with a touch of magic and a strong environmental theme.


When We Remember to Breathe by Michele Powles & Renee Liang

“This delightful journey through the first five years of mothering, as told by two friends, an author and a paediatrician, is must reading for parents, and parents to be. Wise and clever, always funny and sometimes sad, this collection goes deep to the heart of what it means to be a mother, and a friend.” – Sonja de Friez RNZ


Rush! Rush! by Elena de Roo, illustrated by Jenny Cooper, One Tree House, 2021

Over the fence,
and down with a whoosh!
Onto the track!
Into the bush.
Under the trees, through the fields, past the eels – follow a young child as she hurries from home, one windy morning— but where is she going and why is she in such a rush?


Book #1 in the Lily Max series for 8 – 12-year-olds

Lily Max: satin, scissors, frock by Jane Bloomfield

Lily Max loves creating and wearing crazy clothes. But when she sets her heart on winning the Snow Queen crown at the school ball, and embarks on her most ambitious design project yet, her arch-enemy Violet Hughes breaks all the rules to beat her …

“Funny, quirky & hugely enjoyable … a great book for young style junkies & budding designers, 8+.” ~ Isobel Marriner, NZ Herald Best Books 


Book #2 in the Lily Max series for 8 – 12-year-olds

Lily Max: slope, style, fashion by Jane Bloomfield

Exuberant young fashionista Lily Max finds herself in a major predicament on the first day of school skiing. Miss Sprotts is totally NOT COOL with her radically modified ski outfit – and everyone is about to find out she’s an absolute beginner.

When an ad appears for the Snow Festival fashion show, Lily Max is confident she can create a stunning collection and learn to ski. But with arch-rival, queen-of-mean (& captain of the ski team) Violet Hughes scheming to beat her, can Lily Max pull through?


Book #3 in the Lily Max series for 8 – 12-year-olds

Lily Max: sun, surf, action by Jane Bloomfield

Young fashionista Lily Max reunites with her long-lost BFF Greer at a beautiful surf beach, where the movie Wave is being filmed. A perfect summer together stretches out before them … until local surfer-boy Ryder becomes an unwanted third wheel.

When Lily Max auditions as the body-double of the young female lead, and dares Greer and Ryder on a secret mission to a derelict lighthouse, things start to go weirdly wrong …


Ophelia Wild, Deadly Detective, by Elena de Roo, illustrated by Tracy Duncan, Walker Books Australia, 2014

Three short stories told in rhyming verse.

Banish those gremlins! Ghosts on the go! Deadly detectives, O. Wild and co. Always up for anything, Ophelia Wild and sidekick Albert expand their secret service agency to tackle zombies and monsters … with some surprise results.


The Name at the End of the Ladder, by Elena de Roo, Walker Books Australia, 2014

No name means no escape…

Win the game to choose your name and free the players who remain. Twelve-year-old September is determined to choose an adventurous name for herself from the Name Bank – not like all her friends, who are named after flowers or trees. Soon she discovers that she has no choice, unless she can win an ancient and mysterious board game. And every roll of the dice leads her further into danger.


850 thoughts on “FABO Story is taking a break…

    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!
    -Livvo

    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.

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