FAQs

– Please enter each contest only once. (You can enter each time there’s a new story and judge).

– We prefer stories to be less than 500 words. (If you’re not sure, paste your story into Word and it will give you a word count). Stories over 550 words will be disqualified.

– Stories must be original and your own work.

So, how does it work?
Simple! Every so often we’ll ask you to write a new story and after the closing date we’ll judge the stories and give away a prize.

Is there an age limit, and do you have to go to school?
You need to be aged 13 or younger. You should be of primary or intermediate school age, but you don’t have to be at school. You can write by yourself at home and submit your entry, or you can write at school.

Are we allowed to get someone to read and edit our writing?
We don’t mind if someone reads it and makes suggestions about your spelling or even if they read it and say that they think you need to do some more work on it. Perhaps they say ‘I don’t think the ending is quite right. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the story. Have another think about that.’ All writers ask people for feedback. We just don’t want adults rewriting your story for you. We like reading kids’ stories. That’s why we’re children’s authors.

Can I write my story with someone else?
No you can’t. Group entries are not allowed. Individual entries only, please.

Does a younger/older kid have a better chance of winning?
We take the age of each entrant into account when reading each story. This gives all ages an equal chance of winning.

How are the stories judged? Are spelling, punctuation, and grammar important?
The judges are looking for good stories. Errors with spelling and grammar won’t always stop you winning. The most important thing is to write a great story that we love. But we enjoy reading stories more when the spelling and punctuation is right, so spending a bit of time on these things does help. We also highly recommend re-reading your story a few times before submitting it.

Do I have to use the story starter?
The competition is to use the story starter and finish the story. The judge will chose a winning story that uses the story starter.

What if my story is over 550 words or under 500 words?
Your story can be as short as you like. Some stories that have won are much shorter than 500 words. We prefer you to keep your story under 500 words, but any story up to 550 words will be accepted. If it is over 550 words it will be disqualified, so make sure you keep it under that length.

How do I know how many words I’ve written?
We recommend you write your story in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, which have word counters you can use. Then copy and paste your story into the form on the website to send it to us.

Can my story be scary, funny, futuristic, etc?
As long as you carry on from the story starter, it can be any kind of story (genre) you like.

Can my story finish with a cliffhanger?
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.

Can I finish with someone waking up and finding out it was all a dream?
This isn’t a very satisfying ending. Try to finish your story in a more original way to have the best chance of winning.

Can I find out how many people have entered?
The judge will usually say how many entries they got when they announce the winner. Unfortunately we can’t tell you before then.

What is the prize?
You can find details on the home page, though sometimes we don’t reveal what the prize is until the competition is over. The prize(s) are often supplied by the author who has volunteered to judge the competition, and they pay for for the prizes and shipping out of their own pocket. We like to think that it’s not the prizes that matter, but the fun of entering and the prestige of winning. The real prize is getting to write an exciting story, so everybody who enters FABO wins!

Who runs FABO?
FABO is run by a group of authors who have volunteered their time, money, and sanity to encourage kids to write stories.

Why is it called FABO?
It’s called FABO because it was an idea that started as a result of a Facebook conversation between a group of authors.

Can I find out when the next competitions are scheduled?
Because we’ll all volunteers with busy lives, FABO doesn’t always run to a strict timetable. We might sometimes miss a fortnight, or start late. We don’t publish our schedule because it often ends up changing.

Terms And Conditions Of Entry
Stories may sometimes be shared with third parties where circumstances warrant. Stories will never be shared for profit or commercial gain.

30 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Hi there! I’m having a bit of trouble finding out who has one the previous FABO competition, how do I access it?
    Thanks.

  2. Hi, just wondering, how many sort of ‘placings’ are there? What I mean by this is is there like a shortlist or a long list this or 2nd and 3rd placing as well? Thanks, Amber,

  3. Thank you for organising this competition. I love all of the very different story starters. I also like reading the winners so please keep posting these. Will you keep it weekly at Level 3 and below?
    Also does this run every year and when does it start each year?
    Charlotte

    1. Hi there. We’re glad you’re enjoying it. We will keep it weekly for now, but may change it back to fortnightly after Level 3, though we haven’t decided for sure yet. It runs every year and usually starts in Term 2. If you register your email you will get notifications.

      1. Hi
        I love the latest story starter.Personally I really hope it stays weekly but I understand that an author has to spend the time writing it so I understand if you make it fortnightly. I have put in my school email but I’m not getting any notifications. Maybe that’s because I only did it on the entry?
        Charlotte

      2. There’s a ‘Follow Blog Via Email’ box on the front page. If you put in an email address there, you’ll get email notifications delivered to that address.

  4. hi, I’m hannah, I’m 13 years old and i just started high school. does that mean I’m not allowed to participate? I’m turning 14 in October.

  5. I can’t see who has one so can you reveal it on the comments i wrote my ending on a computer and now I am on a kindle ✋

  6. Are we allowed to delete entries? Because I accidently sent in two imcomplete ones due to my laggy laptop. My third entry was complete though.

  7. Oops. I just entered a story and I’m at high school sorry and I went over the word limit. Don’t worry, ignore mine! :O sorry!

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