★ The first FABO Story competition for 2021 has closed and author Kathy White is reading the entries. The winner will be announced in the next few days.
★ The second FABO Story competition for 2021 has now started and author Melinda Szymanik has written a story starter. You can enter the competition now!
1. Read the story starter and continue the story.
2. We prefer your story to be 500 words or less (not including the story starter). Stories over 550 words will be disqualified.
3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.
4. Send your story to us by 7pm Friday May 28th (NZ time).
5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.
6. Every fortnight there will be a new competition and a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.
7. The competition is open to kids aged 13 and under.
8. The winner will receive a mystery prize donated by Melinda!
Melinda’s Story Starter: Trouble at Winch Farm
They’d got a bit lost.
They’d never had a farm holiday before and everything was strange and new. Jodie and Ben had been shocked at how early everyone got up. It was weird eating breakfast while the rest of the world seemed fast asleep, the darkness of night still asserting itself over everything.
But riding pillion on the quad bikes – ‘Yes you do have to wear a helmet,’ Mrs Winch insisted – was huge fun and they both loved the cows and Mr Winch’s dog Barney and the farm cat Pippi. They’d done their best to help where they could and stay out of the way when things got tricky.
And on the third day when they’d finished their chores and dinner was still hours away, Mrs Winch said, ‘why don’t you go for a walk. If you follow the driveway past the house to the gate and go through into the bush there’s a terrific track down to the beach.’
‘That sounds great,’ Jodie said. ‘We’ll be back by four thirty so we can help with dinner.’
They’d headed along the driveway and clambered over the gate and soon were deep in the bush on the narrow little trail. Until Ben saw something. ‘I think it’s Pippi. Maybe she’s lost. Or hurt. ’ And he was off before Jodie could say ‘Stop!’ She heard him thrashing about, the sound getting fainter as the distance between them grew.
‘Come back!’ she yelled, before plunging off the track and into the bush after him. She did her best to follow the noise but no matter how fast she went she couldn’t seem to catch up. And then she heard the sound no one wants to hear. A sharp, anguished cry and then a piercing scream. ‘Ben!’
Pushing through the tangle of scrub and trees as fast as she could, Jodie nearly stepped off the edge of the cliff herself. She looked down before fear stopped her. Below, half way down the sheer face of stone, Ben perched where a small ledge jutted beside a crooked tree growing out horizontally over the drop. Was that blood on his forehead?