Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The New FABO Story Competition!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story? Author Kathy White has written the start of a story – now it’s up to you to finish it.

For this competition, your story should not end in a cliff hanger. Please write the story’s ending.

(Kyle Mewburn has chosen a winner for the last competition – click here to read Kyle’s report).


1. Read the story starter and finish the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

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 8pm Friday August 17.

Survival Class 101

The door slammed and Room 14 shook like a magnitude 7 earthquake. A stench of slimy fish filled Monty’s nostrils, and then suddenly a pair of bulbous eyes bored into his, making him topple from his headstand into the papier mache volcano next to him.

“Where’s Miss Limone?” he squeaked, slithering the right way up onto the nearest chair. He snuck a quick peak at the new Survival 101 teacher’s long slimy grey face, and stunted frilly arms. She didn’t look like an agent or a teacher.

“The eels in the moat got her ….” Marianne whispered across the aisle. “I heard they ate her gall bladder.”

That’s gross!” Michael said, clutching at his stomach.

Sandy Galbraith started his funny nervous snorting that always made everyone laugh, but this time he barely had time to inhale. The teacher’s enormous bottom flattened his head against the desktop. “Miss Limone was ssssssetting up this evening’s parent-teacher evening. She was attacked from behind.” Her voice was familiar but Monty couldn’t think where from.

The teacher eyeballed each of them in turn as Sandy’s face slowly turned purple. “My name is Missssss Peel. You need to obey me if you want to stay alive at this school, do you understand? Miss Limone was not careful.” Everyone’s head bobbed up and down.

She slid off the desk and Sandy took a giant breath.

“We’re supposed to talk about Project Predator today,” Sue said, trying not to let her voice shake. “Miss Limone left instructions.”

Miss Peel picked up the instruction sheet with one frilly fin and dropped it into the rubbish bin. “We are not talking about meso-predators today. The possum isssss the only animal that is capable of spreading the seed of large-seeded native plants. Do you understand? We need it. It isssss no longer the target.” Everyone started to talk at once. The teacher made tutting noises with her mouth.
“Our mission is much bigger than a marsupial or a rodent. We have identified a REAL predator in our midsssst– a megalo-predator, one that could cause extinctions in New Zealand.” She pointed her remote at the laptop and an image appeared on the screen that made everyone gasp. “I need you to remain calm.”

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in fabo story, The Winner

Fabo Story Judge’s Report – Kyle Mewburn

I had loads of fun judging this round. Though I must say it made me feel a bit ancient when I realised FABO has been going such a long time that a lot of you weren’t even born when we started.

I was surprised, inspired and delighted to read your entries. There was some excellent writing – including some colourful descriptions and snappy dialogue. And so many exciting, wacky and downright weird ideas that it was a challenge to pick just one winner.

There were dinosaurs and robots, not to mention Jessie’s Quibbleyxrom’s making another appearance. And poor Ratty met some terrible fates, including being flushed down the toilet by Eleanor.

Two stories stood out. I loved the imagination and drama in Piper’s adventures in the Ratris where poor David and Ella were mutated into rats before being sent back to the Cretaceous era by a devious Ratty. But in the end it was the great, snappy dialogue in Indigo’s story about giants and a plot to kill the Queen that really stood out.

So congratulations Indigo from Ohope Beach School! A prize will be whizzing through the postal vortex soon.

– Kyle

You can read Indigo’s story here:

Indigo’s story

A giant lunged for them. David was caught in his monstrous grasp. ‘’You have entered my domain.’’ the giant snarled. ‘’Now you are mine.’’ He was tall and covered in brown fur, except for his face. This was covered in blotchy red patches that seemed to be alive. They coiled and wriggled ominously across his face. A fetid stench emanated from his mouth, and as David squirmed in his iron grasp, he cried not to gag. It seemed as though the giant favoured a particular deodorant made of onions and boiled eggs. Ella tried desperately to breathe through her mouth. ‘’Humans tonight,’’ the giant said, rubbing his belly.

David and Ella were led in chains to the giants kitchen. Ratty hid up Ellas sleeve. ‘’Move it.’’ the giant bellowed, pulling on the metal links as though he were playing an unusually violent game of tug of war. The chain threatened to choke them both, so they decided it would be suicide not to pick up the pace. ‘’What do we do?’’ David whispered harshly. Ratty poked his head out. ‘’Okay,’’ he said. ‘’I have magic powers that are very rare and I guard this hoop that I made. I did have a plan to kill Queen Elizabeth the 2nd using futuristic technology, so that I could make the world a better place, but you guys foiled it. Which means we’re all gonna die.’’ ‘’Hold on,’’ David said as they jogged along. ‘’You said you didn’t have an evil plan.’’ ‘’It’s not evil,’’ sighed Ratty in exasperation. ‘’Anyway, if we survive this, I promise I won’t do it. And I’m only saying that because we are all gonna die fish face!’’ he screamed the last bit angrily in David’s face. ‘’If anything,’’ Ella panted, ‘’You’re the fish face-you made the hoop. How come you made it so that we turned up here!’’ ‘’It was an accident!’’ Ratty sighed again. ‘’Okay?’’ ‘’Fine.’’ David said. ‘’ Now get us out of here.’’

‘’This is the worst plan ever.’’ Ratty said despondently. ‘’We’re all gonna die.’’ ‘’Quit being so negative would you.’’ Ella hissed out of the corner of her mouth. A giantess with a considerable girth approached them. The green blotches on her face wriggled. Time to chop you up, my kitties.’’ she cooed, as she removed the chains awkwardly, with her bloated fingers. Then with one mammoth hand seized on……empty air.

Ella sprinted for her life as her thighs burned. Her heart was beating faster than it ever had before, her life was on the line. The giant and giantess charged after them, their heavy footsteps shook the ground wildly from side to side. The long grass scratched her legs. Her lungs hurt. She couldn’t breathe. The giants were steadily closing the gap, so close so close. Ella braced herself for the crushing hands that were about to enclose her, and then the hoop was before them, Ella reached out, grasping for the safety and comfort of her own world. and then, finally, she was home.

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The New FABO Competition Judged By Kyle Mewburn!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Kyle Mewburn has written a new story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

This year, the Fabosters are having fun with Time Travel. A reluctant duo travels through time and space.


1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

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 8pm Friday August 3rd.

5. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you. The stories will follow on with the same two characters.

6. The winner of the previous competition will be announced on this website a few days after that competition closes.

Illustration by Ronja Schipper

Lost in the PE Shed Vortex: Episode Six

Swarms of whispering drones filled the sky like wasps with laryngitis. Bright shafts of light sliced wildly through the plumes of black smoke gushing from the main school building.

“Battle stations!” a voice boomed through the loudspeakers. The orb-headed students carrying Ella halted as if frozen.

“Battle stations!” the voice boomed again.

“What’s wrong?” Ella asked.

Without warning, the students let go, sending Ella sprawling.

“Hey!” Ella huffed at their retreating backs. “That… wasn’t… very… nice…” Every word was an effort. She struggled to her feet, puffing and panting. The filter wasn’t working anymore. She was running out of oxygen.

“Sorry,” Ballecia said as she swept past. “You’re on your own.”

Ella spun around. David was bent over double, wheezing loudly. His face was flushed. He looked like he’d run a marathon.

“We… have… to… get… inside,” Ella panted as she reached him. She grabbed his arm and tried to steer him towards the school building.

David jerked free and took a faltering step in the opposite direction.

Ella understood in a flash where he was heading. She hooked an arm around his shoulder.

Together they dragged themselves across the grass like zombie Siamese twins.

They stuttered inside the PE shed, breathless and red-faced, then toppled forward into the time travel hoop. A moment later they were sitting in a gasping, wheezing tangle of limbs on a reassuringly normal wooden floor.

Ella gulped enormous breaths of relief. That was close.

“Quickly!” David wheezed, dragging himself to his knees. He hovered over the hoop, hands outstretched.

“Are you going to tell me what you’re doing,” Ella asked, “or…”

“Shhhh!” David hissed. “Get ready!”


As Ratty shot out of the hoop, David’s snatched him up by the tail.

“Squeak!” said Ratty, squirming wildly.

David held Ratty before his face. “So who are you? And why do you need us?”

“Ummmm, it’s a rat, David,” Ella suggested, peering over his shoulder.

“It’s not just a rat,” said David.

“What? Ratty’s some kind of evil genius?” Ella scoffed, rolling her eyes.

“Well, I wouldn’t quite say evil,” Ratty piped up.

Ella’s jaw dropped to her chin.
“I knew it!” said David. “OK, Ratty. Tell us what you’re planning or I’ll…”

“Or you’ll what, chowder-head?” sneered Ratty, folding his arms across his chest.

Ella’s brain was a whirr of disbelief and inklings. As her gaze bounced between Ratty and the hoop, disbelief grew into suspicion.

“Hey, look,” Ella said, twisting the hoop. The sunlight revealed tiny grooves carved into the frame. She peered closer. “They’re dates!”

“That must be how Ratty controls it,” said David.

“The dates on one side are before our time,” said Ella. “And the ones on the other side are in the future.”


The hoop unfolded into two circles clasped by a hinge.

“Hey!” squealed Ratty. “Careful with that!”

“Are there dates inside?” asked David.

“No,” said Ella, laying the hoop open on the floor like a figure 8.

“Don’t do that!” said Ratty, sounding slightly scared.


A swirling tornado of sound and light burst from the hoop and sucked them into the vortex.

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in fabo story, The Winner

Fabo Story Judges Report – Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Thank you to everyone who sent in a story this round. This is my first year judging Fabo Story, and I had no idea what a tough job it was going to be! There were so many wonderful stories, I had a hard time choosing just one.

I really liked that many of you had thought about what types of technology we might have in the future. Evangeline Speedy’s suspended animation made a great twist to normal detentions, Sophie’s imagery room sounded like it could be a lot of fun, and Noa Smith’s protect droids (which reversed all the damage of the explosion) would come in very handy! Holly Allison polluted future with acid rain and nuclear storms also clearly had a lot of thought put into it.

I also liked that many of you introduced new complications and threats to keep David and Ella on their toes. Isaac’s giant mutated rat was a clever addition to the story, as were Jessie Avison’s Quibbleyxroms. There were also some fantastic ideas about Aramaya – Indigo Ciara Tomlinson’s imagining of this character was one that stood out, with some well-written description.

It was also nice to see some humour coming through in some of the stories. Jasmine B in particular did a great job of creating some funny banter between Ella and David in amongst the serious situations they found themselves in.

There are many more fantastic ideas I could mention, but I know you’re all itching to find out the final result, so on to the winner…. Congratulations Jeromia Lin!

Jeromia’s story had an exciting beginning, middle and end, and I was also particularly impressed with the use of description. I felt like I could see everything that was happening throughout the story.

You can read Jeromia’s story below.

Congratulations to everyone who entered. You should all be really proud of yourselves. There will be a new story started posted soon, so I hope you all keep writing and entering your fabulous stories.

Jeromia’s Story

Lights flickered on and off inside the school building, their sparks bouncing across the gray exterior of the walls. The sounds were getting louder now, banging and popping filling the atmosphere with an unearthly noise. The screams and yelling of the children were drowned out by the explosions, their booms rumbling and vibrating the ground. David’s back was dripping with sweat, as his clammy hands fumbled across the ground, looking for Ratty. A sudden hiss interrupted his search. Ratty was tangled in a strange man’s arms, biting and clawing and scratching at his arms, struggling to break free. “I have him.”

The bubble was sticking to Ella’s hair as she ran, screaming and shouting for David. She had lost him amongst the chaos, with students and teachers running around screaming. Finally, she spotted him and ran over, relief flooding through her body. “David, I found you! Where’s Rat-” Ella broke off with a gasp. The man had a long black cloak that was blowing in the wind, its sides encrusted with precious jewels. His eyes were unreal, like the heart of a storm, cloudy grey and silver with pale flecks of white. What was most surprising was his arms. They were wrapped in silver cloth, except the cloth was glowing with an unearthly glow. Ratty seemed to be fighting against it- he was batting the man’s arms, trying to free himself from his grip. The man spoke, his voice a strange rasp. “I want your rat.”

The strange man in the black cloak spoke like a hissing, rasping snake. His voice seemed to scratch the surface, and Ella flinched at the sound. “Your rat is much more special than you think.” He licked the sides of his lips, and continued. “He has a special gift, one that is only found once in every millennia. He has the power to control time. Using my extractor, I can control this power myself.” His eyes started to glow, and the air began to hiss and crackle with heat. Then Ella did the first, most unexpected thing she could think of. She took off her bubble and threw it at him.

The man was knocked to the ground, and Ratty scrambled out of his grasp. The atmosphere began to warp, and the man disappeared into an ominous fog. Then everything was black.

Ella and David had saved the world. For now.

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The Latest FABO Story Competition Now!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Helen Vivienne Fletcher has written a new story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

This year, the Fabosters are having fun with Time Travel. A reluctant duo travels through time and space.

(Michele Powles has judged the last competition and you can find her report here).


1. Read the story starter and continue the story.

2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.

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 8pm Friday July 6.

5. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you. The stories will follow on with the same two characters.

6. The winner of the previous competition will be announced on this website a few days after that competition closes.

Illustration by Ronja Schipper

Lost in the PE Shed Vortex: Episode Five

Ratty darted in and out between the orb-headed students’ feet. They skittered away from him, jumping this way and that as they tried not to step on him.

Ratty raced across the grass, disappearing into one of the strange-looking school buildings on the other side of the sports field.

“Ratty!” David yelled, and started after him.

Ella tried to run after them as well, but she stumbled, feeling dizzy. “David, wait! I don’t feel so good.” Ella sat down with a thump, the dizziness overwhelming her.

“What are you doing?” David ran back to Ella and tried to help her up. “We have to go after Ratty!”

But now David wasn’t feeling good either. He’d thought it was just the trip through the time portal into the future that had made him vomit earlier, but now he wasn’t so sure. He lay down on the ground next to Ella, clutching his stomach.

“Stranger alert! Stranger alert!”

The weird, silver-orb-headed students weren’t running away from Ratty anymore, they were heading straight for David and Ella.

“What do we do?” Ella tried to get up, but she couldn’t.

“I don’t know!” David couldn’t get up either.

The blob-headed people surrounded them. David and Ella cowered, as one of them leaned down.

Swwooosh! Pop!

Suddenly an opening appeared in the front of the silver orb. A normal girl’s face peered out.

“What are you doing?” she said. “You can’t be out here without an atmosphere helmet!”

She grabbed the sides of her helmet, pulling off two small silver blobs.

“Breathe through these, quickly.” She pressed the blobs to Ella and David’s faces.

Instantly the sick feeling eased. David touched his face. The blob was all gooey and squishy It was like breathing through a bowl of silver jelly.

The girl pulled Ella to her feet.

“Who are you?” Ella asked.

“Ballecia Bendenet,” the girl said. “Head girl.” Ballecia gave a little curtesy, which was copied by all of the other students. “Now we’ve got to get inside. Those filters won’t last for long!”

Two of the other students picked Ella up, and started running towards the school building.

Ballecia grabbed David’s hand and pulled him along too.

“But our rat!” David’s voice came out muffled through the goo.

Ballecia shook her head. “No time. You’ll drown out here if your filter runs out!”

David pulled away from her. “But Ratty had this bracelet. It said it was going to explode if we didn’t get it back to Aramaya Abalonia.”

The girl’s face went pale. “Not a Sissy 7.3? How long did it say until detonation?”

“Eighteen minutes,” Ella yelled. “But I’m not sure how long ago that–”

From inside the school building, they heard an explosion…

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in The Winner

The Winners Of The FABO Story Competition: 11 – 22 June

Wow what a huge bunch of amazing entries! I’ve been writing and judging fabostory for six years now and I can honestly say that it’s getting harder and harder to pick a winner each year. There was an amazing array of imaginative interpretations for this story. There were pick-pockets with circus intrigue, jewel headed boys and a lot of razor sharp realizations that future and past David and Ella shouldn’t have been meeting in such odd circumstances.

I have to say Happy Birthday to Amelie Espagnet who described her orb headed boys with wonderful clarity and entered on her birthday.

A special mention goes to Marina Showers from Sunnynook Primary for her wonderful creative language and to Ruby from St Cuthberts for the whiplash fast change in your time frame from the future with clockwork boys, to being in a contemporary movie, to being thrown adrift in time by the bracket after All! Phew.

Ashleigh Bernacchi’s scales and dark shrivelled hands had me shuddering, and Hayley King’s world made of mars bars was a close call to taking out the top spot.

A quick note to remember that tense is so important to your writing. Quite a few amazing pieces slipped between tenses and it made an otherwise stand out story a little confusing, especially when were already dealing with time travel.

We have a broad range of ages who enter Fabo but one of our youngest entrants, Anna Walker from Hutt Central School’s feathered crocodile almost got my winner’s vote this week. Amazing work Anna. But the overall winner this week is Sienna Williams from St Kentigern College. You did a great job setting the scene straight away and keeping up the tension right till the very end. Congratulations!

Sienna’s Winning Story

David and Ella stared after them with a look of despair, searching frantically for Ratty in amongst the bustling crowd of bubble-headed children. More had started to congregate in a circle around them. David and Ella shivered with fear as they stared at the expressionless bubbles in front of them. Two of the bubble-heads stepped forward and simultaneously chorused in a robotic voice, “we will take them to the principal’s office.” One of them reached into its pocket and sprayed a foul-smelling gas into their faces.

When they awoke they were slumped in two uncomfortable chairs in the school office. Ratty was there snoring noisily. Ella stole the bracelet and slipped it into her pocket. Two scary bubble-headed office ladies sat at the desk typing away. When all of a sudden one stopped and in a harsh, cold voice rasped, “enter the principal’s office now.” They creeped towards the heavy ebony door barely daring to breathe.

The principal cloaked in shadow seemed to stare disapprovingly in their direction. “Execute them,” he growled. Two guards moved out of the darkness and pulled a leaver. Beneath their feet the floor opened up to reveal a gaping chasm. Then with no warning the sissy hologram blurted out, “15 minutes until detonation.”

The principal motioned for the guards to stop and said, “I will let you live if you give me this sissy hologram 7.3.” They accepted the offer enthusiastically and the principal ordered “take them to the dungeon.” The guard dragged them out the door and across the hallway.

David stared at the bland stone prison bars of his cell. Suddenly out of the corner of his eyes he saw movement. He stood up startled and asked his voice trembling, “whho’s there.” “Only me,” a sweet silky voice whispered. A person wearing an auburn cloak emerged from the darkness. “How did you end up here?” questioned David. “And why aren’t you a bubble-head?”

“My name is Princess Amaya. Previous ruler of planet earth. Many years ago, Earth was a peaceful place where every being lived in harmony. Then one dark day the evil king of the bubbles invaded our planet. He came with his army of bubbles and we were no match for him. He imprisoned all human beings. The bubbles are parasitic creatures and live off the people whose planets the invade. The latched onto all of the heads of my subjects. They controlled them by thought and there is only one thing in this universe that can bring an end to them. It is the ancient’s bracelet.” “I know where that bracelet is!” shouted David excitedly and he pulled the bracelet from his pocket. Ella was now awake and was startled to see the stranger in the cell opposite. David threw the bracelet to princess Amaya. She pushed a button on it that they had not noticed before, then suddenly the security guard snoring in the corner next to them turned human again. David and Ella had saved the human race!

Posted in The Winners!

The Winners Of The FABO Story Competition: 28 May – 8 June

Wow! I have enjoyed reading so many different and imaginative visions of the future. I was looking for stories with imagination, clever problem solving (how David and Ella would stop Sissy 7.3 from detonating), and with that X-factor (be it humour, strong voice, fiendish plotting, colourful characters or a particular combination of these) that elevate the story from competent into a prize winner.

Please also pay attention to the word limit which is 500 words. Most writing competitions have strict limits and stories exceeding the limit are automatically disqualified. I was a little more lenient than this but there were a couple of great stories that were unfortunately way too far past the word limit to allow (it isn’t fair on the other contestants who completed their stories and had less words to play with).

If you look back to the instructions at the start of this year’s Fabostory competition you will see that we are writing a serial story which means your story should end in a cliff-hanger. I haven’t penalised anyone who didn’t do this – but don’t forget for next time 😊

The following nine stories made my short list:

Caila (Saint John Bosco School) – good use of vocabulary and imagination. I enjoyed the political aspect to this story.

Charlotte (Pinehurst School) – a future in which giraffes have grown tired of the humans and taken over the world. That made me laugh.

Anna (St Columba’s School) – one of the youngest contestants – for a complete story culminating in a cliff-hanger ending.

Harry (Tauranga Intermediate) – the only entry where a future version of one of the kids is utilised. Good thinking!

Ruchi (Pinehurst School) – wonderful humour and a strong voice.

Lucy (Te Mata Primary) – short, punchy sentences kick the story off into a terrifying vision of the future and a heart-racing ending.

Hazel (Turitea) another of our youngest contestants with a complete story leading to an unexpected ending.

Carter (Discovery School) – super dialogue in a complete story which contained humour and tension that grew to the climactic ending.

Georgia (Bethlehem College) – great use of vocabulary and tight writing.

And the winner is… CARTER!

The runner up is LUCY.

Well done everyone and thank you for sending through your incredible stories. Congratulations to my winners I will be in touch to arrange the prizes.

– Suzanne Main

Carter’s Story

“Whoa, look at this place,” Ella said in awe.

“I feel sick. I’m gonna puke” David moaned.

Ella stood there staring into the future… Literally. David stood bent over with his hands on his knees.

“Is that a hover-board?” Ella asked.

“I think so” David replied. “Anyways, we have to go and return this to that Aramaya Abal-whatever.”

“Okay” Ella agreed. They jogged off with Ratty trailing behind. The first person they saw looked old, maybe around 70-75.

“SIR! Please, tell me do you know someone name Aramaya?” David questioned.

“Ummm, yeah quite a few of em'” The old man said.

“The Aramaya that has one of these.” David said confidently, as he brought out Sissy Version 7.3.

“Ohhhh, you mean ALL of them eh” The old man laughed.

“What do you mean” Ella asked.

“Everyone has one, kid” The old man Scoffed. David and Ella didn’t reply, they turned around and left.

“That was rude” The old man mumbled. David and Ella ran around trying to find Aramaya. They looked left and right, up and down. They could not find anyone named Aramaya, and they were running out of time.

“What are we going to do?” Ella asked David.

There was one thing I noticed” David emphasised.

“What?” Ella wondered.

“How everyone has a name tag!” David yelled.

“I never paid attention enough to notice that” Ella said. David laughed. 5 minutes left. They paid attention to all the name tags. Mike, Daniel, Ashton, Emma, so on, but NO Aramaya. They take out Sissy Version 7.3 and ask it what to do.

“I can find where Aramaya Abalonia is” Sissy Version 7.3 said in a robot voice.

“Why didn’t you say this earlier” David screamed.

“You didn’t ask” Sissy Version 7.3 said annoyingly.

“YES! DO IT, NOW!” David howled. All his anger rushed into that one sentence. David was scared. So scared that he was sweating.

“Aramaya is in the… Real life Cinemas.” Sissy Version 7.3 said.

“The what, um. Where is the Real life Cinemas?” David asked.

“The directions to the Real Life Cinemas are two rights then one left” Sissy Version 7.3 said. They have 1 minute. David and Ella sprinted so fast when they got there the people didn’t even notice that they broke into the movie.


“5 seconds until detonation” Sissy Version 7.3 said.

“HERE THROW IT!” Aramaya Abalonia yelled.

David couldn’t throw so he gave it to Ella, but Ella can’t throw either. Ella had to take her chance and threw it. It went nowhere near Aramaya, but Aramaya jumped.

“PLEASE DON’T DETONATE!” Aramaya yelled while in the air.

What will happen… She caught it!

“Hello Aramaya.” Sissy Version 7.3 said.

Ella sighed. “Let’s go home” Ella said. They went to the Cane Hoop, to leave.