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Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered our Journeys Writing Competition.

Due to the huge number of high quality entries, this competition was extremely difficult to judge. For this reason we have awarded extra prizes in the 8 to 12 category.

Two, second place winners will receive a free e-book on writing, 10 Top Writing Tips: What to Write About https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/250240

Once again, there were some fabulous original story ideas with great characters.

Some stories were funny, some were sad; each one was unique and had something appealing to offer readers.


Don’t be disheartened if you didn’t win this time. Writing a story and entering it in a competition are both huge achievements.

Some general tips for those who want to work on their stories further.

1.            Read your story out loud before you submit it – that way you’ll be able to tell if there are words missing.

2.            Try and hook your reader from the start with an interesting character, event or setting.

3.            Sometimes we include things on the first page of a story that don’t need to be there. Look at the second page of your story. Would this be a better place to start?

4.            Try to keep ‘tense’ consistent. If you are writing in ‘past tense’ about something that has already happened, keep writing in ‘past tense’. If you start writing in ‘present tense’ (in the here and now), keep writing in this tense.

5.            Show your story to someone who hasn’t seen it and ask them if it makes sense or if there are any bits that are confusing. These might need to be changed.

6.            Instead of telling the reader what’s happening to your main character, try to show it through actions and conversations between characters.

Congratulations to all the worthy winners and to everyone who wrote a story and had the courage to enter it.



Age 8-12

First Place Phuong Pham Heist
Equal 2nd Place Ruth Mukheibir Dust
Equal 2nd Place Nikki Wong Journey Towards Better Things
Highly Commended Felicia The Last Free horse
Highly Commended Byron Kunert A Wasted Journey
Highly Commended Celine NG The Autograph
Highly Commended Darby Welberry Deer King
Highly Commended Isabelle England Swim
Highly Commended Kate Reynolds Doreen Hollows Seat for Dreaming
Highly Commended Venika Vachani One Last Journey
Highly Commended Zoe Dalziel Travel Across the Plain
Commended Alex Blondale Food Island
Commended Amelia Wilson-Williams The Crystal of the Universe
Commended Bryce Thomson Journey
Commended Grace Begines Life’s Journey
Commended Eva Farutin The Last Journey of Emily Cricke
Commended Makenzie O’Brien Conflict on Vacation
Commended Olivia Palmeri The Journey Home
Commended Rachel The Magical Christmas Journey
Commended Victoria Parkes Space
Commended Veronica Hester The Journey of a Dandelion
Commended William Johnson The Space Journey

Teen Category

First Place Evelyn Taliette Reflections of Another
Highly Commended Elizabeth Jade One Last Run
Highly Commended Tabitha Neil Finding Taylor
Highly Commended Alexis Bloom Hallucination Nightmare
Commended Kimberley Rance Money, Love, Freedom
Commended Emily Nicole Persons Walk After Death
Commended Jaidev Shah The Compass

Adult Category 

First Place Vicki Griffin Journey’s End
Highly Commended Catherine Pelosi Hysteria
Commended Lee Barton The Mouse in the Mill

Thanks again for entering our competition. All prize winners certificates will be sent out over the next few days, and book winners should receive their prizes shortly.

First place winners in the 8-12 and teen categories also receive a five-page manuscript assessment and our adult winner receives a ten-page manuscript. First place winners, please email your five pages, double-spaced in 12 point font with 3cm margins all round to dee*at*deescribe*dot*com*dot*au 

Happy writing:)



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Author, Sheryl Gwyther talks Story Making Ideas

Today I’m very  pleased to welcome my good friend, Sheryl Gwyther to Writing Classes for Kids. Sheryl is the author of many great books including Secrets of Eromanga and Princess Clown where she used real parts of history and situations to create her fiction.

FINDING STORY-MAKING IDEAS … it’s easier than you think

by Sheryl Gwyther 

Story ideas can pop into your head from EVERYWHERE – from almost forgotten memories, from overheard conversations, from newspaper articles, from the funny things people do, from history and even from the landscape itself. Sometimes ideas can come from the wonderful world of WORDS.

I made up a writing challenge that I call the DOUBLE TROUBLE GAME. In this game, you have to pick two nouns from a list of unlikely ‘room-mates’ or naming words that don’t go together. Like:


You get the idea? Now imagine the combination of two nouns and ask yourself What if?

  • What if there was a clown who wanted to be a princess?
  • Or better still, what if there was a princess who was different?
  • What if she loved clowning and to make people laugh?
  • What if she was the heir to the throne?
  • What if she was in trouble because the last thing she wanted to be was a royal princess?
  • What if her tricks went terribly wrong?

That is basically what I did with my chapter book, Princess Clown when I chose two words from my DOUBLE TROUBLE list – Clown/Princess and asked, What if?

Loads of other people have recognised how clever words can be when you combine them together. Famous musicians do it all the time. Here are some of the most recognised names of rock bands words that are ‘unlikely room-mates’.





COLDPLAY (well, it could be 2 words)


Want an extra challenge? Try three words from my DOUBLE TROUBLE word list! Then you’d have to call it TRIPLE TROUBLE.

PS If you’d like to use my list of nouns for the DOUBLE TROUBLE game, head on over to my kids’ only blogsite: http://sherylgwyther4kids.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/the-double-trouble-list.pdf

© Sheryl Gwyther 2011

Princess Clown is available from Blake Publishing, Australia (ISBN 9781741646481) http://www.blake.com.au/Gigglers-Blue-2-Princess-Clown-p/9781741646481.htm

Sheryl is an Australian children’s author living in Brisbane, Queensland. She likes to visit schools and libraries as well as write. For more information about her other books, short stories and plays; about how she writes; or if you’d like Sheryl to visit your school, check out:

Website: http://www.sherylgwyther.net

Writers’ blog: http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com

Perhaps Sheryl’s ideas have given you inspiration for a story of our next writing competition. Here’s where you’ll find more information:

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