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The theme for our current writing competition is Using Fact in Fiction. What does this really mean? It means that even made up stories often include parts of real life or things that are true.

Depending on what kind of story you are writing, the amount of fact you use will vary.

You can find fact in fiction in many books including:

  1. Historical novels
  2. Novels and stories about real life
  3. Fantasy and spec novels which can be based on real places and events.
  4. Biographies/autobiographies which often have an element of fiction too because names and places are changed to protect people’s identities

When you think about the way you write, your stories are often based on your experiences of things that have really happened or people you have met.

My Young Adult novel, Letters to Leonardo is a made up story, but it’s based on something that really happened and some of the characters are based on real people I know.

I have also used Leonardo da Vinci’s real paintings to symbolise people and events in the story. The Mona Lisa for example is an enigma like Matt’s mother, but she is also a watching presence.

In his letters to Leonardo, Matt uses Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings to talk about things that are happening in his own life. It’s what connects them to each other.

 ‘…that’s what I love about your Drapery Study, I never thought of clothes as having a life of their own – but they do. We all wear an outer layer to hide who we really are.’

Hope for Hannah is a fictional story but it’s based on things that have really happened to people and real places.

The cat in my book, Harry’s Goldfield Adventure is based on my own cat, Charlie…and the lifestyle of the miners is based on how people really lived back in those days.


  1. Look at one of your favourite books
  2. Make a list of the things you think could be based on real people, places or situations
  3. You might like to try using things from this list to write a completely different story

If you’d like to enter our Using Fact in Fiction writing competition, you can find out more information about it here.

Happy writing:)



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Our 3rd Quarter Writing Competition for Kids and Adults is now open.

The theme for this quarter is ‘Using Fact in Fiction‘.

So you can write a fictional story that’s set in the real world or you can use something that really happened or a real person as inspiration for a work of fiction.

Once again we’ll have some fabulous books and manuscript assessments as prizes.


A small fee now applies for ADULTS only 

We have been overwhelmed with the number and quality of entries we have been receiving from all over the world. It’s wonderful to see so many talented writers of all ages sending their work out.

We started running these competitions to encourage kids who love to write and we intend to ALWAYS keep these competitions FREE for young writers.

Unfortunately we will have to charge a $10 entry fee for adults to cover the costs of administration, and posting prizes to international destinations.

In view of this we will be increasing the size of the first prize for adults. The winner of first prize in the adult category will now receive a ten-page manuscript assessment valued at $50.


  • Try to show the reader what’s happening through action and dialogue rather than telling them.
  • Try and keep your tenses consistent – if you start writing in past tense (we had, she ran etc), keep this consistent throughout your story.
  • Make sure you ‘double space’ your entry.
  • Avoid using clichés
  • Include as much conflict and action as you can.
  • Try to introduce your main character straight away and allow your reader to connect with them and want to follow their journey.
  • ALWAYS follow submission guidelines.


Entries will be accepted in the following categories:

  • Children aged 8 to 12
  • Teens aged 13 to 17
  • Adult category aged 18 and over

Unfortunately due to the large number of entries we have been receiving, entries are now limited to one per person. 


Children & Teens

  • The winner will receive a book and a 5 page manuscript assessment.
  •  ALL children and teens who enter will receive a certificate even if they are not a major prize winner.


  • The winner will receive a 10 page manuscript assessment valued at $50
  • Certificates will be awarded to the top place getters.
  • Additional manuscript assessments may be awarded at the judges’ discretion.

Special conditions for adult entries 

  1. A $10AUD entry fee applies. You can pay this through PayPal by going to the Writing shop page http://writingclassesforkids.com/products/
  2. Please include your payment ID number with your entry form.


Please make sure your submission follows these guidelines:

*    Submissions must be no longer than 500 words. They can be a complete story or just a part of one.

*    Do not include your name anywhere on the submission but please include the name of the story.

*    All entries must be in the following format:

  1. 12 point type…Arial or Times Roman
  2. Double spaced (between the lines)
  3. A4 sized paper
  4. 3cm margins all the way around

*    Please email your submission to Dee*at*Deescribe*dot*com*dot*au

*    All emails should include the following information in the subject line:

  1. Name of writer
  2. Name of story
  3. Age category being entered
  4. “Fact in Fiction story submission”

This competition excludes picture books and poetry.

This competition closes on 30th September 2012.

Good luck:)




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