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Holiday Writing Competition – Winners Announced!

Thank you to the hundreds of writers who entered the Holiday writing competition.

WRITING COMPETITION tuti LOGOThe standard of the work was amazing and everyone who entered should be congratulated.

Everyone who entered will receive a certificate and these will be forwarded to you within the next few days.

There were so many great stories that judging was very difficult. I wanted to give as many writers as possible the chance to be published, so 27 stories have been selected for the anthology.

If your story wasn’t selected, please don’t be disheartened. It doesn’t mean your story wasn’t great, it’s just that I couldn’t include everybody’s work in the anthology.

When selecting the winners, I tried to include a variety of different kinds of stories from boys and girls across different age groups and from different parts of the world.

Stories were also selected on originality of ideas. So your story might have been fantastic, but it might not have been selected because there was a story that was a lot like it or because it might have been based on characters that had already been created by someone else.

There was such a great variety.

Taking the time to write a story and enter it in a competition like this is a fantastic achievement.

EVERYONE who entered the competition will receive a certificate.

Writing classes for Kids teachers logoTEACHERS

If you are encouraging students to enter the competition, please ensure they follow the guidelines, and that you provide all necessary information including ages of your students.

This is essential because age is a factor that is taken into account during the judging process as expectations are different for a 7 year-old students work as opposed to a 17 year-old.


Unfortunately, I can’t give individual feedback on your stories, but some things to look out for in your writing:

1.  Editing. Make sure you have read your story over and over again and revised it so it’s the best it can be. You might like to get others to read your story and make suggestions before you send it in. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s suggestions, but getting someone else to read your work will help you to understand where the writing needs to be clearer to get your meaning across.

Writing classes for Kids writers logo2.  Read your story out loud. This will help you pick up where you have accidentally left words or letters out or the words are in the wrong order or you have accidentally written the wrong word. Reading your story out loud will pick these things up and ensure that your story is the best it can be.

3. Try to keep your tenses consistent. Decide whether your story has already happened (past tense), is happening right now (present tense) or will happen in the future (future tense).


was have been will
had, have will have
had been are will be
did am will have been

4.  Instead of telling the reader what happened, try to show them what happened. Here’s what I mean:

Telling:  He fell of his horse and broke his arm.

Showing:  The horse bucked and tossed its head. He gripped harder with his knees but he couldn’t hang on. He grasped desperately at the saddle as he felt himself slipping. Thud! He hit the ground, his arm twisted under him.

5.  Use specific descriptions. For example, instead of saying that the tree looked interesting, show the reader why it was interesting.  “The bark on the tree was thorny like the skin of a crocodile. It was sharp to touch and it smelled like peppermint.”  See how this description gives the reader a much clearer picture in their mind of what the tree is really like.

6. Use strong verbs. For example, instead of saying that the horse ‘ran quickly’, say that it ‘galloped’.

7.  Confusion with ‘their, there and they’re’. Their means, it belongs to them For example, ‘their dog, their house’. They’re is short for they are. There refers to a place or time. For example, ‘ My dog is over there in his kennel’.

8. Paragraphs

If you skip to a new topic, time or place, start a new paragraph. When a new person is talking always start that piece of speech on a new line. If you read a paragraph and it sounds too complicated, you might want to try and break it up into a few paragraphs to make it clearer for the reader.

I hope you find these tips helpful.


Congratulations to the following writers whose stories have been selected for publication in the Holiday anthology:

MR BADGER’S HOLIDAY SCARE – by Sasha Borman – aged 7

SISTERS ON A HOLIDAY ADVENTURE – by Pranuthi Emani – aged 8

LUCY’S DREAM HOLIDAY – by Snigdha Gannavarapu – aged 8

JOURNEY FROM PARIS – by Zoe London – aged 8

WHY THE WILLOWS SANG – by Minethra Epa – aged 9

JACK’S HOLIDAY IN PARIS – by Emily Henley – aged 9

A MEMORABLE HOLIDAY – by Sarah Khawaja – aged 9

MY HOLIDAY TO SEA WORLD – by Saffron Maitland – aged 9

TREASURE HUNTER – by Clara Cho – aged 10THE P

BUFF’S HOLIDAY – by Jessica Foreman – aged 10


THE PETTING ZOO – by Jack Zhouand – aged 10

WE ARE ONE! by Dinethra Epa – aged 11

FIRST SNOW – by Camille F – aged 11

HOLIDAY IN AN UNKNOWN LAND – by Diya Goel – aged 11

MY HOLIDAY SPY CAMP – by Tami McCosker – aged 11

HOLIDAY FROM HELL – by Jessica Watson aged 11

OPPOSITE HOLIDAY – by Sarah Chuang – aged 12

THE POACHER – by Anna Daniel – aged 12

A CHILLY NEW YEAR – by Brooke McLean – aged 12

I WAS ONLY 13 – by Olivia Johnson – aged 11

TWIN OR CLONE – by Purvi Malviya – aged 13

LE VOYAGE – by Eva Cotsell – aged 14

NIGHTMARE HOLIDAY – by Emily Jones – aged 14

EID SAMOSAS – by Fatima – Abu Bakr – aged 15

TAKING CHANCES – by Amy Kong – aged 15

SOME HOLIDAY – by Maryam Lahham – aged 15

HOLIDAY? NEVER HEARD OF IT – by Mary Abigail Cloninger – aged 16




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Robyn Osborne Shares Her Tips On Writing From an Animal’s Point of View


PortraitI am a teacher, author and animal fanatic.  My love of animals came from my father and I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have pets. Over the years there have been many four- legged furry friends that have enriched my life; dogs, cats, mice, goats (lots of them), ducks, cows, a pig (not strictly furry, I know).  The vast majority of these were strays, orphans, unwanted pets or animals from a pound. We adopted some very appreciative ex-battery hens and even saved a sheep and her lamb from the abattoir. At 11, I made the connection between animals and the meat on the plate and turned vegetarian (which I still am today).

Midget Bones cover (Small) (Small)Many of my stories focus on my pets, past and present. My very first published story, ‘The Heartworm War’ (Smarter than Jack 2, Avocado Press, 2004) was about Bluey, a canny cattle dog I owned as a kid (ex-school stray). Bluey was also the inspiration for a short story, ‘The Workin’ Dog’ (The Bridge anthology, Stringybark Publishing, 2011).

My first published book, D.O.G. (Macmillan, 2005) was a junior novel about a boy who desperately wants a pet dog. In 2010, my second book, Dog Logic-a pooch’s guide to dogs behaving badly was published (Big Sky Publishing, Sydney). Dog Logic was co-pawthored by my clever dog Sox, ‘The Philosophical Pooch’.  Dog Logic was Sox’s view of the world: irreverent, honest, fun, naughty, at times a little rude, but always with tongue firmly planted in muzzle. Sox continues his writing career as a canine columnist with Dogs Life magazine and even has a Facebook Page. A talented dog indeed. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sox-The-Philosophical-Pooch-Osborne/162936030398385  

D.O.GNot to be outshone by her kennel companion, Snowy put paw to paper and created Midget Bones’ Diary (Puppy Care Education, 2014).Witty, winsome and wicked; Midget Bones’ Diary is a quirky and humorous memoir written by a very special mongrel. Following in the pawsteps of Bridget Jones, the diary charts the trials and tribulations as Midget (aka Snowy) adjusts to life outside the shelter that has been her home for many years.  Being an adoptee and playing happy families was not something she had planned on. While you can indeed teach old dogs new tricks, they don’t take kindly to change. If this wasn’t difficult enough for an aged terrier, Midget’s large and unwanted kennel companion from the shelter joined her at her new home. What N.B. (known as No Brains behind his generously proportioned back end) lacked in intellect, he made up for in exuberance and girth. Midget Bones’ Diary is suitable for ages 12 +.

DL cover (Small)2014 also saw my first two picture books, Going Fishing and Going Camping, published (Big Sky Publishing, Sydney). While these books are mainly about the foibles of family life, I did manage to slip Snowy into Going Fishing. I sent copious photos of her to the illustrator, Colin Stevens and was very happy with his artistic interpretation, even if she was sans black spots!

Sadly, both my canine chums have moved onto the Rainbow Bridge; Snowy in 2012, at the ripe old age of 17, followed in 2013 by Sox who never quite reached his 15th birthday. While I still miss them very much, Jack, an elderly ex-rescue terrier of indeterminate heritage joined us in October 2014. Jack is yet to reveal any literary aspirations, but with an uncanny resemblance to the model gracing the cover of Midget Bones’ Diary, who knows what the future will bring? http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/robins-puppy-book-love/2494776/

My website is http://robynosborne.com/

Snowy (Midget Bones) and her mate Sox (The Philosophical Pooch)


BSP My Family Going Fishing 300dpi RGB-1 (Small)As I have now had two books published that were written from a dog’s point of view (POV), I thought I would share some ideas on how to write with an authentic animal voice.

  1. Decide what sort of story you want to write. Midget Bones was a doggy diary, whereas Dog Logic was a more practical book about training, from Sox’s point of view. What about a letter your pet might write to you or even a story about your talking pet?
  2. Chose an animal that you know well, ideally your own pet. If you don’t have a pet at home, write about one belonging to a friend or relative.
  3. Another idea is to write from a farm or wild animal’s POV. Does the dairy cow mind being milked every day, what is that green frog really thinking and why is the kookaburra laughing?
  4. Imagine what it be like to be that animal. What do they see, smell, hear, touch and feel? If you have decided to write about your pet, follow them around for a few days and make notes on what they are doing.
  5. Spend lots of time planning your story before you start writing. Jot down notes or do a drawing of the main points you want to cover.

BSP My Family Camping Cover 300dpi RGB (Small)

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