Archive for Competitions

Meet Derek Landy in Christchurch this October

We’re excited to announce that Derek Landy, the author of the brilliant Skulduggery Pleasant series, is coming to Christchurch on Thursday 2 October.  Derek is coming to promote the release of the final Skulduggery Pleasant book, The Dying of the Light, at the Riccarton Primary School hall at 5:30pm on Thursday 2 October.  Not only will you have the chance to get your books signed, you can also hear him talk about his books and ask him your burning questions.  There will also be the chance to win some awesome prizes for those who come dressed as their favourite Skulduggery character.

In the lead up to Derek’s visit we’ll be featuring some videos of Derek talking about the ending of the series. You’ll also have the chance to win a copy of Armageddon Outta Here, the new Skulduggery Pleasant short story collection.

For details about the event and to get tickets check out the poster below.

 Derek Landy poster

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Enter our Autumn Reading Competition

Win books and Subway vouchers!

At Christchurch City Libraries we’re combining our Autumn Reading Competition with the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.  The finalists in this year’s book awards are announced on Tuesday 8 April and this is also when our Autumn Reading Competition opens.

During the Autumn Reading Promotion you’ll have the chance to vote for your favourite finalist book in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and you’ll have the chance to win a trip to Orana Park for your class or your family.

Here on the Christchurch Kids Blog we have extra chances for you to win.  You could win a set of the Junior Fiction finalist books and Subway vouchers, just for sending us your response to one of the finalist books.  You could write a review, write a poem, create something and send us a photo, or you could write a story based on one of the books.  Email your response to christchurchkidsblog@ccc.govt.nz or enter it as a comment on this post.

Competition closes Friday 21 May.  See below for terms and conditions

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Write Stories. Win Prizes.

The Fabo Story challenge is back!   What’s Fabo Story you ask?  It’s an ongoing competition where you can enter stories for the chance to win prizes!

fabo-for-blog

Fabo Story is Fabulous!

✭ Here’s the website link: http://fabostory.wordpress.com/

✭ There’ll be a new story contest to enter every couple of weeks. (Or longer if it’s over the school holidays). Each time the judge and the story’s opening paragraph changes, you can enter again for another chance to win.

✭ It’s free and fun!

Meet The Judges

Fabo Story started four years ago when a group of ✭C✭R✭A✭Z✭Y✭ children’s authors got together and asked, “How can we encourage more kids to write stories?”  It’s been a wild four years, but we’re still here!

Here’s a little bit about us:

fifi-colston-smlFifi Colston

Fifi Colston is an artist, author and all round creative person who has a motto: ‘If you can’t draw it, write it- and if all else fails, get out the hot glue gun!’

She often does all three.

You can read about her latest novel ‘Glory’ here: www.florencebright.blogspot.com

maureenMaureen Crisp

Maureen loves being a writer. She says “You can spy on people, write down what they say and make up characters in books that look just like them… but they will never guess. And reading all the time is research so I have to do it. (really!)”

Website for kids: www.bonesbymaureencrisp.blogspot.com

elenaElena De Roo

When she was growing up Elena went to seven different primary schools all around NZ but has lived in Auckland since she was eleven. She likes chips and ice cream (far too much and occasionally together) and writes poems, rhymes and quirky stories.

tania-hutleyTania Hutley

Tania’s favourite snack is avocado and peanut butter on toast. In a perfect world Tania would spend all her time writing, but she’s only able to afford all those expensive avocados by working for a company that makes computer games. Though she gets to play games a lot at work, she thinks making up stories is even more fun.

She’s written a book for kids called Tough Enough, another called 99 Flavours of Suck, and a few short stories too. She doesn’t hold any official world record, but her friends are convinced that she is actually the worst singer who ever lived.

www.taniahutley.com

johannaJohnanna Knox

Johanna Knox writes The Fly Papers – a mystery-adventure series about mutant carnivorous plants (illustrated by the wonderful Sabrina Malcolm).

Johanna is also the editor of Wild Things – Forest & Bird’s science and nature mag for kids. If you haven’t seen it – take a look: http://www.kcc.org.nz/magazine

kyle-posterKyle Mewburn

I’ve always loved writing. Unfortunately my handwriting has always been horrendous. No matter how hard I try it always comes out looking like a cockroach has stepped in some ink and crawled across the page. Luckily some smartypants invented the computer. There was no stopping me after that! I’ve now written more books than I count without taking my socks off. When I’m not writing I’m either in my garden singing to my vegies, in the creek swimming or off exploring the strange land I’ve discovered at the back of my wardrobe. (OK, that last bit may not be completely true…)

I’ve also got a website – www.kylemewburn.com

michelle-paintMichele Powles

Michele Powles has been a dancer and arty type all of her life. Without realising it, she discovered she was much better at writing and decided that was what she wanted to be when she grew up. She’s still working on the growing up part.

Most of her writing is for adults but sometimes a story will come up that is too awesome so she saves it for kids only. She thinks reading is cool.

www.michelepowles.com

melinda-szymanikMelinda Szymanik

Melinda can often be found glued to the television, tapping away on a computer keyboard or with her nose in a book. She has a cat and a dog, some children and a husband, and lives in Auckland. Melinda loves movies and hates driving on motorways and thinks it should be okay to wear pyjamas to work. Writing stories is her favourite thing to do and you can find some of her best stories on the shelves in bookshops and libraries, like Clever Moo, Jack the Viking and The Were-Nana (winner of the 2009 NZ Post Children’s Choice Award). Melinda is currently looking for the answer to the question ‘Who would win? Were-wolves or Gorillas?

www.melindaszymanik.blogspot.com

kathy-white-smlKathy White

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a wildlife photographer. My favourite things are animals and words. Pictures come next. In my book called A Hairy Tale my favourite character has a haircut that makes her look like a baby gorilla called Lulu. I had no way of knowing back then that gorillas would turn out to be so significant in my writing. I’ve written 13 books and about 130 stories, articles and plays.

www.kathywhite.co.nz

So why are you still here reading, when you could be writing a story and entering the Fabo Story challenge? Go on, do it now!

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Win a Wild Things magazine pack

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur March Star Author, Johanna Knox, has been blogging about editing the Wild Things magazine for the Kiwi Conservation Club.  The KCC has very kindly sent us some copies of last year’s magazine to give away to some lucky Christchurch Kids Blog readers.  Wild Things is packed full of information about local wildlife, stories and activities.

Thanks to everyone who entered.  The winners of the magazine packs are – Ewen, Tegan, Asta and Logan.

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How to edit a magazine (part 3)

Writing isn’t part of every editor’s job – but it’s part of mine. For each Wild Things magazine I write an episode of Owl Kids plus at least one article. I also write word puzzles and devise a board game.

Here’s how we make the game:

First, I think of an idea. Then I draw a rough draft and start testing it on my family. I test it over and over, each time making small changes to the rules until it all works. It’s fun at first, but after several days my kids are begging me please not to make them play the game again!

Once the game is devised, there’s still plenty to do. The game wouldn’t be the game without Rob Di Leva, the designer. So when I’ve settled on the final instructions for it and made a draft layout, I send it all to him. At this stage it doesn’t look much fun to play!

This was my draft layout for the September 2013 game:

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Rob spends a lot of time and imagination turning each game into something that people would actually enjoy.

Here’s what he did with the plan above.

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Notice that he’s not just a fantastic designer, but a wonderful illustrator.

In fact, if you think Wild Things looks interesting and fun in general – that’s all thanks to Rob. While I’m writing and editing, he’s spending hour after hour taking care of the visual side. Behind every good-looking magazine (or book) is a great designer!

Okay. Once everything is written, illustrated, edited, and designed, and the whole magazine is almost ready to be printed – one last task begins. Proofreading.

This takes ages, and involves the editor and several others going over and over every part of the magazine to try and make sure it’s absolutely, perfectly, incontrovertibly correct – while the designer fixes all the spotted errors.

Now, let me tell you a secret that all editors know. No matter how well you think you’ve done your proofreading, at least one mistake will somehow creep through and end up in the printed magazine.

You just have to hope it’s nothing serious …

For example, you wouldn’t want a single dot left out of an email address so that everyone sends competition entries to the wrong place, causing great panic and an urgent phone call to tech support, who have to drop everything to get all the emails redirected from the wrong email address to the right one …

You wouldn’t want that.

But that is just an example, of course.

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Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done

Clueless detective Timmy Failure is back on the case in his latest book, Now Look What You’ve Done.

He doesn t like to pull rank. To reveal that he s this guy: Timmy Failure, founder, president, and CEO of the greatest detective agency in town, perhaps the nation. But he is. And he s about to crack the biggest case of his generation: a school competition to find a stolen globe. It s his ticket to bringing home a $500 prize, which is guaranteed to set him up for life. But someone is clearly trying to game the system. Hoodwink. Con. Defraud. So it s up to Timmy Failure, with the dubious help of Total, his lazy polar-bear partner, and his unlikely new ally, eccentric Great Aunt Colander, to find a way to avenge these shenanigans. Defeat this injustice. If he can only get his entry form in on time.

If you’re looking for a book full of ‘greatness,’ ‘shenanigans,’ quirky characters and antics that will make you laugh out loud, then Now Look What You’ve Done is the book for you.  Timmy’s latest shenanigans have everything I loved about the first book, but even sillier.  There’s more Molly Moskins, more Total (Timmy’s 1500 pound polar bear partner), more Corrina Corrina (aka The Wedgie or The Weevil Bun), but there are also hilarious new characters, like Timmy’s Great-Aunt Colander (inventor of the Boom-Boom Shoe Wheel).

Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done is perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate.

Win a copy of Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done

Thanks to everyone who entered.  The winner is Jasper.

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Guest Post: Juliet Jacka on Night of the Perigee Moon

Think up your best insult, and be in to win a copy of Juliet Jacka’s award-winning Night of the Perigee Moon.

Do you like magical talents, talking cats, dogs and bats? Or how about fantastical feasts, yo-yo masters and entomologists in the making?

Then my book’s for you. Here’s the blurb.

All Tilly Angelica wants for her thirteenth birthday is to be normal! But with her changeover party looming and her mad, magical family gathering from near and far, Tilly is set to inherit a terrifying or tantalising talent of her own. But what if she inherits Hortense’s talent of super-smelling, with an oversize nose to match?

As the enchanted Angelicas gather and Arial Manor becomes a madhouse, Tilly’s troubles are tripled by her creepy cousin Prosper, and his sinister plot to bewitch the family by harnessing the powers of the Perigee Moon.

Halfway through the book, my heroine Tilly has to come up with a hit list of inventive insults. Here are three of her favourite ones.

“You’re an ox, an ass, a slubberdegullion!”

“You belligerent fleck of llama spit.”

“Earth vexing hedge pig.”

Can you come up with something similar? Send me your best one-liners (no rude words, thanks!), and the winner gets a free, signed copy of my book.

Have fun! Get inventive. Then email me at nightofperigeemoon@gmail.com

Juliet
Night of the Perigee Moon, winner of the 2013 Tom Fitzgibbon Award.

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Win a signed copy of Canterbury Quake

February has flown by and it’s time for our first Star Author of the year, Desna Wallace, to say goodbye.  Desna has very kindly offered us a signed copy of her new book, Canterbury Quake, to give away.

To get in the draw for the signed book all you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below.  Competition closes Friday 7 March.

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What’s your favourite place to read?

Jacob reads at the beachThe Summertime Reading Club is on now and throughout the Summer holidays you have lots of chances to win on the Christchurch Kids Blog. Each week we’ll have a competition that you can enter to win book vouchers from PaperPlus, one of our fantastic sponsors. Did you know that you get a $5 PaperPlus voucher when you’ve completed your reading log?

Our last competition for the Summertime Reading Competition is the funnest! Just leave a comment on this post, or submit a video or picture telling (or showing) us ‘Your favourite place to read’.  Make sure you put your name and your email address or phone number so that we can contact you if you win. We’ll draw one lucky kid who will win a $40 PaperPlus voucher. So get commenting and you’ll be in to win. If you’d like to send us a picture or video, you can email it to competition@christchurchcitylibraries.com Competition closes Thursday 23 January 2014.

Thanks to everyone who entered our Summertime Reading Club competitions here on the Kids Blog.  The winner of this week’s competition is Laura.  We thought we would also share Ewen’s favourite place to read too:

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Join the Great Summer Reading Adventure!

Our annual Summertime Reading programme is about to get underway again for kids between 5 and 12 years old.  Pick up your Summertime Reading Club map from your local library or Paper Plus store from December and be in to win some great prizes!

Read six books of your choice between 20th December 2013 and 24th January 2014, then take your map back into the library to receive your sticker and a $5 Paper Plus voucher. The librarian will also enter you online for the prize draw and the major prize this year is an iPad mini.

For a further challenge, you can complete the Science Alive Reading Adventure by reading four different books and spotting the science feature in each of those books. Take the map back into the library and the librarian will enter you into the draw for some more great prizes.

We’ll also have a weekly Summertime Reading Challenge here on the Kids Blog that you can enter to win PaperPlus vouchers.

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Tell us what you’re reading and WIN

The Summertime Reading Club is on now and throughout the Summer holidays you have lots of chances to win on the Christchurch Kids Blog.  Each week we’ll have a competition that you can enter to win book vouchers from PaperPlus, one of our fantastic sponsors.  Did you know that you get a $5 PaperPlus voucher when you’ve completed your reading log?

Our first competition is super easy to enter.  Just leave a comment on this post telling us about a book that you’re reading for the Summertime Reading Club.  Make sure you put your name and your email address or phone number so that we can contact you if you win.  We’ll draw one lucky kid who will win a $40 PaperPlus voucher.   So get commenting and you’ll be in to win.  Competition closes Thursday 2 January 2014.

See below for terms and conditions   Read the rest of this entry »

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Win The Weather Machine by Donovan Bixley

It’s nearly time for us to say goodbye to our November Star Author, Donovan Bixley, but before we do we’re giving you the chance to win a copy of his latest book, The Weather Machine.  Donovan talked about The Weather Machine in his last post, telling us it  ‘deals with the issues of climate change when our hero decides to build a machine to control the weather. On a grander scale it deals more generally with man (it’s usually man) meddling with nature and trying to play God, like Frankenstein.’

The Weather Machine is an absolutely fantastic book and it’s wordless! Every time you read it you find something new that you hadn’t noticed before.  We love it and we’re sure you will too.

To get in the draw, all you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below, and tell us one of the authors who influenced Donovan (HINT: read Donovan’s last Star Author post).  Competition closes Friday 29 November.

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Win Pinocchio by Michael Morpurgo

“Now – there’s no point in pretending here – I was, and still am deep down, a puppet. Everyone knows Pinocchio is a puppet. I reckon I must be just about the most famous puppet the world has ever known. But the truth is I’m not just a puppet, I’m more than just bits of wood and string. I’m me. So I thought it was about time that I, Pinocchio, told you my story…”

So begins this stunningly beautiful interpretation of the classic story. Michael Morpurgo channels Pinocchio’s words to tell the famous puppet’s story in his own inimitable, cheeky and always funny way.

To celebrate Michael Morpurgo Month we’re giving away 2 copies of Michael Morpurgo’s latest book, his retelling of the classic story, Pinocchio.  It’s a beautiful little book, with colour illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark.  Even if you’ve read the story of Pinocchio before, you won’t have heard Pinocchio’s story quite like this.  Michael Morpurgo has a great way of bringing classic stories alive and retelling them in a way that is unique and entertaining.

To go in the draw to win a copy of Pinocchio just enter your name and email address in the form below.  Entries close Wednesday 27 November.

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Enter the 400 Words Writing Competition

The Breeze radio station is running its very own writing competition for Kiwi kids aged 13 years and under.  There are two categories: 9 & under and 10 to 13. Entrants have to write a short fictional story of no more than 400 Words.  Your entry will go in the draw for $400 cash and books for your school library (1 x prize for each category). Selected stories will be read by well-known Kiwi’s, and the two winning stories by TV3’s Hilary Barry.

Two of our previous Star Authors are judges – Melinda Szymanik and Maria Gill.  Check out their Star Author posts for writing tips to help you with your story.

Entries close on 27th September so head on over to the 400 Words Competition page now and submit your entry.

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Winner of the Andy Griffiths Writing Challenge

Thanks to everyone who entered our Andy Griffiths Writing Challenge last week.  You all wrote some wonderful stories, poems and lists and we loved reading them.

The winner of the Typo prize pack and a copy of Andy Griffiths’ book, Once Upon a Slime, is Ben Somers.  We loved all the wonderful and creepy things that were behind your Twelve Doors.

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The Twelve Doors by Ella Somers

Check out this awesome story that Ella wrote using Andy Griffiths’ Twelve Doors writing exercise.

THE TWELVE DOORS

Good morning, stranger, and what brings you to my door?
Ah, you need not say anything, I can guess where you are heading.
How, you ask? I have seen many young people pass my door, all with the feverish look in their eyes, all heading the same way.
But I can see in your eyes, stranger, that you are still not sure about your choice, were you pushed into this, stranger, called a coward, because you were not sure? How do I know this, as well, stranger?
Ah, I am what people call a Reader. No, I do not read books, I read people. I can read their desires, their fears, their deepest regrets, yes, I can see right in to you soul, stranger. No, I do not know your name, my gift, does not allow me to see that. Nor do I wish to know it, for it makes me remember the people who walked past my door, to their deaths.
Now, stranger, tell me the real reason, you are walking this path.
Ah, wait. Close your mouth. I am a Reader, remember. Wait, I am looking into your heart, yes… yes… It is a women, isn’t it, stranger? You are deeply in love with her, you would walk the ends of the earth for her, so deep is your love for her. Now, what has she done, to make you walk this path, hmm? Ah, now I see, it is her father, yes? I thought so.
So this is why you are walking this road to your death, you are poor, your job does not supply you much money, you have a little sister who you love dearly, but she is sick, and one day soon, you fear she will die. And this women you are in love with, she is a rich, isn’t she? And even though she loves you, and you love her back, her father, doesn’t agree to the match, yes? He does not want a poor peasant marrying his beautiful rich daughter. He thinks she should marry someone else and he has someone in mind who is very, very rich but is also cruel, yes?
And this father, he is scared that you will runaway with his daughter, makes a bargain with you. If you go to The Twelve Doors, and come back with the prize, he will let his daughter marry you and even make you a knight, so you have a position in his household. So you agreed to come on this quest.
So that is your story, stranger, and a strange one, too. I knew as soon as I saw you stranger, that there was something different about you, and now I know. You tread this path, for the people you love, not for greed, which is all the other poor souls who came this way have fallen too.
And for that stranger, I am going to give you a word of advice for what you face ahead. Now, come closer, so I may whisper in you ear.
Now, are you listening, stranger? Good. What you need to face the horrors ahead is not a weapon, but your wits. Yes, stranger, your wits. For the horrors that hide in the eleven doors, are actually spirits, evil spirits, that are desperate for fresh souls, but they can only kill the souls that are already tainted. That is why the greedy travellers that have gone before you have never came back, for their souls have been tainted with greed. Now, you, stranger, Your soul is pure, I can sense it. As the spirits try to take you soul, fight them with your mind. Think of all the good things you have ever done, and most of all think about the love you share with the women. The spirits can not battle against love for it is to pure and beautiful for them. They will slowly weaken and grow transparent and then disappear.
In each of the eleven doors, their is a spirit, and the more doors you grow through, the more evil they are…
When you reach the twelfth door, and that is if, you survive up to the twelfth door, take your treasure, and begone from that evil place. Go home and marry your lady and forget The Twelve Doors.
Now go, for I have helped you in all the ways I can.
What is it, stranger?
What is the treasure, you ask? Ah, I can not say, for it is supposedly different for everyone. Now go.
Farewell, Stranger. And… good luck.

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Louie by Ella Somers

Check out Ella’s ‘Louie’ that she wrote using Andy Griffiths’ writing prompt, 50-word Pet Story.

LOUIE

Golden gold,
wagging tail
spoilt rotten
steals the mail!
Sniffing this,
sniffing that,
finding the scent
of a dirty rat!
Snoozing by the fire,
where it’s nice and hot
jumps up barking,
when he hears a knock!
Wet pink tongue,
big brown eyes,
and big happy grin,
that doesn’t lie.

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Angus by Tierney Reardon

Check out Tierney’s ‘Angus’ that she wrote using Andy Griffiths’ writing prompt, 50-word Pet Story.

Angus

Five foot tall,
emerald green,
my dog Angus is
easily seen.
Neighbours complain
when they lose
their mail;
it blows away because
our Angus
constantly wags his tail.
His puppy fat
is so much that
I carry him in a wagon.
Everyone’s scared,
because they think
Angus is a dragon!

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A Study in Custard by Tierney Reardon

Check out Tierney’s ‘A Study in Custard’ that she wrote using Andy Griffiths’ writing prompt,Make the unbelievable believable.

A Study In Custard

“Scientific studies show that eating custard three times a day with fish fingers will minimize your chance of catching yellow fever; a disease cured by eating liberal amounts of custard,” says Dr. Gloopicus.

“I heard on the news that there are 154 ways of making a custard pie,” 73-year-old Mrs. Splatt explains, “but I know this to be wrong. I tried every method ever heard of, and there are actually 155.”

“Recent research findings prove that custard will withstand large shocks without being destroyed, making it a perfect substance for building houses,” says Prof. Dratsuc, who works at the University of Custard. “We are currently working on the first custard skyscraper.”

“Statistics show that 78 percent of people prefer their custard hot.” These poll results were published in Custard Monthly, a popular magazine. However, some disagree.

“Experts say that cold custard is fantastic on rough skin around areas such as heels and knees,” says supermodel Clarisse Ustard, who launched her nail polish brand this year; C. Ustard Nails. “I use custard on my skin once a week- and look at me!”

“It’s a well-known fact that lying in a bathtub full of cold custard improves your chances of passing exams by 35%,” claims mathematics teacher Ms. Yellow. Ms. Yellow gives out cartons of custard for her students to snack on while studying.

Nine out of ten doctors reccomend keeping a 2-litre carton of custard in your fridge for first aid emergencies. Custard can cure sore throats, paper cuts, headaches and hunger.

Sir C. Cream was unable to give his opinion on the matter, as he was tragically killed when he was sucked into a patch of custardsand while studying foreign custard recipes in Africa. May he rest in custard.

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Andy Griffiths Writing Challenge #5

Andy Griffiths, the author of Just Crazy, Just Tricking, Zombie Bums from Uranus and The 13-storey Treehouse, has just released his book about writing, called Once Upon a Slime.  In this very cool book he gives lots of tips about writing and some activities to help you become a better writer.  You’re probably looking for something to do in the holidays so why not try an Andy Griffiths writing challenge.

In the box below there is a writing challenge from Andy’s book, Once Upon a Slime.  Why not try it out and post your writing here on the blog.  Just post your piece of writing as a comment at the end of this post, along with your name and email address.  At the end of the week we’ll choose our favourite piece of writing and the author will win a prize pack of goodies from Typo.

Make the unbelievable believable

Add a made-up piece of nonsense to the end of each of the following sentence beginnings.

  • Scientific studies show…
  • I heard on the news that…
  • Recent research findings prove that…
  • Statistics show…
  • Experts say…
  • It’s a well-known fact that…
  • Nine out of ten doctors recommend…

For more great writing ideas check out Andy Griffiths’ new book, Once Upon a Slime.

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