Young Authors’ Competition 2020

Our judges are really enjoying all of the great stories sent into our 2020 Young Authors’ Competition

Just like Aladdin’s cave, the door to our Young Authors’ Competition is now closed and our cave is jam packed with fantastic stories. Thanks for all your amazing entries – our judges are blown away by your talent and are excitedly reading their way through each category. We’ll announce the winners on Monday 24th August so keep a close eye on this page and our social channels for more news.

Good luck


Could you write for Fonetti?​

Creativity often strikes when we least expect it – particularly during a pandemic. Shakespeare wrote King Lear while he was quarantined for plague and Sir Isaac Newton discovered calculus. We’re excited about all the future writers, artists and illustrators that have created their best work during these lockdown days. That’s why we launched a competition for all the young writers out there with amazing ideas.

Competition now closed

Word wizards simply chose one of the pictures from the categories below and wrote a story that brings it to life. It could rhyme and it could be as bonkers as your imagination but it must have been written in English and not go over the word limit.

There’s two categories:

  • up to 9 years of age (with a max of 600 words per story)
  • 10 years and over (with a max of 900 words per story)

The following pictures are for the up to 9 years of age category



The following pictures are for the 10 years and over category

sport kids

ill world-1

Meet the judges

Stories will be judged by these phenomenal writers:

Clare Balding
Francesca Simon (author approved)
Greg James
Chris Smith - credit Jenny Smith

Clare Balding

Francesca Simon

Greg James

Chris Smith

National treasure, broadcaster and author of ‘My Animals and Other Family’

Author of the famous Horrid Henry series

Radio DJ, TV presenter and co-author of the popular Kid Normal series

Radio presenter and co-author of the popular Kid Normal series

And, of course, there’s prizes

T he lucky winners of each category will have their stories illustrated by Canadian illustrator and cartoonist Angus Bungay, published on Fonetti and shared with eager readers across the world. You’ll also receive a signed book from the judges.

But the good news doesn’t stop there. The judges will choose one overall winning entry where the author will receive a printed copy of their story and a framed copy of their front cover.

So, what’s stopping you? Get scribbling and send your entries to  before midnight on Friday 31st July 2020. Don’t forget to include a grown-up’s name, your name (as the writer) and your age together with your story. If writing is tricky for you, please send a voice recording.* 

Winners will be announced on Monday August 24th 2020.

We’ve made some changes

We launched our Young Authors’ competition this week with one aim, the one that drives us daily, to ignite a love of reading and writing in children. On Tuesday we posted to stand in solidarity with #BlackoutTuesday but realise this isn’t enough. Like many other businesses this week, we’ve looked with fresh eyes at what we offer and know that we need to do better. We’re listening and learning and want to make sure Fonetti is inclusive to all, just as all stories should be. We realised our competition isn’t as inclusive as it could be, so we’ve taken steps to address it.

As we’ve already received story entries using the original images we launched with, and as we know there are more stories being written right now using them, we can’t replace the illustrations. So, we’ve tweaked them. While we can’t introduce additional judges at this stage, we’ll make sure our panel is more representative of our diverse reading community in future.

Stories have been fundamental to human evolution. To our survival as a species. From those printed on cave walls and told around camp fires to fables and fairy tales passed down through generations across cultures. Stories unite us. And that’s exactly what we at Fonetti strive to achieve.

Fonetti is offering 3 months’ free access to all children throughout the current lockdown period.

Download the app from the App Store and receive 3 months free!

Download Fonetti on App Store

* By submitting your story to this competition, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy and if you win, you agree to take part in our winners’ promotional activity. We will only hold your details for the duration of the competition.

Download on the App Store