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Competition Time!

All it takes is one great idea...

Ready to enter?
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3...


Write your story

  • We want you to write a story full of adventure, mystery, comedy or history – you can really write whatever you like.

  • Your challenge is to include something to do with Maidstone in your story.

  • Make sure your ideas are all from your own imagination. (No help from parents, carers, friends or robots. Dogs are okay - they have great ideas.)

  • You must write a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an end.

  • Your story should not be longer than 750 words but it can be shorter.


Get it ready to send

  • Make sure your story has a title. Write the title at the top of the first page and how many words your story has, like this: "The Adventures of Bear, the Hairiest Dog in Maidstone" (742 words)

  • Write your first name on each page – but only your first name.

  • If you write your story by hand, you will need to scan it in to a computer. If you don't have access to a scanner you could ask your local library to help or you can email us at

  • If you write your story on a computer, save it as PDF file.


Send us your story

  • Ask a parent, guardian or carer to upload your story to the Maidstone LitFest website by clicking on the 'submit entry' button below and filling out the form on the next page.

  • Make sure they tell us which Key Stage you are in so that we can enter your story into the right competition.

  • Your story needs to be sent to us by 5pm on 30 June 2024 or we won't be able to enter into the competition.

Happy writing!

  • I'm 5. Can I still enter?
    Yes please! Five-year-olds have the best imaginations! We split the competition into three groups: Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) Key Stage 2 (Years 3–6) Key Stage 3 (Years 7–9) That means there are three prizes available: one in each age group. It also means that children in key stage 1 will be competing against other children in key stage 1 which makes the competition fair.
  • Can I send in more than one story?
    Unfortunately not but you could always save your other stories for competitions we run in the future.
  • Can I enter the competition through school?
    Yes, if your teacher is entering your story into the competition you don't need to do anything else at the moment. You only need your parent/carer to enter your story separately if your teacher isn't doing it.
  • My story is only 300 words. Is that ok?
    Absolutely. Your story can be as short as you like, as long as it is a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an end. The only rule is that is can't be MORE than 750 words.
  • Does my story have to be set in Maidstone?
    No! We just want Maidstone (or something to do with Maidstone) to be reflected in your story. There could be a dog called Fremlin, a spaceship heading to the planet Mote, or an inn for weary travellers called The Archbishop's Palace. If you DO want your story to be set in Maidstone, that's fine too.
  • What happens after I send you my story?
    When we have been sent all of the stories, we will read each of them and choose a shortlist for each category. (That means the top five stories in each age group will be chosen.) We will then give the shortlisted stories to our judges who will decide who the winners are in each category. If your story is shortlisted, we will contact you and your parents/carers to let you know. You will be invited to a special event at the Maidstone LitFest in October to celebrate your hard work. If your story is chosen as the winner in your age group, you will be invited to a special event at the Maidstone LitFest to receive your prize.
  • What prizes could I win?
    Ah, the important bit. The winner in each age group will win: a £25 Waterstone's voucher a certificate a bag of festival goodies a VIP family ticket to our headline children's event at the festival a chance to have their story read out loud by a children's author We will also publish your story on the festival website for everyone to see!
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