We love stories! And we’re inviting you to make up your own, as part of the 2023 Stepping Into Stories Kids’ Lit Fest 

The theme for our fourth Stepping Into Stories Story-Making Competition is 'ALL ABOARD!' - whatever that might mean to you! A new departure? A journey of discovery? A daydream that takes you somewhere imaginary? A camel ride? A piggy back? A steam train at the fairground? A baby duckling perching on its mum? The possibilities are endless! 

PART 1. Enter A Photo! Deadline, August 31st 2022

  • Snap a photo of something that makes you think of 'All Aboard!' - it could be anything that catches your eye

  • Send us your photo (see submission info below)

  • We will then select five winning photos as prompts for the story-making competition (see below)


PART 2. Create Your Story! Deadline, January 6th 2023

Perhaps your story will feature an epic train journey? Or maybe it will be a story about how you are feeling as you travel through different situations? Or it could be about a journey through time and space. It can be funny, an adventure, fantasy - anything you like.


All you have to do is pick one of the five photos that we select for the competition, and create a story about it, with the theme of 'All Aboard!'.


You can make your story in any way you want to - drawing, writing, comic strip, drama, poetry, rap, digital animation - just as long as it fits on the entry form below. Or if it’s a film or recording, make sure it’s no longer than two minutes.


There are three age categories: 

·    4 - 7 years

·    8 - 11 years

·    12 + 

There are book token prizes to be won: £25 for first place; £15 for second place; £10 for third place. And as an extra prize, the winner of each age group will also be given a bundle of books for their school.


Are you excited and want to enter? Here's how:

PART 1. Enter a photo! 

  • Email your photo (or two) to steppingintostories@gmail.com, marking the email 'PHOTO Competition'

  • Or upload your photo here

  • Include your name, age, contact email address, and contact phone number with your photo, as well as a title for the photo that suggests why it's 'All Aboard'

  • The age limit for photo competition entrants is 16

  • Judges will be looking for photos that will inspire a story with the theme of 'All Aboard!'

  • The five entrants whose photos are selected will each receive a free family pass (two children + two adult tickets) to any event of their choice from the Stepping Into Stories Public Programme 2023

  • Deadline for entries: 31st August 2022

  • Winners will be announced in September 2022

PART 2. Create your story!

  • Download our entry form here or collect a copy from Tales on Moon Lane Children’s Bookshop, 25 Half Moon Lane, London, SE24 9JU

  • Create your story and fill in the entry form (or create a recording)

  • Return your completed entry form to Tales on Moon Lane Bookshop - or email your files to us here

  • Make sure you remember the deadline for submitting stories: 6th January 2023

  • And guess who gets to choose the winners? Watch this space for our competition judge, to be announced shortly! Prizes will be announced on Saturday 4th February 2023 in Station Hall, Herne Hill as part of the Kids' Lit Fest programme



In 2020, seventy ‘Stepping Into Stories’ competition entries were received and seventeen prizes were awarded! Former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, and his daughter, illustrator Katy Riddell, awarded the prizes in front of a packed Station Hall audience. It was a truly inspirational day for all the children taking part.