Write Like a Pro!

The ACBF Write Like A Pro! Literary Competition is a writing competition for adults who are serious about enhancing their professional impact as children's writers. You have to be over 18 to participate.
To enter the competition, all you need to do is write a short fiction story of no more than 1,000 words and submit to the email on the flier before March 22, 2021. The best entries will be selected by the judges and will be given the opportunity to participate in the Write Like A Pro! Creative Writing Workshop free of charge.


You can participate for free in the full day workshop for professional writers but you must:
1. Be a published writer
2. Be over 18 and
3. Send in your original 1,000 words max, fiction short story before March 22.

The prize is a complete fee waiver for attendance at the full day professional writing workshop WRITE LIKE A PRO!
The best students at the workshop will receive professional feedback from the agency and tips on how to complete their novel.

Pictures from the event
Writing Exercises

Write about the room your characters are in.
Describe the furnishing, the state of the room, the feeling of the room, if there are other people in the room with your character how are they behaving.

Write about the street your action is happening on.
Describe everything in detail - the architecture, the weather, the people on the street, the traffic.

Write about the world your fiction is set in.
Is it the same as our own? Is it an imagined world? Think about the politics, the power balance, the way in which groups of people live together.

Write about a market or shop you know well.
Describe it through the eyes of someone who has come to do some shopping now write about it through the eyes of someone who works there.


Write a conversation between two friends who are trying to agree on how to keep a secret about a broken glass vase.
Write a conversation between a brother and sister when one is bragging about being the fastest runner.
Write a conversation between three people who are trying to persuade one of the group to play truant from school.
Write a conversation between two people at the bus stop watching two people on the other side of the road try to tie up a goat.
Write a conversation between two people where one is telling the other about an incident in school when a teacher told off one of their mutual friends.


Write about a walk to school in the first person and then write about the same walk in the third person.
Write about an argument between two people - one is very angry and aggressive the other is afraid.
Write about a day at the beach from the point of view of a child who is very happy and then from the point of view of a child who is afraid of the water.
A child is late home from school - describe the return home from the point of view of a child who was lost and then from the point of view of a child who had gone off to play with school friends and lost track of time.


Selected Shorts: Let us tell you a story
The New Yorker Fiction
Paris Review
The Guardian Children’s Book podcast
New Books in Science Fiction
Breaking the Glass Slipper
Magic and Mayhem: Discover the secrets to creating magnificent books for kids and teens
Radio 4 Books and Authors
The Children’s Book podcast


Describe your character.
What are their favourite foods, favourite TV programmes, favourite weekend activities, favourite classes in school, favourite piece of clothing...
What do they like least?
Who is their best friend and why?
Where do they live and what do they feel about the place that they live?
Do they have a pet?
What do they look like?
Do they have any unique characteristics that make them special?
How do they feel about their brothers and sisters?
Do they have a favourite relative?

DESCRIPTIONS of events and places

Write about an experience that made your character feel ashamed or guilty.
How did it impact them?
Write about your character meeting something unexpected in the dark.
Write about an encounter between a dog and a boy on a path in the forest.
Write about a child waiting in a room for an angry parent to come back.
Write about a young person fishing.
Write about a memory of a favourite pet.
Write about the happiest moment in your life.
Write about a visit to A&E.
Write about a visit to the library.

Sample Reading List

HOLES. Louis Sachar
CHAINS. Laurie Halse Anderson
THE DEEP BLUE BETWEEN. Ayesha Harruna Attah
PIRATES! Celia Rees
SPILLED WATER. Sally Grindley
BOY 87. Ele Fountain
LOVE THAT DOG. Sharon Creech
A GATHERING LIGHT. Jennifer Donnelly
SKUNK AND BADGER. Timberlake & Klassen


Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary. Kole Writers Digest Books
Getting started in Creative Writingby Stephen May. Teach Yourself Books
20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias. Writers Digest Books
A Writer’s Guide to Characterisation by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. Writers Digest Books
How Fiction Works by James Wood. Picador
How Not To Write A Novelby Sandra Newman & Howard Mittelmark. Penguin Books
On Writing: A. Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. New English Library
When I was a Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson. Virago
The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing (various authors). Writers Digest Books