Ambitions. Dreams. Determination. Loving and supportive foster families can help children and young people unlock all of these things. That’s why we’ve made you the focus of our Inspiring Stories Competition. This is your opportunity to unleash your creativity and have your stories heard across the North West, Yorkshire and beyond.

Your story could be a personal account of your own fostering experience, or an imaginative, inspirational tale you want to tell.

Draw it, write it – bring it to life however you choose. Whether it’s about fostering or something entirely different, fiction or non-fiction; if you’ve got an uplifting story about ambitions, dreams or determination – we want to hear it!

There will be five winners from varying age categories who will each have their stories published online, promoted across the North West and Yorkshire, and brought to life with a bespoke front-cover design. And if that’s not grabbed your attention, we’ve got an amazing panel of five judges who will be reading your stories.

The judging panel

We’re thrilled to announced our fantastic judging panel, including children’s author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, poet Tony Walsh, award winning ‘Queen of Teen’ Cathy Cassidy, author of children's and adult's fiction, Livi Michael and children’s author Dan Worsley. You can find out more about all of our judges here. 

Now for the serious stuff…

To enter our competition, you need to submit your story here by 5pm on Friday 17th November 2017.

The competition is open to children and young people up to the age of 25, who are, or have been, in foster care, as well as birth children of foster carers. Your submission can be written or illustrated, just make sure it’s no more than 800 words or two sides of A4. For full terms and conditions and more information please see here.

Looking for inspiration?

Have a think about how these books tie in with themes of ambition and inspiration…

In David Solomons book, My brother is a Superhero, think about how Luke has just five days to save his brother and the world!

In JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, Harry Potter is determined to defeat Lord Voldemort despite him returning time and time again. 

And in The BFG by Roald Dahl, Sophie and the BFG go on a mission to make the evil giants disappear despite being the underdogs.

Another great source of inspiration is the work of author Gulwali Passarlay. Gulwali came to England as a refugee when he was just 13 years old and lived with a foster family in Bolton. Gulwali developed a great interest in writing and authored a remarkable book about his harrowing journey from Afganistan to England in 2006.

In support of our Inspiring Stories competition, Gulwali has kindly written a short story touching on his arrival in England and the amazing impact his foster family had on his life.

Remember, your story doesn't have to be about a foster care experience, it can be based on anything you want, but hopefully these examples will get those creative brains buzzing!