My Life Short Story Competition

Know young writers (8-13 years-old) who tell funny stories? Enter the 2015 My Life Short Story Competition and win $1000 plus signed My Life books and $1000 worth of books for your school! (I secretly hope to find a story to include in my next My Life book, too.) 

You can only enter one story per person so rewrite and make it the best you possibly can. And remember that I’m trying to find a story that fits with the kind of humour in the My Life books, so grab one and have a read. All the details and an easy submission page for your entry are on the Random House Australia website:

Feel free to leave any questions on the competition below by clicking ‘Comments’.

Happy writing!



  1. March 10, 2015 / 6:39 am

    Dear Tristan Bancks,

    Thanks you so much for visiting our school St Peters College today.
    You inspired me so much today to make me enter this competition.

    Kind Regards,

    Angus Davidson

    • March 10, 2015 / 8:47 am

      That's so good, Angus. You can check out my Create page if you need story inspiration. Good luck! Hope you have fun writing the story.

  2. Josh Cathie
    March 22, 2015 / 8:59 am

    It was great to meet you at the Children's Book Festival. You have inspired me to write my own book and to become an author when I'm older.


  3. Grace
    April 4, 2015 / 6:25 am

    Hey Tristan!

    Are you allowed to make up some or all of the things in the short story because my life isn't very interesting! My story would be super boring!

  4. Anonymous
    April 10, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Can we make it about or life but over exaggerate and make up things based on what happened.

  5. April 10, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Hey Josh. That's cool. I hope you'll enter my short story comp in the meantime. It's a great stepping stone towards writing your own book. 😉

    Happy writing mate.


  6. April 10, 2015 / 11:08 pm

    Anonymous, yes, you can definitely make it about life but over exaggerate it. It should relate to your life in some way but you can take the story wherever you like from there. Good luck! T.

  7. Anonymous
    May 11, 2015 / 6:22 am

    My teacher said that we could also write a 16 line poem about our life so are we allowed by the way I love your books

  8. Issy
    May 20, 2015 / 7:39 am

    To Tristan,
    I've written a short story for the competition but its about 530 words which is over 500,does this matter?

  9. May 23, 2015 / 3:46 am

    Hey Issy. 530 shouldn't be a problem. Perhaps try pasting the story over at the Random House My Life Competition page when you're ready and test it.

    If not, I'm sure you can squeeze 30 words out! I will check with Random House to see if the form will actually let you post over 500 words. There should be some leeway.

    Hope this helps!


  10. May 23, 2015 / 3:47 am

    Issy, I see now that you attach the file. Yes, 530 words will be fine. I'd say 10% over would be allowed, so up to 550 words if you reeeaaally need to.



  11. Anonymous
    May 24, 2015 / 12:53 am

    hi Tristan I LOVED the book two wolfs that you wrote. I am writing a book myself and would like some inspiration that would be awesome if you could give me some tips and stuff.

  12. Anonymous
    May 28, 2015 / 4:44 am

    Thanks for the good luck! the webpage that you have me really helped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  13. Chelsea
    July 1, 2015 / 4:56 am

    Dear Tristan Bancks,
    I think word might have glitched for me.
    It showed the amount of words for my last short story I wrote rather than the story I posted, which was 514.
    After I had posted it, I went opened it to show it to my friend and it said it had 581.
    What do I do?
    Is it okay if it's that many words?
    If not can I possibly maybe somehow take it back and then re-post it after I have shortened it?
    Or will I just have to deal with it?


  14. July 8, 2015 / 6:20 am

    Hi Chelsea

    I have asked Random House and your current entry is fine. You don't need to re-submit.

    Good luck! Hope you do really well and I can't wait to read your story!


  15. Fiona
    July 11, 2015 / 10:01 am

    Dear Tristan,

    Can homeschoolers enter this competition?

    Kind regards,


  16. July 11, 2015 / 11:35 pm

    Hi Fiona

    Absolutely. Homeschool kids have entered and I'd love to share the opportunity with more. If you have a network of other homeschoolers I would love you to pass on the link.

    Thanks kindly.


  17. Anonymous
    August 11, 2015 / 8:24 am

    Hi Tristan
    Do you have any good tips on how to write a short story?

  18. August 13, 2015 / 7:28 am

    Hello Tristan,

    Does it matter if our story is a few words over 500 words? (My story is 530 words)

    Thank you

    • August 13, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      530 is fine EpicBro. I look forward to reading it.


  19. Anonymous
    August 18, 2015 / 8:58 am

    Is it OK if your story is under 500 words?

  20. Anonymous
    August 18, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    Thanks Tristan!
    Matilda. 🙂

  21. Anonymous
    August 23, 2015 / 7:53 am

    Hi Tristan,
    Can it be about something that happened to your sibling, but you were there?
    Thanks, Sian

  22. Anonymous
    August 24, 2015 / 8:44 am

    Hi Tristan,
    Sorry to bother you again but the story I wrote was 563 words!

    I couldn't bear to take anything out,

    Does it still count?

    Thanks, Sian

  23. Anonymous
    August 27, 2015 / 8:46 am

    I'm writing my short story and was wondering if your story could be too short like if 250 was fine but 100 was too short. in other words, can a story be too short??

    • August 27, 2015 / 10:54 pm

      No, it can be as short as you like, but keep in mind that it's difficult to tell a satisfying, funny story with a beginning, middle and end in 100-250 words. Not impossible but challenging! Good luck. 😉 T

  24. Anonymous
    August 28, 2015 / 6:17 am

    When I go to enter the story it takes me to my photo library. Do I just upload a screenshot of my story or is there another way to do it?

    • August 31, 2015 / 12:34 am

      It should give you the option of uploading any file from your computer. Can you click on another file, not photos, and then navigate your way to where your story is?

  25. August 29, 2015 / 6:35 am

    Hello my name's Iesha. I'm the girl from Friday who said 'I remember when my parrot stole my pizza', lol you thought I said that my parents stole my pizza! To be honest, I had never heard of you before that workshop, but I'm glad I was chose to attend the YWF, because now I do know about you. I was chosen because I was the best in my class at writing apparently (:
    Now I seriously want to read all of your books! I'm defs entering the comp!

  26. Anonymous
    August 30, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Hi Tristan,

    I've got 660 words in total, would that be ok? I've tried to reduce the words.

    Thank you.

    • August 31, 2015 / 12:36 am

      660 is too many, I think. There is some leeway. One entrant had 581 and that would be acceptable but 660 is almost 1/3 over. See if you can get it down under 600 today! I bet you can. Ask another reader to help you identify the cuts. Good luck! T

  27. August 30, 2015 / 11:41 pm

    Have to start again, I have over 1000 words on my story. Poor lil' me! Today's the only day left D;

  28. August 30, 2015 / 11:59 pm

    I'm dreaming of being an author someday, and this would be a great chance for me to prove I'm worthy. Can it all be made up? (Characters, places, plot)?

  29. Naadirah
    August 31, 2015 / 12:05 am

    Hi Tristan,
    My word count is 521. Will that be alright?
    Thank you

  30. August 31, 2015 / 1:18 am

    Agent Arcanine, we'd definitely like the story to be partly based on your own life, in keeping with the My Life stories. It doesn't mean you can't fictionalise and blur the line between truth and fiction but we'd love the story to be rooted in your own experience so that you can tell it honestly. Hope you create something you're proud of!

  31. Jeesica bright
    September 2, 2015 / 6:36 am

    hey Tristan
    I love your books and I entered your comp but I was wondering when will the winners be announced.
    thanks again

  32. Jeesica bright
    September 2, 2015 / 6:37 am

    hey Tristan
    I love your books and I entered your comp but I was wondering when will the winners be announced.
    thanks again

  33. Oliver
    September 7, 2015 / 10:06 am

    Do you find real life experiences being exaggerated very funny? I seem to have a lot of that in my short story.
    Mr. Oliver Awesome (That isn't my real last name!), age ten

  34. Anonymous
    September 8, 2015 / 6:21 am

    Hi you should know that your books are great and when you red some of it when you visited our school(Gensis Christian College) I liked the ideas.

  35. Naadirah
    September 15, 2015 / 8:36 am

    Hi Tristan,
    When are the results of the My Life Short Story Competition coming out?

  36. Sophie
    September 15, 2015 / 9:30 am

    Hey Tristan
    I was just wondering when the winners will be announced. NO RUSH!
    Oh and I love your books there awesome.
    P.S-your one of my favourite authors
    Thank you Sophie

  37. September 15, 2015 / 11:41 pm

    Hi Tristan
    Just wanting to say thank you so much for coming to my school and showing us your amazing ways of getting inspiration! I use the online scrapbook all the time, and I want to be an author, so your visit was really invaluable.
    Thank you so much.

  38. September 16, 2015 / 1:06 am

    Hi all

    Thanks for checking in re: the competition. I have been reading and re-reading the final few stories over the past couple of days and it is SO difficult to choose a winner but I think I have one! The winner will be announced today on the Random House website and, when it is, I'll be tweeting, Instagramming and posting the winner right here, too.

    Good luck! Hope it's you. :))))) Seriously, so many funny, funny stories entered.


  39. September 17, 2015 / 1:39 am

    Finally… I can announce the WINNER! After much deliberation, reading and re-reading the many brilliant stories submitted to the My Life Writing competition, the winner is…. Indigo from the ACT. She wins $1000 cash for herself, $1000 in books for her school and a signed set of MY LIFE books.

    Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a story and please, please keep writing. Keep developing your story and making it better and better with each draft. I hope you see this as another step forward as a writer and I hope you feel you have improved by sending in a story.

    There were over 1000 entries and only one winner so missing out on the top prize does not mean that your story was not good. Many deserving entries missed out. Hit up my CREATE page for writing tips and tools and just keep on reading and writing the best stories you can:

    Good luck! I have another super-fun competition to announce when MY LIFE & OTHER EXPLODING CHICKENS is released in March 2016. :))


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