Jackalope Writing Competition

Thank you to all the young writers who have entered their fantastic stories!

Applications are no longer being accepted. Winners to be announced soon.

What’s happening?

The Jackalope is throwing a party!

FolkEast is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the Jackalope is just as excited as we are. That’s why we want you to tell us a story about how Jackalopes celebrate and hold parties.

The competition will be open for ages 6-17. There’ll be a winner and a runner up for the young folk (6-11 years old) as well as a winner and runner up for the youth folk (12-17 years old). The word limit for entries is 500 words and stories must be submitted by March 30th. Make sure you have the date in your diary! Pictures can be included but not necessary. You can send your entries by email or by post, whichever works best for you.

What can you win?

The winners and runners up in each category will win a book token and see their stories brought to life by a professional storyteller in a special video. Winners will get the extra special prize of a family day ticket to the FolkEast festival in August where they will see their stories performed live in front of a crowd. It will be a very special event for any young writer.

What is a Jackalope anyhow?

The Eastfolk Jackalope (not to be confused with its American cousin) is a small  creature that looks like a hare with long curved horns. It’s very mischievous and enjoys playing pranks on people and other unsuspecting animals. They are notoriously difficult to spot out in the fields and woods where they live. We know it can sing in a human voice and likes to watch people from a distance … but that’s about all we know! You can add as many fun Jackalope details and facts as you like to your story. Perhaps you or someone you know has actually met one of these rare and elusive creatures? 

Meet our wonderful judges

Abbie Clements

Hi There, My Name is Abbie Clements, Current Owner of The Halesworth Bookshop.

I am thrilled to be working with the FolkEast team on this Writing Competition and I’m honoured to have been asked to be a judge for this first year, celebrating 10 years of the Folk East Festival.

Abbie's Tips

When deciding to write a story there are so many things to consider – Themes, Plot, Structure, Setting, Style, Characters and so much more.
My best advice to anyone writing is to try not to focus too much on technicalities.
I want to see imagination and creativity – I want to be drawn into the story, I want to fall in love with all the characters whether they’re good, bad, or even evil…
I want to care!  Go for it, get creative, lose yourself in your own imagination – Make me fall in love with your characters so I care about your story – That’s was it’s all about..

Annaliese Avery

Annaliese Avery is the author of a brand new fantasy series starting with The Nightsilver Promise and soon to be followed by the hotly anticipated The Doomfire Secret. Annaliese lives in Halesworth, and before she was a published author she was the manager of Beccles Library. Annaliese is always surrounded by stories and is eager to read the entries for our spectacular competition.

Annaliese's Tips

1 Start with your character. Characters are the most important part of your story so ask yourself who are they? What do they want? And what is standing in their way of getting it? All good stories have a conflict at the heart of them. 

2 Think about your ending first. By knowing how you want your story to end for your character, will they win the day? Will they learn a lesson? will they become more than they were at the start of the story? 

3 All the words you have are enough. We sometimes worry that our words are not special enough, that they aren’t complex and unique, but a good story told well with all the words that you already know is often better than a story where you have searched down new words and tried to make them fit.  

4 Show us the world. Details are important to a story and when you are describing the world or a character and their actions those descriptions should add colour to your story. So think about what details are important to share, which will enrich the readers’ enjoyment of the story and which ones will distract them.  

5 Have fun! Writing is a fun thing to do and you should enjoy the story that you are telling. Put things into your writing that you like and find interesting. If you are having a good time writing the story then your reader will have a good time reading it.

Sean Cooney

Sean Cooney is an award winning songwriter, singer, storyteller and member of popular folk group, the Young’uns. His songs, born out of the folk tradition of his native North East, have championed contemporary real life stories and have been described as “a heartfelt secular hymnary for these troubled times and a rallying call for humanity” (the Scotsman). He is the author of the acclaimed international theatre show, The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff (directed by Lorne Campbell) – described by the Observer as “an extraordinary portrait of a working class hero.” In 2020 he wrote and presented Art of Now – A Life in Song on BBC Radio 4 which explored the process of turning real life stories into song. The Guardian describes him “a superb songwriter with a refined ear for a haunting melody and the pointed detail in a colourful tale”.

Sean's Tips

I like stories that make me laugh, or make me cry – stories that make me want to pass them on to other people – stories to share

Terms & Conditions

Entries must be submitted in one of two categories; 6 – 11 years of age or 12 – 17 years of age (as of March 16th 2022). Entries submitted by writers outside of these age groups will not be accepted.

Anyone hoping to submit must have a parent or guardian submit their work to info@folkeast.co.uk or sent to FolkEast,Story Competition, PO Box 325, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 9DS by March 16th 2022. Winners will be announced on April 6th 2022 via email and then a  social media announcement once details are finalised. Entries must be submitted by email in the form of either a universally compatible attachment or in the main body of the email. All entries must include the entrant’s name and age. By submitting this work, parents or guardians will be confirming that they have granted permission for the entrant to take part in this competition. Postal entries that arrive after the deadline will still be accepted provided they are sent before March 16th.

All entries must be no more than 500 words (though there will be a slight allowance for entries that go over) and in English. All entries must centre around the character of the Jackalope and though original characters are permitted, copyrighted characters cannot appear in any entries. Any work containing copyrighted material will not be accepted. Entries cannot contain distasteful or offensive subject matter, any found containing this will be disqualified.

Works with multiple pages (including pictures) must be correctly numbered to ensure they are not mixed up. It is suggested that images sent in are photocopies as we will not be able to return any artwork. Digital only entries containing pictures must have the images scanned in so they can be used for the winning video, we will not be able to guarantee quality if the image is photographed.

Entrants retain the copyright in their entries but their parent or guardian grants to FolkEast a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to publish, broadcast (across all media) and post the entry online and on any other platforms yet to be envisaged. This licence will be deemed to include all the necessary rights and permissions to enable such use by FolkEast to fulfil the prizes and to complete the administration of this competition.