The Golden Pen Award

Start Your Story: Tips from Will Kostakis

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We chatted with 2020 Scribblers guest and The Golden Pen judge Will Kostakis, author of YA hits The First Third, The Sidekicks, and his new novel, Monuments, about what we think the hardest part of writing is - getting started!

As a high school student, Will won the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for his collection of short stories, and has brought home numerous awards since, so he knows a thing or two about how to get his creative wheels spinning. Check out his thoughtful tips on starting your story, and once your wheels are in motion, be sure to enter your completed story in to our writing competition, The Golden Pen Award! This year's theme is 'Planet Earth,' and with three categories open to ages 10-17, even more young authors will have the chance to win cash prizes and a masterclass from on of our Festival guest stars.

Click here for more info and to enter your story to The Golden Pen Writing Award!

Will Kostakis' Top 3 Tips on How to Start a Story

1. Create a character who interests you.

Who are they? What are their faults? How will the story change them? Will they be a better person by the end?

2. Develop the story around a problem you can summarise in 10 words.

If you can't summarise the problem in 10 words, you don't understand it well enough yet.

3. Know the ending.

This is debatable, but I always need to know the ending. It gives me something to write towards. The thing is, if you need to discover your story as you're writing, then discard this. The wonderful (and frustrating) thing about creative writing advice is, what works for me might not work for you. But you can test it out and see.