Rudolph Needs a Rewrite Competition



Rudolph Needs a Rewrite Further Information

Click HERE to access the Poster PDF

Click HERE to access the Further Information PDF

We know it is late in the year but we wanted to give young writers the chance to embrace the Festive Season by writing their own Christmas tale that wipes away Rudolph’s tears and inspires him to stand tall and feel confident in his own skin…or nose.

In the tale of Rudolph, his shiny nose means that he stands out!  The other reindeer tease him and don’t let him join in with their reindeer games. He feels alone, hurt and unwanted. It is not until Santa steps in with a need for Rudolph’s unique gift that the other reindeer change their minds and decide Rudolph is a worthy friend.

We don’t think it should take Santa to see that we all have something unique to offer because we all have a star quality that makes us special and when we accept everyone’s differences our world is better for it!

Sticks ‘n Stones is an organisation committed to empowering young people to take positive action online and off, to stop bullying.  Our point of difference is that young people are involved in every stage of what we do; from generating ideas, to planning, to delivery.  

The team behind this competition is excited to hear from young people NZ wide and get people talking about what it means to create an environment where everyone is free to be themselves without fear of bullying, hate or harassment!

Our challenge is for you to create your own Festive Tale.  It does not need to be about Rudolph, or even about reindeer but it does need to celebrate ACCEPTANCE, DIVERSITY and BEING YOU – and it’s up to you whether or not you add a bit of Christmas MAGIC!

We want stories that celebrate these values to be available for schools, teachers, parents and young people across the country to enjoy and share!

Enter in any of the Age categories below:

  • 5-7 years old
  • 8-10 years old
  • 11-13 years old
  • 14-18 years old
  • Open

Category Winners win a $50 voucher to either Paper Plus or The Warehouse

Category winners and other shortlisted entries from each category will be included in a collection called ‘Rudolph Revised- Re-imagining Festive tales to celebrate diversity and acceptance’ that will be made available as an e book


Our Judging Panel (which is pretty incredible even if we do say so ourselves) will select a winner to be professionally illustrated, published as an ebook (and hopefully as a REAL book too but we are still working on that…) and promoted across the country!


Entries will be shortlisted by a team of Sticks ‘n Stones representatives including young people, teachers and other professionals.

The shortlisted entries will then be judged by our INCREDIBLY TALENTED judging panel including:

Ross Kinnaird is a storyteller and illustrator who uses humour to motivate children to read and draw. The first book Kinnaird illustrated was Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? (2002) which won the Children’s Choice Award at the 2003 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. He has illustrated over 20 books for children including the bestseller and one of our favourites I Need a New Bum. When asked how he comes up with his ideas, he replied that he sits in a bath of warm lemonade with a frozen chicken on his head!

Kyle Mewburn is one of New Zealand’s finest, and most versatile, picture book writers. His titles have been published in a dozen countries and won numerous awards including Children’s Book of the Year             (Old Hu-hu), Picture book of the Year (Kiss!Kiss! Yuck!Yuck!) and two Children’s Choice awards (Kiss!Kiss! Yuck!Yuck! and Melu) . His stories are noted for being multi-layered, funny and linguistically creative.

He has been a frequent Finalist at the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards and many of his titles have been included on Notable Books Lists in both New Zealand and Australia. 

Bruce Potter is a multi-international award winning illustrator of over 120 books.  He is an author, musician, composer and stage performer having performed his one man show to over 280 NZ schools in the past four years. He is a Director at Draconis Books who publish children’s and adult books for the New Zealand market.

He is the also the author of the Penny The Prolific Pooing Cow and Doodlebug

Bruce currently writes, illustrates and designs his own books, composes, records and performs his own songs which go with some of his books as CD’s.  He also illustrates  for some of New Zealand’s best authors including Joy Cowley, Margaret Mahy, Tessa Duder, Craig Smith and Witi Ihimaera.

Louise Dempsey is an author, teacher, consultant and trainer who has worked in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She facilitates literacy training and professional learning around New Zealand and Australia and has completed a range of writing projects for NZ and English publishers, including the Department of Education in the United Kingdom. Louise is the co-author of The Writing Book (2013) and The Oral Language Book (2016).

Entry Information

Entries Close December 14


Maximum Word Limit 800 words

Entries should be typed, not handwritten

Group work allowed, max. two authors per story

PLEASE NOTE Class or larger group entries will be accepted in the 5-7 Year old category

Entries must include a cover page that has:

  • The title of the Story
  • the author’s name(s)
  • age
  • school
  • word count
  • and email contact (this can be a teacher’s or parents)

Email entries to

Judging Criteria:

  • How the Christmas Story celebrate the themes of Diversity, acceptance and Being you
  • Readability (Does it Hold your Attention?)
  • Originality
  • Characterization
  • Imagery and Use of Language
  • Memorability and how response of the reader

Please Note:  Judges decision is final and no disputes will be entered into

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