1. This competition is a one time competition for children and young people up to the age of 25 that are/have been in foster care, or, are/have been a birth son/daughter of a local authority foster carer for an authority within You Can Foster. These include; Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bury, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Cumbria, Halton, Knowsley, Lancashire, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, St Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Warrington, Wigan, Wirral, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Wakefield and York. Please note we may check the validity of entries with your local authority.

2. To enter the competition, entrants must submit a fiction or non-fiction story. The story should be related to one or both of the themes: fostering and/or ambition. The story may be written (typed or handwritten), or drawn, but must be legible.

3. Stories must be no longer than two sides of A4 or 800 words (whichever is longer). Please note this is not a target but a maximum limit.

4. Any typed submissions should be in a standard font and no less then pt12 and handwritten entries must be legible.

5. All entries must be in English.

6. Entries should include page numbers and a title on the story document but no name.

7. The story submitted must be entirely the entrants own work. However entrants may have assistance with writing down or submitting a story if required. If the entrant has had support with their story this should be declared on the entry form.

8. Entries must not allow a child, children or family to be identified. We reserve the right to abridge or amend stories that may do this or disqualify them completely.

9. The story must not infringe the copyright or any other rights of any third party and not be libelous, unlawful or defamatory of any living person or corporate body. The entrant is responsible for any potential copyright issues in his/her story.

10. Only one entry per person. If more than one entry is submitted, the first one will be judged.

11. Any questions on the competition should be sent to competition@youcanfoster.org. Please note that it may take 2-3 working days for a response.

12. The competition will be open for submissions from 9:00am on the 12th September 2017 and closes at 5:00pm on Friday 17th November 2017. Any submissions after this time will not be considered.

13. There are five categories within the competition:

a)      Fostered children* up to 8 years old 

b)      Fostered children 9-12

c)      Fostered teenagers 13-17 

d)      Fostered young adults** 18 – 25

e)      Birth children in fostering households – up to 18

*‘Fostered children’ includes those who are currently in foster care or have been in foster care before.

**‘Fostered young adults’ includes those in staying put placements and care leavers.

14. If no entries are submitted for any one category, a second prize will be awarded to the most popular category.

15. The submitted stories will be judged in two rounds. The first round by You Can Foster partners and the second round by an author.

16. The judges will be looking for an engaging read that ties into themes of ambition and/or inspiration in some form. 

17. Entries should be submitted via the You Can Foster website form where entrants will be asked to fill in basic details and upload their story. If the story has been handwritten or drawn it should be scanned and uploaded. If the entrant does not have access to a scanner, please contact competition@youcanfoster.org. On submission all entrants will receive an email receipt. If you do not receive an email receipt within 24hrs (please make sure to check junk folder too), contact us at competition@youcanfoster.org.

18. Entries will not be returned so please keep a copy.

19. You are responsible for completing the submission process correctly and alerting us to any problems you encounter. Uncompleted or incorrect entries will not be considered.

20. Any entries that exceed the word or page count will be judged at the judges discretion. To guarantee your story is reviewed in full, you must stay within the word/page count.

21. Once submitted, no corrections or alterations can be made after entries have been received and acknowledged.

22. Before the final winners are determined, they will be contacted via phone or email between 17th December until the 22nd December. Please note these timings are subject to change.

23. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email shortly after winners are notified.

24. All winning stories will receive a specially designed front cover. Hard copies of the cover will be printed and may be displayed alongside the story, at a number of local authority town halls for the general public to view. After this period, winners will be given the hard copy cover to keep as well as a digital version.

25. Winners will also have the option of having their story published on kindle.

26. Prizes are none negotiable or transferable and the winner must understand that by entering, their story may be published in local media, radio stations, You Can Foster website, local authority website etc.

27. Winners names will only be used where appropriate and with the winner/guardian/local authority permission. And where necessary, character names within the story will also be changed.

28. Where possible/appropriate we will ask for quotes and photographs from the winners, local authority workers and fosters carers.

29. All applicants must accept terms and conditions upon entry. Entries that fail to comply with rules and requirements will be disqualified. No correspondence can be entered into and the judges’ decisions are final. Judges are unable to comment on individual entries.