Write a Story and Win a Family Trip to Dubai

While many of us spent our childhood holidays rock-pooling on Britain's beautiful home-grown beaches, new research from the Emirates airline reveals that over half of today's British kids have flown long-haul before their fourth birthday. With more tots than ever travelling the globe, Emirates have launched Flight Time Stories – a programme encouraging families to take creative inspiration from their holidays... 

Tiny tots are travelling more than ever.

Emirates are collaborating with award-winning British author and illustrator duo, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, the talented team behind children’s books including Pugs of the Frozen NorthOliver and the Seawigs and Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair. Parents are invited to visit the Flight Time Stories website with their children and together submit their own holiday-inspired story, which could appear in Philip and Sarah’s new book. One family will also win a once-in-a-lifetime holiday for four to Dubai to provide them with inspiration for future stories. 

Award-winning children's book duo Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve.

Here, Philip and Sarah share some top tips for helping your children to write and illustrate their own top holiday tales...   

Phillip's Top Tips for Children's Story Writing

  • Write about something that really interests you – a setting or an idea that you really love (or maybe really hate!) If you're interested in it, hopefully the readers will be, too.
  • Start with your main character wanting something – they need to go somewhere, or get something, or escape from something, or meet someone. Maybe they're just lonely and need to make a friend, or maybe they want to find some buried treasure. How they get what they want will be your story.
  • But they don't get what they want straight away! There are problems to overcome along the way. Perhaps they meet other characters who help them, or try to stop them. It's like a board game: there's a start point and an end point, and what makes it interesting is the obstacles along the way.
  • Don't worry too much about the words. Just tell the story. Then, when you've finished, go back and see if you can tell it better. Does it make sense? Could it be shorter? Can you make it funnier (if it's a funny story) or sadder (if it's a sad one)?
  • Enjoy yourself. Have fun. surprise yourself! Writing a story should be a bit like reading a story – you'll want to find out what happens on the next page.Encourage your children to produce their own holiday tale, and your family could win a trip to Dubai.

Sarah's Top Tips for Illustrating Children's Stories  

  • Focus on making your main character look awesome, but think about keeping it fairly simple because if you make a whole book, you'll be drawing that character over and over again.
  • Think about setting: are you going to draw your character in a forest? At the beach? In space? 
  • Add extra details: your character might have a plaster on its head, a moustache, attract a swarm of flies, or be holding a magazine. Often it's these little details that will make a picture funny or interesting.
  • The colours you choose can set a mood for your picture: a blue background can suggest night-time, sadness, or cold. A yellow or orange background might look joyful, hot or full of energy.  
  • Don't worry about making things perfect: We all need to make lots of bad drawings before we learn to make better ones. Try your hardest, but then be kind to your artwork.

To find out more about Flight Time Stories and how you could win a holiday for your family to Dubai, visit emiratesflighttimestories.com


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