If your kids love writing and animals, they just might be koalafied to win the ‘Smooch and Rose’ Writing Competition.

Queensland Koala Crusaders, a Sunshine Coast environmental group fighting to save Queensland’s rapidly dwindling koala population, and children’s author Samantha Wheeler are teaming up to educate kids about the plight of our marsupial mates.

Koala numbers are down to less than 80,000 across Australia, with Queensland populations declining faster than any other state.

The writing competition, which is also supported by UQPress, Book Links and Indiscapes, requires kids (aged from 7-12 years) to create an original, 300-500 word fictional story from the point of view of a koala.

“We want children to imagine they’re a koala,” says Samantha Wheeler. “You’ve lived happily in this patch of bush all your life but suddenly things are changing. What will happen to you? Where will you go? We’d love to hear your stories! Inspire us, and win some amazing prizes!”

Prizes include:

  • A personalised ranger talk at one of our local Queensland Koala Parks, with an opportunity to meet real life rangers and beautiful koalas up close and personal.
  • An author talk at school presented by Samantha Wheeler who will share why she wrote Smooch & Rose, and how she went about planning her story.
  • Book packs from UQP, including Smooch & Rose and Samantha‚Äôs new book, Spud & Charli.

Wheeler’s book, Smooch and Rose, is based on the true story of a young Sunshine Coast girl, her granny, the koala they nurse back to health and the fight to save his habitat by raising $20,000 to buy the land.

Entries need to be emailed to info@koalacrusaders.org.au by 5pm on Monday 25 August. Winners will be announced during the National Threatened Species Day event in the Queen St Mall on Friday 5 September.