Young Writers

Got the writing bug?

Discover competitions and opportunities that you might like to get involved with.

If there are any other competitions that aren’t listed here that we should know about, please send them to us at


The latest opportunities



This course is for 16-19 year old writers, places are free and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Tutors Alan Bissett and Kapka Kassabova will explore the theme of home, and how it shapes our identity. 

Date: Monday 13-18 October 2014

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Are you aged 16-19? Passionate and committed about writing for film? The the BFI Film Academy Residential Programme in Screenwriting is for you!

Applicants must submit a completed application form and one piece of original writing in any form: a script for a film, a play, a short story or an extract from a longer piece of prose, or a collection of poetry. Your submission should be up 1000 words (or 5 poems) and could be a complete piece of work or an extract from something longer. Applicants should also include one outline (max 400 words) for an idea for an original short film of 5-10 minutes. Your outline should describe the action of the story from beginning to end. 

Deadline: Monday 1 December 2014

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The IGGY and Litro Young Writers’ Prize is open to creative 13 – 18 year olds all over the world. The theme this year is 'Myths and Legends'. The winner will receive a £2,000 cash prize and the winning short story will be published on and in Litro Magazine.

Deadline: Thursday 15 January 2015

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Write a story of not more than 1,000 words under one of the following titles:-

  • Dangerous Diana’s Downfall
  • The Spy At No. 10
  • Welcome to the Hacienda
  • Astronaut Adventure
  • Who’s Laughing Now

One overall winner will receive £100, a full A4 page critique of their story, highlighting its strengths and suggestions to improve it and eight runners up (2 in each age category) will also receive a full critique and a £25 book token.

Winners and Highly Commended stories will be published in the next Inkhead anthology.

All entries will be given a FREE short critique of their stories. 

Entry fee is £5.

Deadline: Wednesday 1 April 2015

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Scottish Book Trust Young Writers Awards

The awards are currently closed for applications. You can find out more information about them here.


Annual Competitions

The Pushkin Prizes

If you're S1 or S2 you could attend, along with 9 other young writers, a five-day creative writing course at the Arvon Foundation Writers’ Centre near Inverness.


Monthly Competitions

Txt Lit
Write a 160 character microstory on your mobile phone and then text it in. It costs £1 to text a story though, so choose your words very very carefully!
Closing date: The last day of every month.


Other Writing Opportunities

500 Words - BBC Radio 2

Have you written a super fantastic short story? Do you want to enter the Chris Evans Breakfast Show's 500 WORDS competition? Brilliant! If you're aged 13 and under (as of 30 May 2014) and have a cracking story to share, enter to win BBC Radio 2's 500 Words contest. Winners will receive piles of books for themselves and their schools and will have their stories read by celebrities at the grand final. Find out more and enter here.

Red House Young Writers' Yearbook Competition 2013

Red House Publisher seek aspiring young writers from around the country to enter the Young Writers’ Yearbook competition and win the chance to see their stories or poems published in a beautiful book. 

Fleur Hitchcock's Story Adventure
Hot Key Books has launched ‘Fleur Hitchcock’s Story Adventure’, a free interactive writing project running between 21 January and 13 May 2013 aimed at children aged 7-11 years, to help author Fleur Hitchcock write the sequel to SHRUNK!, The Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week. 

Creative Enterprise Fund
Want to get into the creative industries? Do you have an enterprising idea or project? The Creative Enterprise Fund can offer awards of up to £200 for individuals or £750 for groups of three of more young people, where two thirds of any group are aged between 15-22.

Spinebreakers is a cool Penguin teen website full of fantastic content for book-loving teens. You can send in your creative writing (or anything else creative) and they might just end up online! They often run competitions so keep an eye on the site.

World’s longest poem
Help poet Gez Walsh create the world’s longest poem!

Kids on the Net
Submit your writing and it may go up on the website

You Write On

YouWriteOn's premise is simple: members upload opening chapters or short stories and the YouWriteOn system randomly assigns these to another member to review. 

Other Writing Opportunities

The Scottish Poetry Library

Everybody Writes

Writer’s Forum Magazine

Scribble: Traverse Theatre

Writing Tips

John Green on getting ideas

Jonathan Strachan's tips for writing a short story

Annabel Pitcher's writing advice

Sally Nicholls on writing

Book-related websites for young writers

Teen Reads

Guardian Teen Books

Booktrust Teenagers

Reading Matters

Young Adult Book Bloggers Directory

Reading Rants

Fiction Folio


Cuckoo Quarterly