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 


Creative Scotland’s 'Nurturing Talent – Time to Shine Fund' aims to support young people aged 14-20. 

Are you interested in developing your skills in one of the following areas?

  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Film
  • Visual Arts
  • Literature
  • Digital Arts

Sometimes creative talent needs a little bit of financial help to reach its full potential. Anyone aged 14-20, living in Scotland. Individuals can apply for up to £200 in funding while groups of two or more people can apply for up to £750. 

The next deadlines for applications in 2015 are: Sunday, 23 August 2015; Sunday 18 October 2015; & Sunday 13 December 2015

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'A NIGHT AT THE _____________________'

somewhereto_ welcomes writers aged 16-25 to come along to informal writing sessions at the end of August/beginning of September, held at some of the City of Edinburgh's incredible literary and historically rich locations.

The aim of these sessions is for participants to use location as a starting point or inspiration for their own writing; prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama, music... all styles welcome! The sessions will be documented and participants work hosted online, where they can continue to develop ideas generated during the sessions as well as gain feedback and support from the group.

DeadlineMonday 31 August 2015 at 12:00

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All forms of the language are equally acceptable, from the classical cadences of the sixteenth-century Makars and MacDiarmid's literary Scots, to the Doric of the north-east, the everyday speech of Burns country and the south-west, the distinctive voices of the Northern Isles, and, not least, the witty, irreverent, demotic of Scotland's cities."

There is no theme this year. The poems (up to three from each entrant) can be in any form, from sonnet to free verse, with a 30-line maximum.

Entries, printed on A4 paper with name and contact details on the back, should be sent to Lesley Duncan, c/o The Herald, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB, to arrive before September 1.

Contestants in the junior categories should add their age and the name of their school. Entries may be emailed to with the same information included.

Deadline: Tuesday 01 September 2015

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Cumbernauld Theatre has a vibrant, exciting and inclusive Youth Theatre for children and young people age over 3 and over. Our weekly workshops use drama and musical theatre activities to develop performance skills through the use of games, storytelling, role play, improvisation and movement. Our focus is firmly on FUN but these activities can also help to develop confidence levels, increase social awareness and build strong teamwork skills.

Fees: £35 - £45

Deadline: Tuesday 01 September 2015 at 20:00

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The new term commences week beginning 24th August and lasts for 10 weeks. Please be aware that weekly classes will take a break during the September Weekend (Saturday 26th – Tuesday 29th August inclusive) and October Week (Monday 10th – Saturday 16th October inclusive).



Stories worth telling don’t only live in books, or even on paper, and creative writing definitely isn’t just something you do in school. If you’re keen to create, to share, and to gain skill as a writer or illustrator – we can’t wait to hear from you!

We’re looking for 10 young people in Scotland with stories to share and a passion for discovering how to tell them.

We’re not just talking novels and poems, we’re talking video games, blogs, fanfic, slam poetry and spoken word, TV, movies, comic books, journalism, illustration, zines, song lyrics, web serials and anything you’d like to write!

Participants must be between 14 - 17 and live in Scotland. 

Deadline: Monday 28 September 2015 at 12:00

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Poetry By Heart Scotland is a competition which gives students in S4-S6 the opportunity to learn poems by heart and say them aloud. Image of the wonderful 2014-15 finalists from Hutchesons Grammar, Bishopbriggs Academy and Crieff High with Liz Lochhead. 

Poetry By Heart Scotland has a pyramid structure: class heats are optional if you have lots of keen reciters but all participating schools have an official school competition. School competition winners participate in a regional heat (usually within the same local authority). The winners of all the regional heats take part in the grand finals early in 2016.  Minnesota Poetry Out Loud image by Nic McPhee.

Students have to memorise and perform two poems - one written before 1914 and one after 1914. One of the poems must be by a Scottish poet or a poet resident in Scotland. You can find the permitted competition poems free at or on this site at our Poetry By Heart Scotland pre-1914 and post-1914 tags. Why not choose one poem from each website?

Deadline: Schools Competition Friday 09 October 2015

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The poem can be about anything to do with light. It can be about the sun or the stars, about a fire, a candle, a firefly, a light bulb or maybe even a lamppost.

Before you begin, have a think about where light comes from, what it can do, how it makes you feel and the ways it can be useful. You may want to look at some pictures and photographs to help you.

The poems can be short or long, funny or serious. They can come in the form of a shape poem, a riddle, a list poem, a personification poem or something else - it’s up to you!

Your poem doesn’t have to rhyme. It’s more important to choose your words carefully and include interesting ideas that will make your poems really shine out.

Deadline: Monday 30 November 2015

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Write a final scene for your own imagined version of Brave New World. This should NOT be a dramatised scene of the book’s actual ending. Instead it should be a scene (no more than FIVE minutes) created from your own imagination that takes place either BEFORE or AFTER or as an ALTERNATIVE to the book’s existing conclusion.

This Creative Project is open to aspiring writers of all ages.

All submissions will be published online here. The overall best ten submissions – as judged by writer Dawn King and producer Jenny King – will be invited to take part in a very special, one-day, playwriting workshop*, led by renowned writer and actor Nigel Planer

PLUS, if you submit before 7 September 2015, you may ALSO be in the running to have your scene given a professional rehearsed reading on stage at one of the show’s eight touring venues.

Deadline: Thursday 31 December 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.

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.

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

Time to Shine Events
This national platform serves not only as a calendar of upcoming events for children and young people, but also highlights the breadth and depth of local, regional and national youth arts activity happening across Scotland.

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. 

More Writing Opportunities

Everybody Writes

Scribble: Traverse Theatre

The Scottish Poetry Library

Writer’s Forum Magazine


Writing Tips

Hot Key's writing tips

John Green on getting ideas

Jonathan Strachan's tips for writing a short story

Sally Nicholls on writing


Book-related websites for young writers

Booktrust Teenagers

Cuckoo Quarterly

Fiction Folio

Guardian Teen Books

Reading Matters

Reading Rants

Teen Reads

Teens Can Write Too

Young Adult Book Bloggers Directory