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




Young people aged 14 to 18, who live in the UK, are invited from today to submit short stories of up to 1000 words on any topic. A panel of three judges will select a shortlist of the top five stories, which will be announced in September 2015. The judges will be looking for high-quality writing, stories that demonstrate originality, imagination and creativity, and writers who can capture the reader and hold their attention.

The five shortlisted writers will be invited to attend the exclusive BBC National Short Story Award 2015 ceremony on 6 October 2015 at the BBC's Radio Theatre, when the winner of the BBC Young Writers' Award will be announced live on BBC Radio 4's Front Row. The young writers will be given a guided tour of BBC Broadcasting House and have the chance to meet high-profile authors, publishers, agents and broadcasters. The shortlist will also have their stories published on the Booktrust and BBC Arts websites and receive a copy of the BBC National Short Story Award 2015 with Booktrust anthology.

The talented winning writer of the inaugural BBC Young Writers' Award 2015 with Booktrust will have their story broadcast on the BBC and receive a set of personalised mentoring sessions with an adult author to help develop their writing skills.

Deadline: Wednesday 25 February 2015

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Saturday 14 March 2015, 10am-1pm, For ages 6-9
Join Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Poet in Residence, for a fun-filled session of creative writing based on the Jupiter sculpture collection. The workshop will start by using the senses to engage with the sculptures before turning these ideas into a piece of artwork that includes creative writing. 

Saturday 14 March 2015, 2-5pm, For ages 10-13
Designed for older children, the afternoon session will be based on ekphrastic writing, where participants will create pieces of writing that take inspiration from the artwork at Jupiter. The workshop will start with a series of short exercises designed to give participants ideas about how to start off writing about art, and that will also help everyone get stuck into the process of writing. 

£15 per workshop, Book now to avoid disappointment.

Deadline: Thursday 12 March 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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The Wicked Young Writers' Award was established by the long-running musical Wicked in order to link the important messages of the production with a competition that would inspire young people to use their writing to look at life a little differently. Since its launch in 2010, the award has received 17,000 entries.

Now in its 5th year, the Award recognises excellence in writing, encourages creativity, and helps develop writing talent in young people between 5-25 years old from all backgrounds and areas of the UK & Ireland.

There will be the opportunity to enter into five different age categories:

  • 5-7 years old
  • 8-10 years old
  • 11-14 years old
  • 15-17 years old
  • 18-25 years old

A shortlist of 100 entrants will be invited to a very special prize event at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in July 2015 and each will receive a published copy of their entry as part of the annual Wicked Young Writers' Award Anthology. Entrants aged 18-25 will have their entries published on the Wicked Young Writers’ Award website. 

Deadline: Friday 17 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