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 is: Sunday 13 December 2015

More Information



We know Phoenix readers get the bug for creating from the comic as we have such a wonderful amount of fan art come into Phoenix HQ. We also know they are a very talented bunch, so much so that two readers have actually become contributors in the 200th issue. So what we’d like to do is find more budding comic artists out there – one of the joys of The Phoenix is not only creating the comic readers of the future, but also inspiring the comic creators of the future.

The competition is open to all children aged 6 – 13, with 2 age categories:

  • 6-9 years: We want you to draw a 4 panel strip about ANYTHING but it needs to have a beginning, middle and end. Cick here for a template.
  • 10-13 years old: We want you to draw a 8 panel strip about ANYTHING but it needs to have a beginning, middle and end. Cick here for a template.

Deadline: Friday 27 November 2015

More Information



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

More Information



Interested in writing but don’t know where to start? Join tutors Cliff Yates and Jess Richards to explore new ways of expressing your voice – or that of your characters. Through group workshops and one-to-one tutorials, they will help you discover how best to get your ideas on the page. Guest reader Kapka Kassabova will share her work and writing wisdom on Wednesday evening. You will also get to know other young people from the Highlands in the creative atmosphere at Moniack Mhor.

The course is open to young people in the Highlands aged 16-19 with an interest in creative writing. It starts on Monday at 5pm and ends at 10am on Saturday morning. There is no cost for the course, but we ask those who are interested to submit a short application to reserve a place.

Date of eventMonday 30 November - Saturday 05 December

More Information



Age categories: 11-14; 15-18. To enter the competition we ask you to produce a report on your chosen topic.  You could do this by writing an article or blog, creating a video or animation, or capturing your investigation through photography.

Here’s how we suggest you do this: 

  1. Find an environmental problem or sustainability issue you care about and think about how you can explore it.
  2. Carry out your investigations then get creative to produce a balanced report which presents differing opinions and a link to the wider global issue.
  3. Share your report with others.

Our Be Inspired section has lots of helpful ideas, tips, links to examples and useful websites to help you.  We will also send you an info pack with more details once you register to enter.

We are working on getting an amazing list of exciting prizes for the winners of the 2015/16 competition.  We will share news of these through our newsletter, website and social media once they are confirmed.

We will award prizes for each form of media within each age category.  One overall winner from each age category will also be chosen to be entered into the international competition.  Winners will be selected by our judging panel of young people and experts.  Prizes will be presented at our national awards on the 16th March 2016.

Deadline: Monday 30 November 2015 

More Information



We’re looking for 25 of the most talented and committed young writers aged 16-19 from across the UK to take part in an intensive and exciting residential training programme that will kick-start a career in the film industry for YOU. For ages 16-19.

Delivered at the historic Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne, the BFI Film Academy Residential Programme in Screenwriting offers:

  • An exclusive insider’s view of how to break into the film business
  • The opportunity to work with a mentor to produce your own short film script
  • Development of craft skills necessary to succeed as a screenwriter
  • The chance to network with leading industry professionals

The programme takes place between January and February 2016.

Fees: £50

DeadlineMonday 30 November 2015 at 12:00

More Information



We’re looking for 25 of the most talented and committed young writers from across the UK to take part in an intensive and exciting residential training programme that will kick-start a career in the film industry for YOU.

The British Film Institute wishes to ensure that the programmes it funds reflect all aspects of diversity and support equality of opportunity. It also seeks to make a positive difference to diversity in the film industry in future. We therefore particularly welcome applications from young people who:
• Are of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic background
• Live in a household with a low income, or are in care
• Have a disability of any nature
Each individual application will be judged on its own merit.

Fees: £50.00; bursaries are available

Deadline: Monday 30 November 2015 at 12:00

More Information



Join us in Stills for a hands-on bookbinding session inspired by our Jill Todd Photographic Award exhibition.

Stills Tasters are designed to give you the opportunity to engage with the skills and techniques used by artists in Stills’ exhibitions in an informal and relaxed environment.

In this three-hour session we will be looking at different bookbinding techniques that would be suitable for producing handmade photo books.

The session will: 
- Include an inspiring tour of the Jill Todd Photographic Award exhibition 
- Guide you through the steps involved in at least two different bookbinding skills. 
- Allow you to make your own books/albums to take home 
- Provide you with comprehensive instructions so that you can continue to practice at home.

FeesFull price £20; Concessions £10

DeadlineSaturday 12 December 2015 at 09:00

More Information



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

More Information



The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize invites entries from writers aged 16 or over (at the time of submission) of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. Short Stories, up to 4,000 words (not including the title) and poetry up to 50 lines (not including title or lines between stanzas) ar accepted. The theme is open.

Fee: £5.00 per entry

Deadline: Thursday 31 December 2015 at 00:00

More Information



Who is your favourite character from English literature and why? 

Whoever it is, if you’re a sixth-form student studying English Literature (including Scottish Highers), then you now have an opportunity to make your case. The prize this year is £500, a full set of Connell Guides and your essay published! Two runners up will receive a £100 gift card to spend at Connell Guides.

Deadline: Friday 19 February 2016

More Information



The requirements are very simple: each entrant must write a story that is exactly 100 words long (not including the title). It must be original and unpublished but, other than these stipulations, writers can allow their imaginations to run wild when crafting their tiny tale.

Each individual can submit as many entries as they like for their chance to win. In the adults category, the winner will receive a whopping £2,000, and two runners-up will each receive £200.

There are two categories for young writers – Under 12 and 12 to 18 years old. These categories have separate prizes. 

Deadline: Saturday 20 Feburary 2016

More Information



Wicked, the long-running musical, has launched the sixth year of the Wicked Young Writers Award, which this year introduces a non-fiction category.

As in previous years, entrants can enter one of five different age categories; 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-25; and there is a new FOR GOOD Award for Non-Fiction. The new category celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical. The competition also raises money for the National Literacy Trust.

A shortlist of 120 entrants from across the UK will see their work published in the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS anthology, and will be invited to a ceremony at the Apollo Victoria theatre, where judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each category.

Deadline: 11 March 2016

More Information


Entries are invited that are inspired by the geological and landscape writings of Hugh Miller, Scotland’s celebrated self-taught geologist. As a poet and prolific writer, the wealth of potential inspiration that Miller provides in his work is worthy of widespread public engagement. 

There are two categories; young people aged under 16 (on the closing date) and adults aged 16 and over. Entries must be the entrant’s own work and not have been previously published. They must be no more than 200 words in length for under 16s.

Deadline: 18 March 2016

More Information


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.


Writing Groups

Writers Inc. Monday 6-7:30 at Fountainbridge Library (13 - 18 years); Wednesdays 6-7:30 at Central Library (18 - 25 years); Craigmiller Library (13 - 18 years); and Kirkliston/South Queensferry Library (13 - 18 years). Email


Other Writing Opportunities

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. 

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

Scribble: Traverse Theatre

The Scottish Poetry Library

Writer’s Forum Magazine


Writing Tips

Book Trust's writing tips for teens

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

Fiction Folio

Guardian Teen Books

Reading Rants

Teen Reads

Teens Can Write Too

Young Adult Book Bloggers Directory