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


What's Your Story


What’s Your Story? gives free creative writing support to any 13–19-year-old writers and illustrators in Scotland. We champion, showcase and encourage teenage creative efforts in literature, whatever form these efforts take. What’s Your Story? is run by Scottish Book Trust, and has been created with the help and advice of teen writers and illustrators.

Our online magazine has three themed issues per year. Submissions to each issue receive personal professional feedback from our editorial board and are considered for publication. We are proud to reflect Scotland’s teen creative scene by accepting any form of creative writing and illustration. Scripts, illustrations, comics, podcasts, videos, poetry, short stories and much more are accepted.

This is ongoing, join the story.

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The latest opportunities  



Aged 16-24 and have a story idea you want to turn into a film? Apply now to take part in STORIES FOR SCREEN, a unique series of FREE workshops designed to help you turn your idea into a short script.

The course will teach screenwriting techniques, structure and format, providing you with professional guidance and feedback as you develop your script over three sessions. Applicants should be aged 16–24 and committed to attending all three sessions across October and November in Glasgow. The course will be led by Adrian Mead, a multi award winning writer and director of film, television and radio drama.

Deadline: Monday 24 October, 09:00

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Get inspired by four fabulous images from the Special Collections Centre’s rare books and archives and send us your 500-word short story.

Adult category (14+ years) judged by Wayne Price. Prize £50 book tokens
Children’s category (8-13 years) judged by Caroline Clough. First prize £10 book tokens plus a goodie bag kindly provided by Waterstones.

Deadline: Wednesday 26 October 2016 at 12:00

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Young writers with an interest in history are invited to submit entries to The Young Walter Scott Prize, the UK’s only creative writing prize dedicated to historical writing.

Your stories can be inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person. They can be written in prose of any kind – stories or an extract from a longer work, diaries, letters or reportage. The work can be set at any time in history – as long as it is a period before its author was born, in a world recognisably different from the present.

Entries will be judged in two categories – 11 to 15 year-olds and 16 to 19 year-olds. The winners in each category will be published in a special YWSP anthology, and the two winners will be offered a travel grant of up to £500 each to enable them to visit an historic site of their choice anywhere in the UK.

Deadline: Sunday 30 October 2016

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National Novel Writing Month happens every November. It's a fun, seat-of-your-pants writing event where the challenge is to complete an entire novel in just 30 days. For one month, you get to lock away your inner editor, let your imagination take over, and just create! Young writers can set their own goals, join forums, take part and get their hands on loads of online resources.

NANOWRIMO runs: Tuesday 1 – Wednesday 30 November

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Join performance poet Jenny Lindsay for a creative writing workshop which will explore ways to use personal stories to create imaginative literature for a live audience. This workshop is aimed at budding storytellers and spoken word poets aged 16-25, but all are welcome. Part of the #DareToDream Storytelling Festival Campaign 2016.

Deadline: Sat 12 November

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First Story are inviting students and teachers from all secondary state schools across the UK to submit 850 words or less of poetry or prose on the theme of ‘Footprints’. Penguin Random House will longlist the entries and multi-award-winning authors Mark Haddon and Juno Dawson lead the writers judging this year’s competition. The best pieces will win a place on a creative writing residential course with Arvon and be published in the winners’ anthology!

Deadline: Wednesday 23 November

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The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide aged over 16 years, published and unpublished. Stories entered for the competition should be 1,500 words or less and can be on any topic.

A team of dedicated readers assists the selection process with Alexander McCall Smith making the final selection of the winner and the runners-up. Eligible entries will also be considered for the new Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing.

Deadline: Friday 31 March, 2017

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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.

The John Byrne Award is a competition open to 16-19 year olds in Scotland supporting creative expression. Pick a set of values from their diagram, and craft a creative response to be uploaded to their online library. Creative writing & illustration welcomed. Each month, the best entry wins £100. All entries from the year are submitted to the annual John Byrne Award competition where the best entry wins £1000 and three runners-up win £500. All entries are eligible for all prizes and all entries will be considered for posting on the John Byrne Award social media pages.


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’. This free, interactive writing project is aimed at children aged 7-11 years. 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