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  


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

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Are you a writer living in Dumfries & Galloway looking to develop your work with the help of professional advice and support? Applications are invited for a new mentoring scheme in spring of 2016, run by Wigtown Festival Company.

Applicants will be expected to be able to demonstrate commitment to writing and examples of work, published or unpublished, on which they can work with their mentor. (For example, three to four chapters of a novel, or several short stories/poems; or a strong synopsis, character outlines and first chapter). 

Applications from people of all ages will be considered and it is intended to select at least one young person (14-26) as part of the scheme. Reasonable travel expenses will be paid.

Deadline: Friday 19 February 2016 at 17:00

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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 It must be original and unpublished but, other than these stipulations, writers can allow their imaginations to run wild when crafting their tiny tale.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

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Are you aged between 5 and 13? How old will you be on 27 May 2016? If you'll be between 5 and 13 then go right ahead and send us your story!

The competition has two age categories:

  • 5 - 9
  • 10 - 13

There are bronze, silver and gold prizes in each category.

Write an original story on any subject or theme in 500 Words or fewer and submit it online.

DeadlineThursday 25 February 2016 at 19:00

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If you enjoy writing stories, or would like to enjoy it more, come along to an afternoon workshop held in the Storytelling Centre with prize-winning author Janis Mackay (Magnus Fin and the Ocean Quest, The Accidental Time Traveller). The group will begin by finding story ideas and then - start writing a novel! It will be a fun session and who knows where it might lead.

Fee: £16.00

Deadline: Saturday 05 March 2016

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I am looking for submissions for a short Scottish Youth Achievement Award publication that will be distributed at Artcore events, online, at libraries, and at Out of the Blue Drill Hall. The hot button topic is Gender. Any style of writing or genre is welcome. Think: media representation of males/females, double standards in media/society, stereotypes, historical figures, gender treatment in different cultures, stories without a male/female, or dystopian world/future world; be creative. 

Word limit is 2500 words. Along with the written work, we have a small group of illustrators who will be working with the project, if you are interested please contact me. 

Deadline: Saturday 05 March 2016

More Information: Send all submissions or questions to



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

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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

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The Edinburgh Robert Louis Stevenson Club and Edinburgh Napier University have for three years collaborated on running a competition which aims to inspire young writers in Scotland by asking them to produce a piece of creative writing which draws on the rich and rewarding legacy that Robert Louis Stevenson has left us in his works of fiction, poetry, travel writing and essays.

Deadline: Monday 25 April 2016

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If you love food and writing, why not combine the two in the Guild of Food Writers’ annual Write It competition? Open to entrants aged 11 to 18, the Write It competition invites you to submit a non-fiction feature of around 750 words on any food related subject. It could be as simple as a descriptive piece based on a person or place that inspired an interest in food; a restaurant review; a report on a visit to a food fair, farmers’ market or food shop; or a campaigning article on any aspect of food that interests, excites or frustrates you.

Deadline: Monday 09 May 2016

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Founded in 2006 to mark the centenary of the former Poet Laureate John Betjeman’s birth, the Betjeman Poetry Prize attracts around 3,000 entries per year from across the UK. The competition aims to foster creativity in young people whilst discovering and encouraging the next generation of British poets.

The winning poet receives £1000 (£500 to the individual, £500 to their school/library). Further prizes for the runners up and highly commended entrants.

Deadline: Sunday 31 July 2016

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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.


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