When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is Tuesday 3 January at 5pm. We regret that we cannot extend this deadline, as we will be shortlisting your applications right away in the morning on Wednesday 4 January.

PLEASE NOTE: Even though the deadline is Tuesday 3 January, you should aim to get your application in as soon as you can. We cannot give extensions for technical failures or other circumstances. Do yourself a favour and get it in early as you can.


When will I know if I have been selected for the Development Programme?

We will let the seven people selected for the Programme know by Wednesday 18 Jan 2017. If you have not been contacted by then, you were not selected this time. Everyone else will hopefully get an e-mail from us regarding their application by the end of February.


What if I can’t fill in the whole application in one sitting?

That’s fine! Just use the ‘save and continue later’ button in the application form to email a link to your application to yourself.


Why is the Development Programme only for 14-17 year olds?

We know this can be frustrating for some of you, but that is the age range that our development programme can best help. The Programme does involve quite a lot of work and travel, so it isn’t fair to ask 13 year olds to ‘level up’ that fast if we know that it will be a struggle – plus, you can wait a year and apply to take part then! For those of you aged 18 or 19, there are all the same brilliant opportunities for any other adult writer or illustrator and you don’t need the specific helping-hand the Development Programme can offer to access Scotland’s literary opportunities if you are under 18.

But remember, all of you aged 13-19 are welcome to come join us at StoryCon 2017 and send your work in to the Online Magazine! This is the only part of What’s Your Story? that is not for all 13-19 year olds, we hope you understand why.


What is in the application?

The application is five sections long. Here’s what’s covered in each section:

Section 1 – Your Details

We need to collect some basic personal information from you. Like your name, where in Scotland you live, and your contact information. We also confirm that you are able to make the two big dates of our programme where we will all get-together.

Those dates are:

February 3 – February 4 for the Teens in Residence Library Meeting in Edinburgh.

March 17 – March 19 for the Creative Retreat in Moniack Mhor outside of Inverness.

We can help you to negotiate time away from work or school so that you can attend these events, if needed. It is vital that everybody who is part of the Programme Team 2017 can make these dates.


Section 2 – Your Creative Work

What kind of creative writing, illustrating or storytelling do you like to do? What would you want to work on as your speciality if you joined us on the Programme? This is where you tell us about it.


Section 3 – Likes and Influences

There is a huge creative culture out there, so tell us about what you like and why you like it. These questions help us to understand how you connect with creativity when it comes from other people. Plus it’s a fun chance to tell us about your fave books, songs, movies, videogames, art and more!


Section 4 – Personal Statement

This is where you tell us about why you create, why you want to take part in the Development Programme, and how you think things will change for you if you get to take part. Just be honest and tell us about you and why you think you’re right for this Programme.


Section 5 – Your Creative Work

One thing you already need to be able to do before you join us at What’s Your Story? is be creating your own work, and be ready to show it to other people. That is why we ask everyone who applies to send us a creative work sample.

Your creative work sample is proof that you are already serious about writing & illustrating, and that there is room for you to develop further.

You aren’t being chosen for the Programme because of how “good” your creative work already is, but we want it to be the best you can do right now. It doesn’t matter if it’s “the best”, it matters if it is your best.

These are the guidelines for the size and types of creative work samples we can accept as part of your application. FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES! They are what makes it possible for us to accept everybody’s application and read it fairly.


Creative Work Sample Guidelines

If you are submitting poetry, we can look at up to 3 poems under 1000 words total.

If you are submitting drawings or illustrations, we can look at up to 6 images or 6 pages of a comic book.

If you are submitting a script (for TV, or for a stage play or radio play), we can look at up to 15 pages.

If you are submitting a recording (audio or video) of your work being performed we can accept anything under 6 minutes in length.

If you are submitting prose such as a short story, or a chapter of a longer work, we can accept anything up to 2000 words.

You can upload files in the following formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif

You must stick to the word count and page count in the guidelines. If your word processing software does not include a word count function, you can use a site such as http://www.wordcounttool.com/ to count the words in your sample.

We can accept files up to 15MB – larger files should be hosted elsewhere. You will be able to submit a link to your work if it cannot be uploaded to us.

REMEMBER: You can submit work that is shorter than these guidelines. If your work is longer than these guidelines, find a good place to stop that is within the guidelines and cut it there. You can put in the ‘notes’ that it is part of a bigger piece. We are happy to receive creative work samples that are part of longer works. 🙂

I have a question that is not covered in the FAQ!

Please email hello@thestoryis.co.uk with your question! Remember, we will be on holiday after December 22 2016, so ask your question before then!



Programme Info

What’s Your Story? was created by Scottish Book Trust as part of Time to Shine in 2015. It is a Scotland-wide programme of support for teenage writers & illustrators – led by teens, for teens.

What’s Your Story? gives free support to all 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.

For 2017 What’s Your Story? is generously funded by Creative Scotland, and supported by our partners: National Library of Scotland who are supporting our Teens in Residence project, Neu!Reekie who are supporting our autumn showcase event, and The Gaelic Books Council who are supporting a Gaelic-language place on our programme.