Writing Opportunities

These writing opportunities have been pulled together from organisations that support young people’s writing. We’re happy to share their competitions and call outs here, but we’re not affiliated with them in any way. If you have any opportunities you’d like to be listed here please contact us at teen@scottishbooktrust.com

THE SHORT STORY

Looking for stories of 1000 words or less from anyone aged 6 – 16 years old.

Deadline: Ongoing

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FILM STORIES JUNIOR

A film magazine by and for under-15s. Pitch article ideas by email.

Deadline: Ongoing

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500 WORDS: Black Lives Matter

Inviting children between the ages of 5 and 13 to submit a story of no more than 500 words in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Deadline: Friday 03 July

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ODE TO (SMALL) JOY

A poetry competition from The Poetry Society for under 25s, asking for an ode poem (there are examples in the link below) to ‘something small and insignificant’.

Deadline: Monday 20 July

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FOYLE YOUNG POET OF THE YEAR

A free poetry competition – enter as many poems as you like – for 11-17 year olds.

Deadline: Friday 31 July

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WRITE ON ART

An annual competition open to S4-S6 pupils. Pick a piece of art on the Art UK website and write about it.

Deadline: Friday 31 July

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NUTMEG YOUNG FOOTBALL WRITERS IN SCOTLAND

A competition to write an article about football open to Scottish school pupils from P7 – S6. Top prizes include publication and £50.

Deadline: Monday 31 August

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CROWVUS CHRISTMAS GHOST STORY COMPETITION

Crowvus are looking for ghost stories of up to 4000 words. Children can enter for free in two age categories (Under 10 and 11 – 16).

Deadline: Wednesday 30 September

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WORLD TALES

UNESCO and the Idries Shah Foundation have launched a ‘World Tales’ short story competition and are inviting teenagers from all over the globe to write about the challenges of today and tomorrow in the format of a short story. 

Deadline: Thursday 15 October

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YOUNG WALTER SCOTT PRIZE

A historical writing competition for 11 – 19 year olds with two age categories. They’re looking for stories with historical relevance and accuracy, originality, a good grasp of language, characterisation and plot – but above all enjoyment in your writing.  The fiction can be in any form – prose, poetry, drama, fictional diaries, letters or reportage.  Stories must be set in the past – any time before you were born!

Deadline: Saturday 31 October

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Annual Competitions

Words That Burn

Amnesty International invites students to submit a poem on a different theme about someone who has suffered human rights abuses, one that can be performed in one minute.

Rattle Young Poets Anthology

A yearly anthology of young poets’ work: poets must be 15 years old or younger when they wrote the poem(s), and 18 or younger when they submit them.

One Teen Story

A competition looking for writers aged between 13 – 19 years old, looking for short stories with teenagers as the main character.

Monthly Competitions

The John Byrne Award

The John Byrne Award is an online exhibition and competition exploring personal and societal values, open to 16-30 year olds in Scotland. Creative writing & illustration welcomed. Each month, the best entry is awarded £250. All entries from the year are submitted to the annual John Byrne Award competition where the best entry wins £2,500. All entries are eligible for all prizes and all entries will be considered for posting on the John Byrne Award social media pages.

50 Word Fiction
A competition run by Scottish Book Trust every month (so, okay, we are affiliated with this one) where we ask for short pieces of fiction inspired by a theme. As well as Adult and Gaelic language categories, there are categories for 5 – 11 and 12 – 18 year olds.

Performing Opportunities

We maintain a list of spoken word and poetry nights throughout Scotland. Some of them welcome under eighteens.

Workshops

Wirdsmit – an online workshop based in Orkney with writing prompts and activities. Aimed at 8 – 14 year olds.

Write with Rachel – a free series of writing workshops aimed at children and teenagers.