Writing Comps & Resources

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.

STUDENT CRITICS PROGRAMME: EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Open to all UK based students aged 18-25, successful applicants will attend screenings, receptions and events at EIFF. Applicants must send in an audio or video review of a recent or classic film.

Deadline: Friday 24 May

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WILBUR SMITH: AUTHOR OF TOMORROW

An annual competition open to young people, aged 21 and under, who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. 

The award is run in partnership with Worldreader, a charity on a mission to make everyone a reader. Written by young people, for young people to read, and judged by a panel of young readers, they hope the Author of Tomorrow will play its part in improving global literacy levels. There are three age categories, 11 and under, 12-15 and 16-21, and prizes to be won.

Deadline: Friday 31 May

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MORTON WRITING COMPETITION

National Trust for Scotland is looking for prose and poetry inspired by a photographic prompt from their collection. Entries welcome in English, Scots or Gaelic and prizes to be won.

Deadline: Saturday 1 June

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ME: SUBMISSION CALL

“What You Need to Know About Me” is a new anthology (published by The Hawkins Project, co-founded by Dave Eggers) that highlights the experiences of young people (ages 11-24) who have immigrated from one country to another. They’re looking for nonfiction pieces between 100-1500 words (yes, our range spans from very, very, short to considerably longer!) and poetry (3 pages max). Please note that this anthology will not include fiction.

Deadline: Monday 1 July

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HG WELLS SHORT STORY COMPETITION

Founded by the world-renowned BBC Aeronautics Correspondent Reg Turnill and his wife, Margaret, to celebrate the life and works of HG Wells and encourage creative writing, especially among the young. Entry is free if you’re 21 or under and you could win publication and £1,000.

Deadline: Monday 8 July

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NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE: GIVING YOUNG PEOPLE A VOICE ON CONFLICT

Never Such Innocence are looking for young people aged 9-18 to create a poem, a speech, a song or piece of art responding to, and reflecting on, a conflict you feel strongly about. This might be historical or current, on an international scale, within your local community, or wider society.

Written work may be in any language, and art in any medium. Every entrant receives a special personalised Certificate of Commendation!

Deadline: Officially opens September, accepting early bird submissions

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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

The John Byrne Award is a competition open to 16-30 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 £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.

Writing Groups

Edinburgh

Fountainbridge Library Writing Groups, Tuesdays at 4pm: There are two young writers groups which meet on alternate weeks. One is for 10-12 year olds and the other is for teenagers.

Morningside Library Writing Groups, Tuesdays at 4pm: teenage writing group.

Highlands

Young Writers Programmes organised by Moniack Mhor.

Ongoing Opportunities

ZEALOUS STORIES: POETRY

Tell your story! Zealous Stories is a monthly open call that offers you, our creative community the chance to win a month-long feature of your work across Zealous, plus a host of amazing creative prizes including book vouchers and membership to the Poetry Book Society. Submit one poem under 42 lines for the chance to win.

Deadline: Every month

More Information

Other Writing Opportunities

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. 

Writing Tips

Book Trust’s writing tips for teens

Jonathan Strachan’s tips for writing a short story

Writer’s Forum Magazine

Book-related websites for young writers

Guardian Teen Books

Reading Rants

Teen Reads

Teens Can Write Too

Young Adult Book Bloggers Directory

Vlogbrothers