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.

WALTHAM FOREST POETRY COMPETITION

Free to enter for Under 18s. Send in up to six poems (max. 40 lines). Cash prizes as well as publication for top three poets.

Deadline: Monday 07 October

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THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE: A ROOM OF MY OWN COMPETITION

An essay competition for 14 – 18 year olds, looking for responses to the ideas of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, asking what a writer needs today in order to work.

Deadline: Friday 18 October

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YOUNG WALTER SCOTT PRIZE OPEN FOR HISTORICAL FICTION

If you are aged between 11 and 19 and interested in history and writing, the Young Walter Scott Prize is ready to take you on an adventure.  Enter your story of between 800 and 2000 words, and you could win a £500 travel grant, a weekend at the Borders Book Festival in 2020, and the chance to see your work in print!

Deadline: Thursday 31 October

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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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EAST RIDING: YOUNG POETS PRIZE

A poetry competition as part of the East Riding Festival of Words, free to enter to school aged children (between the ages of 4 and 16).

Deadline: Saturday 30 November

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OUT OF BOUNDS

A poetry project looking for 11 – 17 year olds with something to say about place, identity and belonging in the UK.

Entries accepted: Between 30 September – 31 December 2019

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THE NAN SHEPHERD PRIZE FOR YOUNG WRITERS

For S5 and S6 pupils in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray, inviting creative writing on the theme ‘Life and Landscape’.

Deadline: Sunday 01 March 2020

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FILM STORIES JUNIOR

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

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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.