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

HEBE

Looking for poetry, photos and illustrations from under 18s on the theme of ‘Change’.

Deadline: Saturday 29 February

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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

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ART TO POETRY

A free worldwide poetry competition for 11 – 17 year olds, looking for Ekphrastic poems (poems inspired by a piece of visual art).

Deadline: Monday 02 March

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NEWCASTLE POETRY COMPETITION

A free poetry competition for 11 – 17 year olds. You may enter up to ten poems.

Deadline: Tuesday 03 March

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CYMERA 2020

A speculative fiction competition for 14 – 17 year olds. The theme is ‘Scotland in 2030’.

Deadline: Sunday 15 March, 6pm

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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: Friday 20 March

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WRITE ON ART PRIZE

To enter Write on Art, all you have to do is pick one artwork featured on the Art UK website and write about it. What does it say to you? What’s the history behind it? How does it make you feel? For pupils in S3 – S6.

Deadline: Tuesday 31 March

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THE ORWELL YOUTH PRIZE

The Orwell Youth Prize is looking for responses to the theme ‘The Future We Want’. Journalism, essays, short stories, blog posts, poems, and plays are all welcome. They offer personalised feedback for everyone who enters their first draft by 6 April 2020. You must be aged 13 – 18 on the closing date in order to enter.

Deadline: Saturday 18 May

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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.

Performing Opportunities

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