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


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

Deadline: Ongoing

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

Deadline: Ongoing

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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: Thursday 11 June

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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.