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

MENTORING OPPORTUNITIES IN DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY

A mentoring programme run through Wigtown Book for writers based in Dumfries & Galloway aged 14 and over. All forms of writing will be considered.

Deadline: Friday 15 November

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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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THE JANET COATS MEMORIAL PRIZE

Paisley Book Festival’s theme this year is Radical Voices and Rebel Stories and, motivated by the voices and actions of radical young people on climate change we would like to read, hear and see your poetry on the theme of climate change. You can enter if you are under 18 and live in Renfrewshire. Email your poems of up to 40 lines and 1,000 words to prize@paisleybookfest.com in a Word Document, MP3 or MP4 file with ‘Janet Coats Memorial Prize’ in the subject line.  

Deadline: Friday 13 December 2019, 5pm

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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: Tuesday 31 December 2019

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THE ELMBRIDGE LITERARY COMPETITION 2019-20

Free to Under 18s with different age categories (see Terms and Conditions in link below). Top three in each category receive book tokens as prize.

Deadline: Friday 07 February 2020

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THE NATIONAL FLASH FICTION YOUTH COMPETITION 2020

For Higher/Advanced Higher Students: a competition for unpublished stories no longer than 360 words (including the title). Stories need to be entered by a teacher.

Deadline: Friday 07 February 2020

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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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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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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.