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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Blue Things Zine

A monthly zine published by teenagers for teenagers. The submission window is between the 01 and 22 of each month, and they are looking for prose, poetry, photography and artwork.

Deadline: 22nd of each month

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Online workshops for a variety of ages. Fully completed digital consent forms required before confirming spaces.

Deadline: October – November

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The Lit Young Writers Festival

Free events in connection with Waterford Youth Arts aimed at 15 – 19 year olds.

Events: Saturday 21 November

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Scottish Youth Poetry Writing Group

The Scottish Youth Poetry Slam organisers are holding digital writing groups every month from December. Sign up in advance by email.

Deadline: Monday 30 November

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The Janet Coats Memorial Prize

Looking for poetry on the subject of ‘Green spaces’.

Deadline: 5pm Friday 11 December

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ITS Group Flash Fiction

Looking for stories under 500 words in length, with a £5 entry fee for Under 18s.

Deadline: Thursday 31 December

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Write on Art

For school pupils aged between 15 – 18. To enter Write on Art, all you have to do is pick one artwork featured on the Art UK website and write about it.

Deadline: Friday 30 April 2021

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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.


Wirdsmit – an online workshop based in Orkney with writing prompts and activities. Aimed at 8 – 14 year olds.

Write with Rachel – a free series of writing workshops aimed at children and teenagers.

The Writers Den with Philip Caveney – £80 for 4 workshops aimed at 9-12 year olds. First group starts on 31/08/20. Click link above for email.

Performing Opportunities

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