Writing Opportunities and Workshops

This page is being replaced and will no longer be updated as of 13/04/21. Please visit https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing-and-authors/opportunities-for-young-writers instead.

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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Simpson’s Poetry Competition

A poetry competition for under 12s. The Surgeon’s Hall Museum would like to read witty poems and revolting rhymes about the human body, medicine or medical history. Submissions open during the month of April.

Deadline: Friday 30 April

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The Great Scottish Canvas

The World Wildlife Fund are looking for poetry, prose and art which illustrates the future you want. Under 18s will need parents or guardians to send in the entry on their behalf..

Deadline: 5pm. Sunday 02 May

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10 Years of the Young Poets Network Challenge

Respond to any of the writing challenges of the past ten years. Open to any writer under the age of 25, though under 12s will need parents or guardians to complete a permission form.

Deadline: Sunday 02 May

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The Bridport Prize

Looking for poetry, flash fiction, short fiction and novels. There is a 16-25 years category. There is an entry fee for each category.

Deadline: Monday 31 May

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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 June

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Wells Festival of Literature: Young Poets Competition

Poets aged between 16 – 22 inclusive can enter one poem, £3 per entry.

Deadline: Friday 30 June

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Foyle Young Poets of the Year

A free poetry competition open to anyone between the ages of 11 – 17.

Deadline: Saturday 31 July

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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.

Authors of Tomorrow

Open for submissions in March during 2021, this is part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. There are three age categories: 11 and under, 12-15 years and 16-21.

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.

The Writers’ Block – online sessions including ones for teenagers and nursery-aged children.

Winter’s Last – creative writing and storytelling workshops based around Scottish winter traditions, spirits and spells.

Fountainbridge Library – a writing group for 14 – 18 year olds run by Simon Brown (Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awardee) mostly on Fridays at 2pm. Click on the link above to email him for more details. You do not have to be a library member.

Spark Education Programme – an education programme aimed at introducing teenagers to spoken word, including resources for teachers.

Performing Opportunities

We maintain a list of spoken word and poetry nights throughout Scotland. Some of them welcome under eighteens. They are likely to be postponed during lockdown but may be running online.