Young Writers

Got the writing bug? Into comics or illustration?

We've found some opportunities you might be interested in.

If there are any other competitions that aren’t listed here that we should know about, please send them to us at


Current Writing Opportunities


The Scottish Makar, Jackie Kay has taken residency with Young Scot as part of Year of Young People 2018. During this year, Jackie is working with Young Scot to encourage more people to share their voices and express themselves through poetry! 500 Poems, 500 Places is a project to encourage you to create, share and influence others through poetry. By the end of Year of Young People, Young Scot want to have 500 poems collected, inspired by the theme of ‘place’. Your poem can be anything from a Haiku to a limerick, you can rhyme or you can free verse. What’s important is that the poem has been created by you!

Deadline: TBC

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Now in its 9th year, the Wicked Young Writer Awards is a chance for young people aged between 5 and 25, to write about absolutely anything! There are fiction and non-fiction categories as well as a variety of different age bands. Be unique! You could win tickets to see Wicked, a backstage tour and £50 worth of book tokens.

Deadline: Monday 18 March

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Writers between the ages of 14 - 18 are invited to  submit a short story (up to 1,000 words) on a topic of theirchoice. The five writers shortlisted will have their stories broadcast on a special BBC Radio 1 Life hacks podcast, and published in an anthology. The winner will also receive a personalised mentoring session with an author.

Deadline: Monday 25 March, 9.00

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Writers aged 14-17 (there’s an adult category too) are invited to send a short story on the theme of Scotland to Cymera: Scotland’s Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing. For their writing competition, they are teaming up with Shoreline of Infinity, Scotland's award-winning science fiction magazine to discover fresh voices. The winning writer in each age-range category will be awarded £50

The stories that are selected for the shortlist will be published on the CYMERA website after the festival. The winner in each category will be published in the Shoreline of Infinity Magazine (Cymera Special), and receive a complimentary copy. They will also receive a complimentary ticket to a Cymera writing workshop of their choice.

Deadline: Sunday 31 March

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The Edinburgh Robert Louis Stevenson Club and Edinburgh Napier University are inviting young writers to produce a piece of creative writing which draws on the rich and rewarding legacy that Robert Louis Stevenson has left us in his works of fiction, poetry, travel writing and essays. There are three categories: fiction, poetry or reflective writing.

As well as a chance to take part in a fantastic writer’s workshop with Louise Welsh, there are prizes of £100 for the best entry in each category. There is also a special award for the best entry in Scots in any form.

Deadline: Thursday 18 April

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An annual competition open to young people, aged 21 and under, who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. 

The award is run in partnership with Worldreader, a charity on a mission to make everyone a reader. Written by young people, for young people to read, and judged by a panel of young readers, they hope the Author of Tomorrow will play its part in improving global literacy levels. There are three age categories, 11 and under, 12-15 and 16-21, and prizes to be won.

Deadline: Friday 31 May

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Founded by the world-renowned BBC Aeronautics Correspondent Reg Turnill and his wife, Margaret, to celebrate the life and works of HG Wells and encourage creative writing, especially among the young. Entry is free if you're 21 or under and you could win publication and £1,000.

Deadline: Monday 8 July

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Annual Competitions

The Pushkin Prizes

If you're S1 or S2 you could attend, along with 9 other young writers, a five-day creative writing course at the Arvon Foundation Writers’ Centre near Inverness.


Monthly Competitions

Txt Lit
Write a 160 character microstory on your mobile phone and then text it in. It costs £1 to text a story though, so choose your words very very carefully!
Closing date: The last day of every month.

The John Byrne Award is a competition open to 16-30 year olds in Scotland supporting creative expression. Pick a set of values from their diagram, and craft a creative response to be uploaded to their online library. Creative writing & illustration welcomed. Each month, the best entry wins £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.

Writing Groups

Friday 13.15 at Fountainbridge Library (13 - 18 years); Wednesdays 6-7:30 at Central Library (18 - 25 years); Craigmillar Library (13 - 18 years); and Kirkliston/South Queensferry Library (13 - 18 years). Email or


Ongoing Opportunities


Tell your story! Zealous Stories is a monthly open call that offers you, our creative community the chance to win a month-long feature of your work across Zealous, plus a host of amazing creative prizes including book vouchers and membership to the Poetry Book Society. Submit one poem under 42 lines for the chance to win.

Deadline: Every month

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This is a chance for young people aged between 11-16 to suggest an idea for a story or report to BBC News - if you've got a great idea programmes like Radio 1's Newsbeat, CBBC Newsround and the Victoria Derbyshire Programme might come and make it with you and put it on the television or on the radio.

Whatever your story idea is they want to hear it - tell them why the subject matters to you and some suggestions about how you would like to tell it to a BBC audience .And don't forget the BBC tells stories in many different ways, including audio diaries, discussions, animation, video reports and short films which we share on their social media platforms.

Deadline: Ongoing

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Rife are looking for your ideas blogs, articles, videos, pictures and opinions. Rife magazine is yours and they want the content to come from you. It could be in any form you choose. Think about what young people 13-19 might be interested in and send the magazine a pitch.

Deadline: Ongoing

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Other Writing Opportunities

Kids on the Net
Submit your writing and it may go up on the website

Time to Shine Events
This national platform serves not only as a calendar of upcoming events for children and young people, but also highlights the breadth and depth of local, regional and national youth arts activity happening across Scotland.

You Write On
YouWriteOn's premise is simple: members upload opening chapters or short stories and the YouWriteOn system randomly assigns these to another member to review. 


Writing Tips

Book Trust's writing tips for teens

Jonathan Strachan's tips for writing a short story

Writer’s Forum Magazine


Book-related websites for young writers

Guardian Teen Books

Reading Rants

Teen Reads

Teens Can Write Too

Young Adult Book Bloggers Directory