Young Writers

Got the writing bug?

Discover competitions and opportunities that you might like to get involved with.

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


StoryCon is back

StoryCon is Scotland's creative writing and illustration conference designed for teens, by teens. Free to attend and open to all 13 - 19 year olds in Scotland.

Dates: Saturday 23 - Sunday 24 June

Find out more and book for Storycon


Current Writing Opportunities


Applications are now open for young people aged 16-19 from across the UK to attend the BFI Film Academy Scotland Residential, running from Tuesday 24 July until Friday 3 August 2018 in Edinburgh – ideal for young people who love film and who’d love to learn more. The cost to attend will range from £0 to £210 depending on your household income.

Deadline: Tuesday 19 June

More Information



The Betjeman Poetry Prize is open to 10 -13 year old poets from the UK and this year, the theme is ‘Place’. The winner receives £1000 (£500 to the winner and £500 to the English department of his or her school). Home educated pupils should nominate their local library as the prize recipient. The two runners up receive £50 each. The top three poets each receive four Eurostar tickets to Paris, Brussels or Lille. Highly commended entrants receive a book token. All six finalists are invited on a Betjeman Poetry Camp. The top 50 poems are printed in our annual anthology. Every teacher who enters their class joins a prize draw to win a poet visit.

Deadline: Tuesday 31 July

More Information



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 – end of 2018

More Information


Ongoing Opportunities



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

More Information



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

More Information


Scottish Book Trust Young Writers Awards

The awards are currently closed for applications. You can find out more information about them here.

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 16-19 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 £100. All entries from the year are submitted to the annual John Byrne Award competition where the best entry wins £1000 and three runners-up win £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); Craigmiller Library (13 - 18 years); and Kirkliston/South Queensferry Library (13 - 18 years). Email or


Other Writing Opportunities

Fleur Hitchcock's Story Adventure
Hot Key Books has launched ‘Fleur Hitchcock’s Story Adventure’. This free, interactive writing project is aimed at children aged 7-11 years. Help author Fleur Hitchcock write the sequel to SHRUNK!, The Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week. 

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. 

More Writing Opportunities

Scribble: Traverse Theatre

The Scottish Poetry Library

Writer’s Forum Magazine


Writing Tips

Book Trust's writing tips for teens

Hot Key's writing tips

John Green on getting ideas

Jonathan Strachan's tips for writing a short story

Sally Nicholls on writing


Book-related websites for young writers

Booktrust Teenagers

Fiction Folio

Guardian Teen Books

Reading Rants

Teen Reads

Teens Can Write Too

Young Adult Book Bloggers Directory