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New Writers Award: category guidelines

A detailed breakdown of the information required for New Writers Awards applications by category

Our annual award for emerging writers has five separate categories, all inviting applications in English and Scots: Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction, Scots, Poetry, Spoken Word and Children's and Young Adult Fiction. You may only apply for one category. 

Please read this page and the eligibility criteria carefully before writing and submitting your application.

All applications

All applications will require the following information.

For all applications, a sample of your writing will be required – this is the most important part of your application and it will be judged anonymously by the panel during the first stage of reading. This sample will be slightly different depending which category you apply for.

Fiction and narrative non-fiction

Fiction is imaginary or invented prose, which can include short stories, flash fiction, novels and graphic novels.

Narrative non-fiction is a form of writing that is stylistically similar to fiction but used to tell factual stories e.g. memoir, travel writing and biography. This does not include text books, guide books, standard non-fiction history books or collections of humour/jokes.

What do I need to apply?

Apply for fiction and narrative non-fiction


We invite applications from poets working in all styles.

What do I need to apply?

Apply for poetry

Spoken word

We invite applications from spoken word artists.

What do I need to apply?

Apply for spoken word

Children's and Young Adult fiction

Children's and Young Adult fiction is defined as prose or short stories for which the primary audience is under the age of 18. We are interested in a wide range of writing for younger readers.

What do I need to apply?

For applicants submitting a picture book manuscript:

Our panel will consider scripts without images for picture books (although we understand if these can’t be separated). If you have any queries about this please contact applications@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window)

Apply for children and young adult fiction


We invite applications for poetry, spoken word, fiction and narrative non-fiction as well as YA and writing for children for our Scots category. We also accept entries in English, Scots, or a combination of both, for our other categories.

What do I need to apply?

Apply for Scots

01/06/23: Page edited for clarification to add flash fiction into the category guidelines.