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Opportunities for young writers

Opportunities for young writers, illustrators, storytellers and spoken word artists based in Scotland

We've gathered together writing opportunities and workshops from places 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. Most of them are aimed at teenagers but we will share opportunities here that include younger age groups too.

If you know of any opportunities you’d like to be listed here please contact us at teen@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window)

No Deadline

Kelso Writers: Creative Writing for Well-being


BBC Young Writers' Award 2023

Cymera Festival Short Story Competition

Anne Brown Essay Prize

BBC Young Reporter Competition

Royal Mint Museum Short Story Competition


Scotland's Next Generation Young Makars


The Martha Mills Young Writers’ Prize


The Short Story

Film Stories Junior

Blue Things Zine

Braw Words

Monthly competitions

The John Byrne Award

50 Word Fiction

Annual competitions

Words That Burn

Rattle Young Poets Anthology

One Teen Story

Book Groups

Cactus Book Group(this will open in a new window) - a group for 16 - 26 year olds in the Highlands and North East who are isolated due to their health.


Wirdsmit (this will open in a new window)– an online workshop based in Orkney with writing prompts and activities. Aimed at 8–14 year olds.

Write with Rachel(this will open in a new window) – a free series of writing workshops aimed at children and teenagers.

The Writers’ Block(this will open in a new window) – online sessions for children across different age groups.

Haddington Library(this will open in a new window), East Lothian – a writing group run by Simon Brown (Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awardee) . Click on the link to email him for more details.

Central Library(this will open in a new window), Edinburgh - a writing group for 16 - 19 year olds, meeting fortnightly on Wednesdays in the Board Room at Central Library from 4 - 5.15pm. No booking needed. All abilities welcome – from keen writers to complete beginners. You’re invited to bring along a short piece of your writing, but please note that this is optional. Snacks will be provided!

Spark Education Programme(this will open in a new window) – an education programme aimed at introducing teenagers to spoken word, including resources for teachers.

Scottish Youth Poetry Slam Digital Writing Group(this will open in a new window) - monthly workshops with industry professionals for 14 - 17 year olds.

Young Writers' Cafe(this will open in a new window), Beauly, Highlands - monthly tutored sessions with an acclaimed writer. Open writing space (supported at all times by the team at Moniack Mhor) available outwith these sessions.

Performing Opportunities

We maintain a list of spoken word and poetry nights(this will open in a new window) throughout Scotland. Some of them welcome under eighteens.