This list of children’s writing competitions was last updated on
- Radio Two 500 words short story competition for children aged 13 and under.
- Rotary Club International Young Writer competition.
- Dragonfly Tea Children’s Story Competition – open to children in three age group categories: 5-7; 8-11; and 12-15. The finalists wil be invited to the Henley Literary Festival. £50 book token prizes for the winners and a £100 book voucher for the winning school.
- Go Ape children’s writing competition for children aged between 4 and 12, in two categories: 4-7 and 8-12. Prizes include your height in books and a £5000 family holiday.
- Stabilo Young Journalist of the Year – is looking for handwritten journalistic columns by children of up to 300 words by 7th July.
- Voices – a writing competition, run by the charity Coram Voice, which is open to children and young people who are in or have experience of the care system.
- The Canterbury Tales Writing Competition – open to all school pupils and home educated children. There are three age categories: up to 11; 12-15 and 16-19.
- The Young Walter Scott Prize – dedicated to historical fiction, this competition has two age categories: 11-15 and 16-19. Entries can be prose, poetry or drama. Closing date is the end of October.
- The Portico Sadie Massey Awards feature two competitions open to children. There’s the KS2, KS3, KS4 and KS5 Young Readers Competition (write a book – any genre – on any subject) and the Young Writers competition, open to pupils in KS3,4&5 (write a story based in the North of England.)
- FLY (Festival of Literature for Young People) competition. Open to pupils aged 11-18. This competition involves writing a 500 word story using an opening written by an established author. There’s a link to the story starter here.
- Wicked Young Writers award.
- Curry Mallet short story competition for children 11 and under and children aged 12-16.
- Scholastic We Are Writers – not a competition per se, but lots of ideas for literacy and writing projects with the aim of getting your pupils published. Ideal for fundraisers or whole school writing initiatives.
- The Benjamin Franklin House Literary Prize for writers aged 18-25.
- HG Wells short story competition.
- Inkhead short story competition.
- Laura Thomas Communications short story competition and poetry competition.
- One Teen Story – story submission site for teenagers.
- Saugus Halloween story writing contest.
- Cambridge University and SATIPS handwriting competition.
- SATIPS poetry writing competition.
- National Literacy Trust competitions page
- Young Writers – competition lists for KS1-Ks4
- The Henry Williamson Society Schools Writing Competition
- Boogie Books Child Writes Competition
- Crediton Short Story Competition – 1000 word short story competition for young adults
- Deddington Festival Writing Competition
- Little Big Book Competition – with two categories, the little category for ages 5-11 and the BIG category for ages 12-21 years.
- Mane Chance Writing Competition
- Readers’ Digest 100 Words Story Competition
- Small but Mighty Writers – Quarterly writing competitions for children aged 7-15.
- Wimbledon BookFest Writing Competitions
- The Guild of Food Writers Write It – Young Food Writer of the Year – open to children up to 18 in three age categories. 2017 competition sponsored by Pink Lady Apples.
- Christopher Tower Poetry Prize – open to young adults aged 16-18.
- Descriptosaurus Time Machine – a writing competition for a 350 word story using the Descriptosaurus as impetus.
- The Print Express Children’s Short Story Competition – open theme and categories for 5-9 and 10-13.
- The Solstice Prize for Young Writers – open theme aimed at secondary pupils. Categories for 10-13 and 14-17.
- Lonely Planet Kids Writing Competitions – 100 to 200 words on travel and adventure.
- Never Such Innocence – a poetry and art competition to commemorate the men and women who took part in The Great War – open to children aged 9-16. Entries can be individuals or as classes/groups. Ideal for schools studying the First World War as a topic.
- Live Canon: Children’s Poetry Competition – for young people aged 5-18.
Below are a series of books recommended to inspire children to write – whether it be creative writing, non fiction or poetry. This list was last updated on .
Descriptosaurus by Alison Wilcox
A fantastic resource for children and pupils aged 8-14 which helps the writer build up descriptions using increasingly sophisticated prompts. Great as a starting point for original ideas.
How to Write your Best Story Ever! by Christopher Edge
Ideal for children in primary and early secondary schools aged 9-12, this book uses humour and illustrations to help the writer to focus ideas clearly and structure stories. This writing guide is very thorough, but also very accessible and great fun.
How to Write Poems by Joseph Coelho
A plethora of fun activities which cover a huge range of poetry forms and styles. There are lots of funny and child friendly starting points and short, sharp writing challenges. Great for primary aged children at home or in school.
Just Imagine by James Carter
A must have book for every classroom and creative writing teacher of children aged 8-14. This is a stunning resource, complete with soundscape CD and images, which will transform your pupils’ experience of writing. Great for English lessons, extra curricular clubs and reluctant writers.
Spilling Ink – A Young Writer’s Handbook by Ellen Potter & Anne Mazer
A useful and practical guide for developing ideas, building plots and redrafting and improving. Some thought provoking writing prompts are included. Best suited to children aged 11+.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
On of the most accessible adult writing guides ever written. Some great advice on creating atmosphere, using dialect, and building a plot. King references many key texts in English and American literature – and for this reason, this book would make an interesting – and very readable – addition to GCSE and A level courses.
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