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Get into Writing: Competitions

Written by Laura FraineLaura Fraine

Getting noticed in any industry is tough, but the world of writing is even harder than most. Along with the usual advice to write a lot, read a lot and jump at all opportunities which come your way, there are a few tried and tested methods which can get you some credits on your writing CV.

One is ENTERING COMPETITIONS. Winning or being commended in any competition will obviously make you stand out, and you’ll win prizes. But competitions specifically for young people are about more than just prizes: often they are a route to publication opportunities, development opportunities (such as mentoring or residentials), and networking opportunities too.

And even if you’re not the winner, entering competitions is also a great way to get disciplined: it’s a reason to finish and edit your work, and to start getting used to following guidelines and submission criteria.

Poetry Business New Poets Prize

 “For writers between the ages of 16 and 22 (inclusive) and running alongside the main Poetry Business competition.”

Who it’s for: Poets aged 16-22

Where you have to be from: UK

What you have to do: Submit short collections of 12 pages of poems

What you win: Four outstanding collections will be selected to receive mentoring, readings, and publication in The North. One of the four collections will be published as a pamphlet by smith|doorstop, and two winners will receive a place on an Arvon residential of their choice.

Deadline: Friday 1st March 2019

Details: HERE

NOTE: THERE IS AN ENTRY FEE!

New Writing North Young Writers Award

An award for the most promising young writer (aged 12-18) of fiction, prose or creative non-fiction from the North of England. We accept writing in any creative form including prose, poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, songwriting and rap.

Who it’s for: Young writers aged 12-18

Where you have to be from: North of England

What you have to do: Submit a sample of your creative work (up to 2000 words)

What you win: £200 and an invite to the prestigious Northern Writers Awards

Deadline: 7 February 2019

Details:HERE

Matthew Hale Award

The Matthew Hale Award is open to young writers who show promise but lack the opportunity to pursue their talent. We accept writing in any creative form including prose, poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, songwriting and rap.

Who it’s for: Young writers aged 12-18

Where you have to be from: North of England

What you have to do: Submit a sample of your creative work (up to 2000 words)

What you win: Package of support created by New Writing North (worth £500) and an invite to the prestigious Northern Writers Awards

Deadline: 7 February 2019

DetailsHERE

500 Words

“One of the most successful story-writing competitions for kids in the world.”

Who it’s for: Young writers aged 5-13

Where you have to be from: UK

What you have to do: Submit a story with 500 words. Any subject, any genre.

What you win: Books and tickets to the award ceremony. Plus, winning stories are read on the radio by a celebrity.

Deadline: Reopens January 2019

DetailsHERE

Wicked Young Writers’ Award

Described as: “established by the long-running musical Wicked in order to link the important messages of the production with a competition that would inspire young people to use their writing to look at life a little differently”

Who it’s for: Writers aged 5-25 (there are LOTS of categories)

Where you have to be from: UK

What you have to do: Submit a story, poem or drama

What you win: Four tickets to see the London production of WICKED at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Meet cast members after the show along with an exclusive backstage tour. Plus £50 worth of books/eBooks tokens to spend.

Deadline: Monday 18th March 2019

Details:HERE

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