Children’s Writing Competitions To Inspire Budding Writers

Winning a writing competition as a child is an achievement that can stay with us for life. 

It can also encourage children to continue writing and develop their skills further in the years ahead.

Competitions for children’s writing can be incredibly valuable for several reasons, including the fact they encourage creativity. They encourage children to explore their imagination and come up with unique stories or ideas. If the competition has an unusual theme, it can also encourage them to think outside the box.

child writing

Help improve children’s writing skills. 

The process of drafting, editing and refining work for a competition can significantly hone a child’s skills as they learn to structure their thoughts, develop plots and use language more effectively.

If you’re a teacher looking for opportunities for your students, our Literacy Year Calendar provides plenty of resources for aspiring writers. It also provides the latest information on upcoming children’s book awards, which are a great place to find stories that will inspire your students to pick up a pen in the first place.

Entering competitions can boost children’s confidence and make them feel valued. 

Winning or even participating in a competition can boost a child’s confidence. Recognising their efforts and creativity validates their work and encourages them to continue writing.

It can also encourage a love of reading. After all, to become a good writer, one must be a good reader. Writing competitions often require familiarity with various genres and styles, motivating children to read more to improve their writing.

In some cases, winning a competition might open doors for a child, whether it’s scholarships, or simply recognition for their talent. This can be incredibly motivating and inspiring.

Although not everyone will win in a writing competition, entering can encourage perseverance. 

Sometimes, not winning can teach children valuable lessons. In particular, it helps them learn about not giving up, handling disappointment, and the importance of continuous improvement.

Ultimately, these competitions can help teachers to instil a lifelong love for writing.  Positive experiences at a young age can shape a child’s future interests and passions.

It’s important to balance the competitive aspect with the joy of writing itself. Children should not feel overly pressured or discouraged by the competitive nature but rather motivated and inspired to express themselves creatively. A love of reading and writing is something that can support someone throughout their life.

There are more children’s writing competitions than ever in the UK.

Budding writers have so many fantastic opportunities to showcase their talents, with a wide range of competitions catering to different age groups, genres, and writing styles. Some focus on specific themes, while others encourage creative freedom.

Our literacy calendar makes it easy to find competitions for your age group.

Competitions often have specific age categories, such as under 7, 7-11, 12-16, etc., ensuring that young writers compete against peers in their age group.

Popular competitions in the UK include the 500 Words Competition for primary-aged children and the BBC Young Writers’ Award, which is open to 14-18-year-olds who can submit a piece of original fiction of up to 1000 words. Other popular awards include the Orwell Youth Prize and Young Walter Scott Prize.

Some competitions provide prompts or themes to inspire creativity, while others allow participants to explore any subject matter. Each competition has its own set of rules regarding word count, formatting, and submission procedures. Some might require handwritten entries, while others accept digital submissions.

There are also various non-fiction fiction and journalism writing competitions which are exciting opportunities. These include The Hugo Young Award, BBC Young Reporter and the Global Young Journalist Awards from The Day.

Some competitions actively engage with schools and teachers to encourage participation and offer resources for integrating writing into the curriculum.

Various organisations, including literary societies, educational bodies and publishing houses, often organise these competitions to nurture young writing talent. Young Writers, for example, run themed poetry and creative writing competitions all through the year with free teaching resources available to support them.

To find specific and current information about ongoing children’s writing competitions in the UK, simply keep a close eye on our Literacy Year Calendar. We can help teachers plan ahead for 2024 with access to information on the latest literacy events, awards, festivals and much more.

If you’re a teacher who needs help planning ahead for 2024, discover more about Literacy Hive. Or don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.