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The Best Children's Writing Contests of 2023

Writing competitions curated by Reedsy


  • Flash Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Science Writing
  • Script Writing
  • Short Story
  • Young Adult

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Showing 24 contests

World historian student essay competition.

World History Association

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international competition open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs. Membership in the World History Association is not a requirement for submission. Past winners may not compete in the same category again.

Entry requirements

💰 Fee: FREE

Deadline: May 01, 2023 (Expired)

Children's, Essay

100 Word Writing Contest

Tadpole Press

Can you write a story using 100 words or less? Pieces will be judged on creativity, uniqueness, and how the story captures a new angle, breaks through stereotypes, and expands our beliefs about what's possible or unexpectedly delights us. In addition, we are looking for writing that is clever or unique, inspires us, and crafts a compelling and complete story. The first-place prize has doubled to $2,000 USD.

Additional prizes

2nd: writing coach package

Deadline: November 30, 2023

Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Thriller, Young Adult, Children's, Poetry, Romance, Short Story, Suspense, Travel

The Atom Learning Young Author Award

Atom Learning

The theme for 2023 is 'If I were in charge for a day…'. Entrants must submit a creative response to this theme no more than 500 words. All entrants must be aged between 7–11 on the day the competition closes (10th September 2023). Submissions must be written by the child and must not be supported by an adult. We’re looking for aspiring writers, not perfect wordsmiths!

A trip to Disneyland Paris for a family of 4

Chromebook worth £250 | More prizes for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th

Deadline: September 10, 2023 (Expired)

Fiction, Children's

National Youth Foundation "I Matter" Contest

National Youth Foundation

Founded by Black women with a vision for change, the mission of the National Youth Foundation is to promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality through innovative literary programs. The “I Matter” poetry contest was launched by a 14-year old student who took action to educate the world about why Black Lives Matter. The contest calls upon students across the country to submit poems on this important topic.

Deadline: July 23, 2023 (Expired)

Children's, Poetry

The Betty Award

As one of the few competitions for elementary and middle school students, The Betty Award grants cash prizes for written pieces below 1,000 words. The Betty Award has both a Spring & Fall contest.

Deadline: May 13, 2023 (Expired)

North Street Book Prize

Winning Writers

Submit a self-published or hybrid-published book, up to 200,000 words in length. One grand prize winner will receive $10,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, three months of Plus service (a $207 value) and a $500 account credit from Book Award Pro, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value)

$1,000 for top winner in each category | $300 for honorable mentions

Deadline: June 30, 2023 (Expired)

Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Children's, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

"It's All Write!" Teen Writing Contest

Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library is excited to host its 30th annual “It’s All Write!” Teen Writing Contest in Winter 2022! Young Adult authors take part as judges each year, who then read and select the winning stories. Stories are judged in three different categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9 & 10, and Grades 11 & 12. The top three writers in each age group receive fabulous prizes. This is an ever-growing, state-wide contest.

2nd: $150 | 3rd: $75

Deadline: March 05, 2023 (Expired)

Promising Young Writers Contest

National Council of Teachers of English

Through collaboration and community, shared stories and shared experiences, NCTE supports teachers and their students in classrooms, on college campuses, and in online learning environments. The Promising Young Writers Program stimulates and recognizes the writing talents of eighth-grade students and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students.

The NCTE Certificate of Recognition

Deadline: February 15, 2023 (Expired)

$1000 for 1000 Words Contest

The Layla Beban Young Authors

The $1000 for 1000 Words fiction writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 6-12. Each entrant may submit a fiction piece consisting of exactly 1,000 words (not including title or author’s name). The fiction piece can be on any topic, as long as it is not vulgar or offensive, does not use inappropriate profanity, and is the original work of the entrant not previously published.

Deadline: February 01, 2023 (Expired)

Children's, Short Story

EngineerGirl Writing Contest


Every year, the EngineerGirl website sponsors a contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. The topic and detailed instructions for the contest are posted in September with a deadline for submissions on February 1st of the following year. Winners are announced in the spring.

Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington College

Bennington College has a unique literary legacy, including twelve Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, four MacArthur Geniuses, countless New York Times bestsellers, and two of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. In celebration of this legacy, Bennington launched the Young Writers Awards to promote excellence in writing at the high school level. Our goal with this competition is to recognize outstanding writing achievement by high school students.

2nd: $500 | 3rd: $250

Deadline: November 01, 2022 (Expired)

Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest

Tallahassee Writers Association

The Seven Hills Literary Contest and Penumbra Poetry and Haiku Contest (collectively, “the Contest”) is sponsored annually by the Tallahassee Writers Association. The contest is open to English-language entries from around the world. For the first time, we are open to published entries as well as unpublished entries.

Published in the Seven Hills Review

Deadline: September 30, 2022 (Expired)

Children's, Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, Young Adult

Rattle Young Poets

Rattle Foundation

Rattle is a publication of the Rattle Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the practice of poetry, and is not affiliated with any other organization. The author of the poem must have been age 15 or younger when the poem was written, and 18 or younger when submitted.

Publication in Rattle Magazine

Deadline: November 15, 2022 (Expired)

Celebration Day Writing Contest

The Celebration Day Competition gets children to connect with the oldest person they know and interview them about the person who inspired them most growing up. They will retell the story in a creative way to win their work being read out on camera by a star-studded collection of celebrity guests, an iPad, and a £100 Amazon voucher. You must be aged between five and 18 to enter the competition, or be a teacher, and can live anywhere in the world.

£100 Amazon Voucher

Celebrities reading out winning entries, publication on website.

Deadline: June 21, 2022 (Expired)

"Write On!" Short Story Contest

The annual "Write On!" Short Story Contest for Grades 3-5 accepts story entries each winter. All writers, their friends, and families are invited to a Story Celebration and awards ceremony on Saturday, April 23, 2022, featuring a published children's author and the top three writers in each grade will receive an award.

Publication on website

Deadline: March 06, 2022 (Expired)

Cricket Magazine Contest

Cricket Magazine

’Tis winter, and the cold wind doth blow. But it can be fun to frolic in the ice and snow. So, bundle up! For our January contest, everybuggy would love to read your best wintry tale. Welcome to an opportunity to get published in Cricket Magazine! Your contest entry must be your very own original work. Ideas and words should not be copied. Your entry must be signed by your parent or guardian, stating that it is your own work, that no help was given, and that Cricket has permission to publish it in the magazine and on our website.

Publication in Cricket Magazine

Deadline: January 25, 2022 (Expired)

PFD Children's Queer Fiction Prize

Peter Fraser + Dunlop

Judged by E. Latimer and agents Silvia Molteni and Lucy Irvine. Accepting middle grade (aimed at readers aged 8-12) and chapter books (aimed at readers aged 6-8) fiction samples across all genres. Applicants are asked to submit a three-chapter sample and synopsis. Works may be finished or in-progress.

Publishing contract with PFD

Deadline: March 01, 2022 (Expired)

Children's, Fiction, LGBTQ

Funny Festival Fables

C.A.A.B Publishin

Write us a short story about the festive period. We want tales about silly snowmen, naughty elves, and hilarious stories that would make Santa go HO! HO! HO! Entries should be around 1,000 words or less and must be sent as a Word Document with no pictures.

Deadline: August 31, 2022 (Expired)

Children's, Flash Fiction

IEW Writing Contest

Institute for Excellent Writing

We are delighted to present our annual writing contest for all aspiring and accomplished writers, ages eight to eighteen. Whether or not they have experience with IEW's Structure and Style® Writing Method, your students are invited to participate.

Deadline: April 30, 2021 (Expired)

Stone Soup Flash Fiction Contest

Stone Soup holds a Flash Contest during the first week of every month. The month’s first Weekly Creativity prompt provides the contest challenge. Submissions are due by midnight on Sunday of the same week. Up to five winners are chosen for publication on our blog. The winners, along with up to five honorable mentions, are announced in the following Saturday Newsletter.

Publication on Stone Soup's blog

Deadline: December 01, 2022 (Expired)

VFW Voice of Democracy

Veterans of Foreign Wars

The VFW is dedicated to promoting patriotism and investing in our future generation. If you are a democracy-loving high school student interested in a $30,000 college scholarship or a patriotic middle school student interested in winning $5,000, these scholarships may be for you.

$30,000 college scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2022 (Expired)

Amazing Women’s Edition Contest

Founded by Black women with a vision for change, the mission of the National Youth Foundation is to promote diversity, inclusion and gender equality through innovative literary programs. To honor the vast accomplishments of women in the United States, the National Youth Foundation is pleased to announce the Amazing Women’s Edition (AWE) competition. This writing contest is open to students in grades K to 8 residing in the United States.

Deadline: January 07, 2022 (Expired)

Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest

Jane Austen Society of North America

JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest to foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's works in new generations of readers. Students world-wide are invited to compete for scholarship awards in three divisions: high school, college, and graduate school.

$1,000 scholarship

Two nights’ lodging for JASNA’s Annual General Meeting

Deadline: June 02, 2022 (Expired)

We the Students Essay Contest

Bill of Rights Institute

The Bill of Rights Institute engages, educates, and empowers individuals with a passion for the freedom and opportunity that exist in a free society. Students in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Armed Forces schools abroad, and students in United States territories are eligible to participate in its contest.

Deadline: April 15, 2021 (Expired)

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Excellent Writing Contests for Kids (and Other Ways To Get Published)

This post may contain affiliate links.

I’ve been searching for writing contests for kids for my daughter and her friend. Many kids, like mine, want to write for an audience; they’d love to be published. This round-up of writing contests for kids and other opportunities might help give emerging writers their first chance at publication.

Let me also suggest that you temper your kids’ enthusiasm with a bit of reality. It’s a tricky thing because you don’t want to be a killjoy, but you also want your children to understand that good, award-winning writing is hard work and takes dedication. So if your child applies to a writing competition and gets rejected or doesn’t win any writing prize, encourage your kids to persevere and keep writing. (Feel free to share stories of authors such as Madeline L’Engle, J.K. Rowlings, and Dr. Seuss, who were rejected for publishing  a lot.)

writing contests

When you’re looking at these writing contests, suggest that kids read through the past winners or published pieces to get an idea of what the contest or publication is looking for in a writing piece.

Revision, of course, is essential. You can help by giving kids specific feedback on technique — revision tips here . If your child is writing a short story or children’s fiction piece, make sure their story has a story arc . And insist that they proofread a million times to be sure they’re not sending in something with errors! Check my NanNoWriMo for Kids post for more writing and revision tips.

All that being said, publishing can be a very motivational goal. Encourage your kids to write essays, short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction and apply for opportunities like these. But remind your writers that failure only means that they haven’t been published YET.

Consider carefully writing contests with entry fees. I have mixed feelings about fees because sometimes they do pay for hiring judges but other times, I worry that it means the contest is simply a money-maker for them.

Best wishes!

**Check the comments for more contests.

Writing Contests for Kids

Roald Dahl’s ImaginormousChallenge ages: 5 – 12 Details: In this unique writing contest, kids submit  story ideas  in 100 words or less. The only judging criterion, in true Wonka style, is pure imagination. Five winners will get a Golden Ticket. See the website for all the prizes and opportunities.

Betty Award ages: 8 – 12 Details: Check the website for deadlines for their spring and fall writing contests. Cash prizes. $15 fee.

Funny Festive Fables ages: 7 – 13 In this writing contest, kids are asked to write a funny short story.

National Youth Foundation ages: grades K – 8 Details: It looks like you’ll be submitting a 20 to 30 page book with writing and art that incorporates the contest theme of anti-bullying.

Dandelion Press ages: all Get inspired by the illustration provided to write an original story. 

Tadpole Press ages: all For writers of all ages, this is a 100-word writing contest in any genre. This contest offers cash prizes to winners.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ages: 13+ The Scholastic Awards look for work in writing and art that demonstrates originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Teenagers can apply to 28 art and writing categories including flash fiction, critical essay, digital art, humor, novel writing, personal essay, poetry, short story, and ceramics. The Scholastic writing contest is highly competitive, so submit your best work!

Literary Magazines and Online Publications for Kids and Teens

These publications are looking for submissions. These are NOT contests.

Hutch Magazine: A Creativity Magazine by Kids for Kids ages: grades 1 to 8 Hutch publishes art and writing submissions around a theme that imparts positive values and promotes self-esteem. Check the website for the latest theme and parent consent and media release forms.

Story Monsters ages 17 and younger Story Monsters is seeking articles, essays, book reviews, poems, short stories, and drawings.

Kidz Corner ages 6 to 12 Submit art, letters, and other writing. Guidelines here .

Magic Dragon ages: 12 years and younger Submit art, stories, essays, and poetry.

Cricket ages: 9 – 14 Details: Cricket is a well-known children’s magazine . Enter fiction, poetry, and nonfiction writing in this kids’ literary magazine. The magazine used to take submissions from young writers but now they’re offering other opportunities here: NewPages Writing Contests for Young Writers writing.

Stone Soup ages: 13 and YOUNGER Details: This magazine receives a lot of submissions, so read carefully what actually gets published for a better chance. It accepts stories, book reviews, and poems. $3 entry fee. 

Elementia ages: not stated A literary arts magazine from a library, check back to see when submissions open for poetry, short stories, essays, comics, and artwork.

Skipping Stones ages: 7 to 17 Details: This publication has a multicultural focus for its writing opportunities for kids. Send in essays, interviews, poems, plays, or short stories. $5 fee. Winners are published in their autumn issue.

The Caterpillar ages: not stated Details: This is an Irish publication but accepts entries from anywhere in the world.

Guardian Angel Kids ages: up to age 14 Details: This is a literary magazine (ezine) for kids with submission themes  here . If your work is accepted (articles, fiction, poetry), then the magazine will own it and will pay you for your work. Just be sure that if your writing is accepted, you don’t post it anywhere else since you will not own it anymore!

Chautauqua Young Voices ages: middle and high school Submissions can be in nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or flash.

Ember ages: 10 – 18 Details: This publication is searching for compelling poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction that paint images with language. (THESE ARE NOT CONTESTS.)

Scholastic News Kids Press Corps ages: 10 – 14 Apply to be on a team of kid reporters from across the country and around the world covers “news for kids, by kids.” Kid writers who are ages 10–14 with a passion for telling great stories and discussing issues that matter most to kids are encouraged to apply in the spring for the following school year.

Bibliopunks ages 13 – 24 An online literary zine aimed at young adult writers. They are looking for writing in any genre.

Figment ages: 13+ Details: This is an online writing community meant to encourage  teen writers  to write and share their work. You can post your work and get feedback, as well as give feedback to other writers. Contests are posted throughout the year.

Cicada Magazine ages: 14+ Details: This magazine loves SF/fantasy and historical fiction as well as narrative nonfiction about teen topics.

Teen Ink ages: 13+ Details: This is an online writing community with a wealth of opportunities for young writers.

Canvas Literary Journal ages: 13 – 18 Canvas Teen Literary Journal is a quarterly journal that publishes the work of teen writers which are read and rated by a board of teen editors. If they’re not accepting submissions, follow them on social media to find out when submissions will open again.

Highlights Magazine ages: ages 16+ Details: This magazine publishes kids’ writing and will publish: drawings, poems, jokes, riddles, tongue twisters, stories, science questions, and book reviews. At the time of publication, they are closed to submissions.

I've been searching for writing contests for kids for my daughter and her friend. Many kids, like mine, want to write for an audience; they'd love to be published. This round-up of writing contests for kids and other opportunities might help give emerging writers their first chance at publication.


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Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, former teacher & literacy trainer, and freelance education writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Penguin Random House's Brightly website, USA Today Health, Adobe Education, Colorado Parent, and Parenting. She is passionate about matching kids with books that they'll love.

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IndigoTeen Magazine is a literary periodical created for teenagers and by teenagers. It features the most successful text and imagery submissions from children and young people from 13 to 19 years old: short stories, essays, and novellas, memes, and comics, fan fiction and poetry, graphic design and artwork. It’s a collection of literary pieces that reflects the world of modern teenagers. Are you a teen who loves English? Do you want to test your illustrator’s skills or other visual art talents? Let your mind shine bright and be enjoyed! We are eager to hear from you and let your creation be part of our magazine. https://indigohub.net.au/indigoteen

Some of these contests aren’t taking any submissions which sucks

Is there a graphic novel contest?

Not that I know of.

Are these competitions open to kids from other countries? My daughter loves to write and we are based in India

I think some are but you’ll have to check the rules for each one to know for sure. Good luck!

  • Readers Read
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The following is a list of writing contests for kids. We also maintain a list and resources for writing scholarships . You can find a list of upcoming writing-related contest and award deadlines for adults organized by date on the writing contests homepage.

This information is provided for parents of children looking for writing contests. You should be able to find more local writing contests for kids by checking with the library or with your child's teachers. Be sure to read any contest and/or submission guidelines carefully.

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The Best Student Writing Contests for 2023-2024

Help your students take their writing to the next level.

We Are Teachers logo and text that says Guide to Student Writing Contests on dark background

When students write for teachers, it can feel like an assignment. When they write for a real purpose, they are empowered! Student writing contests are a challenging and inspiring way to try writing for an authentic audience— a real panel of judges —and the possibility of prize money or other incentives. We’ve gathered a list of the best student writing contests, and there’s something for everyone. Prepare highly motivated kids in need of an authentic writing mentor, and watch the words flow.

1.  The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

With a wide range of categories—from critical essays to science fiction and fantasy—The Scholastic Awards are a mainstay of student contests. Each category has its own rules and word counts, so be sure to check out the options  before you decide which one is best for your students.

How To Enter

Students in grades 7-12, ages 13 and up, may begin submitting work in September by uploading to an online account at Scholastic and connecting to their local region. There are entry fees, but those can be waived for students in need.

2.  YoungArts National Arts Competition

This ends soon, but if you have students who are ready to submit, it’s worth it. YoungArts offers a national competition in the categories of creative nonfiction, novel, play or script, poetry, short story, and spoken word. Student winners may receive awards of up to $10,000 as well as the chance to participate in artistic development with leaders in their fields.

YoungArts accepts submissions in each category through October 13. Students submit their work online and pay a $35 fee (there is a fee waiver option).

3. National Youth Foundation Programs

Each year, awards are given for Student Book Scholars, Amazing Women, and the “I Matter” Poetry & Art competition. This is a great chance for kids to express themselves with joy and strength.

The rules, prizes, and deadlines vary, so check out the website for more info.

4.  American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest

If you’re looking to help students take a deep dive into international relations, history, and writing, look no further than this essay contest. Winners receive a voyage with the Semester at Sea program and a trip to Washington, DC.

Students fill out a registration form online, and a teacher or sponsor is required. The deadline to enter is the first week of April.

5.  John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

This annual contest invites students to write about a political official’s act of political courage that occurred after Kennedy’s birth in 1917. The winner receives $10,000, and 16 runners-up also receive a variety of cash prizes.

Students may submit a 700- to 1,000-word essay through January 12. The essay must feature more than five sources and a full bibliography.

6. Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington College offers competitions in three categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), and nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). First-place winners receive $500. Grab a poster for your classroom here .

The contest runs from September 1 to November 1. The website links to a student registration form.

7. The Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest

Looking for student writing contests for budding playwrights? This exclusive competition, which is open only to high school juniors, is judged by the theater faculty of Princeton University. Students submit short plays in an effort to win recognition and cash prizes of up to $500. ( Note: Only open to 11th graders. )

Students submit one 10-page play script online or by mail. The deadline is the end of March. Contest details will be published in early 2024.

8. Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students

The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding work by student writers in 11th grade. Prizes range from $100 to $500.

Students in 11th grade can submit their poetry. Contest details will be published this fall.

9. The New York Times Tiny Memoir Contest

This contest is also a wonderful writing challenge, and the New York Times includes lots of resources and models for students to be able to do their best work. They’ve even made a classroom poster !

Submissions need to be made electronically by November 1.

10.  Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

The deadline for this contest is the end of October. Sponsored by Hollins University, the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest awards prizes for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school. Prizes include cash and scholarships. Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.

Students may submit either one or two poems using the online form.

11.  The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is open to high school sophomores and juniors, and the winner receives a full scholarship to a  Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop .

Submissions for the prize are accepted electronically from November 1 through November 30.

12. Jane Austen Society Essay Contest

High school students can win up to $1,000 and publication by entering an essay on a topic specified by the Jane Austen Society related to a Jane Austen novel.

Details for the 2024 contest will be announced in November. Essay length is from six to eight pages, not including works cited.

13. Rattle Young Poets Anthology

Open to students from 15 to 18 years old who are interested in publication and exposure over monetary awards.

Teachers may choose five students for whom to submit up to four poems each on their behalf. The deadline is November 15.

14. The Black River Chapbook Competition

This is a chance for new and emerging writers to gain publication in their own professionally published chapbook, as well as $500 and free copies of the book.

There is an $18 entry fee, and submissions are made online.

15. YouthPlays New Voices

For students under 18, the YouthPlays one-act competition is designed for young writers to create new works for the stage. Winners receive cash awards and publication.

Scroll all the way down their web page for information on the contest, which accepts non-musical plays between 10 and 40 minutes long, submitted electronically. Entries open each year in January.

16. The Ocean Awareness Contest

The 2024 Ocean Awareness Contest, Tell Your Climate Story , encourages students to write their own unique climate story. They are asking for creative expressions of students’ personal experiences, insights, or perceptions about climate change. Students are eligible for a wide range of monetary prizes up to $1,000.

Students from 11 to 18 years old may submit work in the categories of art, creative writing, poetry and spoken word, film, interactive media and multimedia, or music and dance, accompanied by a reflection. The deadline is June 13.

17. EngineerGirl Annual Essay Contest

Each year, EngineerGirl sponsors an essay contest with topics centered on the impact of engineering on the world, and students can win up to $500 in prize money. This contest is a nice bridge between ELA and STEM and great for teachers interested in incorporating an interdisciplinary project into their curriculum. The new contest asks for pieces describing the life cycle of an everyday object. Check out these tips for integrating the content into your classroom .

Students submit their work electronically by February 1. Check out the full list of rules and requirements here .

18. NCTE Student Writing Awards

The National Council of Teachers of English offers several student writing awards, including Achievement Awards in Writing (for 10th- and 11th-grade students), Promising Young Writers (for 8th-grade students), and an award to recognize Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines.

Deadlines range from October 28 to February 15. Check out NCTE.org for more details.

19. See Us, Support Us Art Contest

Children of incarcerated parents can submit artwork, poetry, photos, videos, and more. Submissions are free and the website has a great collection of past winners.

Students can submit their entries via social media or email by October 25.

20. The Adroit Prizes for Poetry & Prose

The Adroit Journal, an education-minded nonprofit publication, awards annual prizes for poetry and prose to exceptional high school and college students. Adroit charges an entry fee but also provides a form for financial assistance.

Sign up at the website for updates for the next round of submissions.

21. National PTA Reflections Awards

The National PTA offers a variety of awards, including one for literature, in their annual Reflections Contest. Students of all ages can submit entries on the specified topic to their local PTA Reflections program. From there, winners move to the local area, state, and national levels. National-level awards include an $800 prize and a trip to the National PTA Convention.

This program requires submitting to PTAs who participate in the program. Check your school’s PTA for their deadlines.

22. World Historian Student Essay Competition

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international contest open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, as well as those in home-study programs. The $500 prize is based on an essay that addresses one of this year’s two prompts.

Students can submit entries via email or regular mail before May 1.

23. NSHSS Creative Writing Scholarship

The National Society of High School Scholars awards three $2,000 scholarships for both poetry and fiction. They accept poetry, short stories, and graphic novel writing.

Apply online by October 31.

Whether you let your students blog, start a podcast or video channel, or enter student writing contests, giving them an authentic audience for their work is always a powerful classroom choice.

If you like this list of student writing contests and want more articles like it, subscribe to our newsletters to find out when they’re posted!

Plus, check out our favorite anchor charts for teaching writing..

Are you looking for student writing contests to share in your classroom? This list will give students plenty of opportunities.

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A Wander In The Woods invites your students to fall in love with story writing...

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Find out what lurks in your students' imaginations with Spooky Sagas, the exciting, new creative writing contest from Young Writers...

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5 Young Writers Competitions To Try This Year

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Sometimes it’s hard to find writing inspiration in everyday schoolwork, and this is even more difficult during school breaks. Luckily, there are plenty of young writers’ competitions your child can get involved in, all year round.

These writing contests range from elementary all the way to high school levels and are a wonderful, innovative way to get your young author excited about writing. The young writers competitions we’re sharing with you today feature lots of different writing styles and genres, from short stories, to science fiction, to even poetry!

Here are five Young Writers Competitions to try this year with your child:

Night Zookeeper website

Night Zookeeper - Star Writing

Night Zookeeper.com is an award-winning writing program aimed at 6 to 12+ year-olds, and proudly hosts weekly writing competitions that your child can win to be published! Every Sunday, several submissions are chosen and the winners’ work is then published on our website for others to read. Night Zookeeper also issues writing awards to first-place winners, ranging from in-program upgrades to physical books!

Each week, the writing genre is different, ranging from writing a short story about a new magical animal to poetry competitions. All Night Zookeeper’s Star Writing competitions have a distinct theme, and usually touches on current news, discoveries or international days to build their young writers’ cultural knowledge while enhancing their writing skills. It also helps writers with their time management as it teaches them how to work towards a deadline.

Star Writing Contest logo

For more information, check out Star Writing on Night Zookeeper !

BBC Radio 2’s - 500 words

BBC Radio 2 is hosting a 500-word writing competition! The rules for this annual contest are as follows: you must be a full time UK resident and you must be between the ages of 5 to 13. There will be two entry categories: 5 to 9 years old and 10 to 13 years old. The submitted story has to be fictional and has a word limit of 500 words.

The young writers chosen to win this writing contest will be awarded with original illustrations of their winning stories, and also a very special, printed book featuring all six of the top short stories created by fellow runner-ups.

For more information, check out BBC Radio 2’s 500 words competition !

Young Writers Project - Summer of Stories 2022

The Summer of Stories 2022 competition allows young writers to enter as many times as they wish! For this competition, there is no word limit and the writers may write about anything they want, from creative nonfiction to playwriting! The competition is based in the US and is open to grades K-12.

This competition includes an array of cash prizes to be won:

First place entry (gold): $150

Second place entry (silver): $100

Third place entry (bronze): $75

For more information, check out the Young Writers Project competition !

Rattle - Young Poets Anthology

Rattle is hosting a poetry contest for young writers this summer! In order to enter this poetry competition, the author must be 15 years old or younger and submit a poem of their own. The participant can submit up to 4 poems to be entered in the competition. Other submission guidelines state that a parent or guardian must sign a consent form in order for the competition entries to be accepted and, if successful, to be published in Rattle’s literary magazine.

For more information check out the Young Poets Anthology competition !

WordHound’s - Creative Writing

WordHound’s creative writing competition is in session! Your young author must be 12 years old or younger to participate. Although the competition is based in the UK, you can enter from anywhere around the world! Their short story has to be 300 words or under and the theme this year is the sea.

For more information, check out WordHound’s Creative Writing competition !

We hope this list of young writers competitions sparks your child's interest and love for writing. As always, please share your child's entries with us through our writing program , or via our social media using the hashtag #nzkwritingprompts , for the chance to win exclusive prizes!

If you have any questions or would like more information about our writing competitions or learning program, please reach out via email on [email protected] or through our social media channels:


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Young writer competitions.

Quick links on this page:

  • writing competitions for young writers and children
  • poetry competitions for children
  • one-off writing contests for kids
  • other opportunities for young writers
  • history of closed young writer competitions
  • leave a comment

Last updated 11th October 2023

This resource lists many writing competitions, contests, prizes, awards and challenges for young writers and child authors. The competitions listed are often aimed at students in full-time education.

Young Writer Competitions

In the tables, you will find many publishing opportunities for young authors across a variety of age ranges, including children, kids, students and young writers up to around the age of 25 (please note, the upper age limit does vary depending on which competitions are open and their submission guidelines).

I will try and keep the lists on this page up-to-date, but please check the rules and terms & conditions on the different contest websites before entering. I'm not a legal expert, but if you have any questions relating to publishing terms and conditions please send me a message and I'll do my best to answer it.

PLEASE NOTE: Most of the young writer competitions listed on this page accept entries from authors living anywhere in the world . The country each award is run from is listed so you know which global market you are submitting to.

Each listing contains information about a contest's name, closing date, the date they announce winners, the maximum number of words accepted, the entry fee (if there is one - many of the competitions are free to enter) and the top prize. In the notes, I try to include details of the age young writers have to be to enter.

If you run a creative writing competition for young authors / children and would like me to add it to my lists, please contact me and provide ALL of the following information:

  • How often you will be running the competition (eg, annually, quarterly, one-off)
  • The name of your competition
  • A link to your website
  • The country you run the competition from
  • Closing date
  • Date you announce winners
  • Maximum word count of stories
  • Any other details, including how winning writers' stories will be published and any theme or limitation on style/genre of stories accepted - please also include details of how old writers have to be to submit

I will add more publishing opportunities / writing competitions for children to this page as I hear about them.

Short Story Writing Course

Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children

The table below lists writing contests for young writers and children that run regularly (EG, annually, quarterly, biennially etc.). Some of them have different age categories, so click on the links and be sure to read all the rules before you enter.

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Poetry Competitions For Young Writers & Children

This table lists different poetry competitions specifically for young adults and children.

Poetry Critique Service

One-Off Young Writer Contests

Here is a list of one-off writing competitions for students.

Short Story Critique Service

Contests that have already taken place will be moved to the History of Closed Young Writer Competitions below.

Other Opportunities for Young Writers

There are sometimes other opportunities for young writers listed on my Flash Fiction competitions page and my non-fiction /essay competition lists .

On the non-fiction contests page, you will often find details of scholarships.

Here are details of other websites that list competitions for young writers:

  • Imagination Soup
  • School Reading List
  • TCK Publishing
  • The John Fox (a bit out of date, but still useful)
  • Writers Write

A History of Closed Young Writer Competitions

For reference, here is a list of young writer contests that have run in the past but are now closed.

Writing Prompt App

This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy .

Leave your comments

Please use the form below to leave your comments. All comments will be reviewed so won't appear on the page instantly. I will not share your details with anyone else. Most recent comments appear at the bottom of the page, oldest at the top.

Your Details:

Please prove you're a human by entering the security code in the box below: 7556, your comments:.

Ire B It's a good resource, thanks.

Chris Fielden Thanks Ire :)

Philbert M How can I get more competition links?

Chris Fielden Thanks for your message, Philbert.

You can check out the other competition lists and publishing opportunities on my website. You can also sign up to my email list . The newsletters I send out contain details of lots of contests.

I hope that helps :-)

Philbert M Thank you, Chris. This is Philbert. I am trying to get into writing as one of my passions that I had not taken time into. Bbeen spending a lot of precious time on social media. I think this time I can channel it into productive writings. Thanks.

Chris Fielden No problem, Philbert. I wish you all the best with your writing :)

The copyright of the stories and content published on this website remain with the author.

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children's creative writing competitions

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Writing Contests for Kids

children's creative writing competitions

This is the page where you’ll find writing contests for kids! Every contest is different, so be sure to read the guidelines before entering.

To find out more about a certain contest, click on the name below. If you have a contest you’d like for me to list, please  contact me .

For past contests, click HERE. 

Write the World (All Countries)

Deadline: New Contest and Deadline Each Month

Upcoming Contests

Ages: 13-18

Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku and Senryu Competition 2023 (US Only)

DEADLINE: March 27, 2023

Ages: Grades 7 – 12

Listen to a Life Story Contest 

DEADLINE: April 14, 2023

Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest (All Countries) 

DEADLINE: April 30, 2023

$10 Entry Fee

World Historian Student Essay Competition

DEADLINE: May 1, 2023

Ages: Grades K-12

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (US Only) 

DEADLINE: Varies by region but begin December 1, 2023

Ages: Grades 7-12

Entry Fee: None

Magazines That Publish Writing by Kids

Stone soup .

Ages: 13 and Under

Rattle Young Poets Anthology 

Ages: 15 and Under

Young writer's competition: Enter now!

We’ve teamed up with the National Literacy Trust to create a brand-new writing competition for anyone aged 16 or under. Winners will not only get to have their story published in Good Housekeeping, they’ll also be awarded £100 worth of bookshop voucher

Headshot of Joanne Finney

As part of our year-long partnership with the National Literacy Trust, we’ve been promoting the power of reading for children and how it opens horizons – but writing is just as important a part of literacy. New research from the National Literacy Trust shows that writing for fun in their free time can support a child’s mental wellbeing and help them feel happier, more confident and relaxed. Children have also reported that it inspires their creativity and helps them express their imaginations, thoughts and feelings. That’s why we’re launching a new writing competition aimed especially at those aged 16 and under.

There’s nothing like creating a story to set children’s imaginations free and get them to put pen to paper. To enter, we’re asking parents or guardians to send us their child’s story on the theme of Christmas. This is a chance for children to let their creativity run wild and come up with something really original and exciting.

The competition is split into four age categories: seven and under, eight-to-10-year-olds, 11-to-13-year-olds and 14-to-16-year-olds. Those aged seven and under are invited to send in a drawing and a few sentences, while those in the other three categories can submit up to 500 words on a Christmas theme of their choice. Each age category will be considered separately by our panel of judges, who will be looking for the most creative entries in each group. Winning stories will be published in the December 2023 issue of Good Housekeeping and each category winner will also receive £100 worth of book tokens.

How to enter

What to send : Send us your child’s story of no more than 500 words (this can include a drawing if your child is seven or under) on the theme of Christmas. Please include the name of the parent or guardian, the name and date of birth of the child, the age category being entered and a mobile or daytime contact number for the parent or guardian.

Send your entry here : [email protected] by 31 August 2023 . In the email, please include the following information:

  • Parent or guardian's name
  • Parent or guardian’s address
  • Parent or guardian’s postcode
  • Parent or guardian’s mobile or daytime telephone number
  • Child’s name
  • Child’s date of birth and the category being entered

We cannot accept entries sent by post to Good Housekeeping. See T & Cs below

Need some inspiration?

Award-winning children’s author michael morpurgo shares his tips on getting started as a writer. his latest book is the boy who would be king , illustrated by michael foreman..

  • Write just a little every day, whether that’s first thing in the morning like me or in the evening when it’s quiet. Find a comfortable place to write that suits you. For me, it’s my bed, with lots of pillows behind my head.
  • Settle on an idea that you’re really passionate about, then research around it and dream it out in your mind. I don’t plan out the plot – I let it emerge as I write.
  • When I write, I try as much as possible to forget I’m writing at all. I put it down on the page as if I’m telling it to one person only, my best friend. Try to read your stories out aloud as if someone is listening, and don’t worry too much about spelling and punctuation.
  • Try to write about things you know about. Live an interesting life. Meet people. Read a lot and widely.
  • Give yourself time to develop your own style, your own voice. It takes a lifetime. And most of all, enjoy it and have fun.

Meet our judges



is chief executive of the National Literacy Trust



is director of school programmes at the National Literacy Trust



is a presenter and began her career on Children’s BBC



is Good Housekeeping’s editor-in-chief



has been books editor of Good Housekeeping since 2011

Your chance to give a child the joy of books

Every child should have the chance to read extraordinary stories. You could give the gift of reading by supporting the National Literacy Trust, whose work in the most disadvantaged areas across the country gives children and families access to books and support for their reading, writing and communication skills.

national literacy trust

Terms & conditions

By submitting an entry, entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions and to have agreed to be bound by them. Open to UK residents. Only one entry is permitted per child. To enter, entrants must send their child’s entry to [email protected] – the name of both the child and the parent/guardian of the child must be included, along with the child’s age and the category being entered, as well as a contact number. Each entry must be the entrant’s original work. If an entry does not include the child’s name and age and the parent/guardian’s name and contact details, the entry will be considered invalid. By submitting an entry, entrants will be confirming that they are the parent/guardian of the child who has created the work and will be required to confirm the same in writing if the entry is selected as a winner. All entries must be received by midnight on 31 August 2023. Entries received after the closing date will not be considered. The first prize in each category is to have a story published in Good Housekeeping and £100 worth of book tokens. There are no cash alternatives to the prizes. Winners will be selected by a judging panel based on suitability for publication. By entering the competition, the parent/guardian understands that the winner will be invited to be interviewed for its publications and agrees that the winning story (and drawing, where applicable), plus any other relevant information, will be published in Good Housekeeping and any other Hearst title. They also agree that this material or the entry may be used for promotional and/or publicity purposes in any format in print and non-print media. Hearst reserves the right not to award the prize if it does not receive any entries of a publishable standard. The judging panel’s decision is final. Standard rules apply.

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