Competitions for YA readers and writers


Back in June I wrote about the Wicked Young Writers Award, but what other competitions are out there for YA readers or writers?


The World Book Day site has a list of competitions, normally giving the opportunity to win a specific book title. Check on a regular basis – not all the books are YA so do work through the list. At the moment the list includes, among others, the newly released The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness and a Hunger Games Limited Edition set.

However, the best competition of all has to be its World Book Day Award (WoBoD) where schools have a chance to win £10,000 worth of books plus a library makeover. It’s an amazing opportunity for any school library but it is also a fantastic opportunity to inspire your students. This year the readers are asked to answer the following question creatively: Where does your reading take you? The site offers plenty of suggestions and ideas to get you thinking and planning. Register and submit your entry before 1st December.


The National Literacy Trust has competitions for all school ages. Their current competition is aimed at 7 to 11 year olds and encourages children to contribute to a magazine. It is called Take the Editor Challenge. Past competition are also listed so that you can see the sort of opportunities available to YA readers and writers.

BookTrust joined with the BBC for the BBC Young Writers Award – it was launched in Spring 2015. Look out for plans for 2016.

The Reading Agency is known for its Summer Reading Challenge. It is in the process of setting up Reading Hack for 13 to 24 year olds with the aim being to promote a love of reading and to encourage the sharing of the love of reading.

BBC Radio2 500 words writing competition has a category of 10-13 year olds. Look out for the information for 2016’s competition.


The Betjeman Poetry Prize is aimed at 10-13 year olds and will open in January 2016.

The Foyle Young Poets Award is run by the Poetry Society and is open to 11 to 17 year olds. Keep a look out for the 2016 entry criteria.


History Competitions with the Historical Association – there are a number of competitions and it is worth looking through and seeing what might interest your students.

The Chalke Valley History Festival runs a historical writing competition in partnership with Penguin. Check for the details of the 2016 competition. In 2015 there was also a Historical Figures Competition (art based for under 12’s), a competition based on the Magna Carta and an opportunity to win £500 worth of books for your school run by Rathbones Investment Management.


National Book Tokens with Caboodle run a number of competitions – check here to see if there are any current YA book competitions.

BT&M shares information on competitions by Twitter and Facebook. Recent competitions shared this way have included The Huge History Lesson organised by the TES and The British Museum, The Harry Potter Spotter Competition, and a Michael Morpurgo Class Writing Competition.


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