Writer's Resources

Novel Writing Competitions for Children & Young Adults

Writing Competition List for 2017. Updated: 2 Nov 2017 International competitions for unpublished or self-published fiction for children and young adults, plus a couple for UK residents only. Updated monthly, so bookmark this page! I can’t vouch for any of these comps personally, but if you have experience of them, I’d love to hear from you. Good luck!

More Competition Lists:

Please be sure to check the websites for more information, submission requirements and deadlines.

Adventures in YA Publishing

Regular Contests and Workshops open to young adult, middle grade, and new adult writers. 1st Five Pages workshops run every month, and the contests are annual. Receive constructive feedback. Submissions are sent during specific time windows to be read by agents. Many contestants are asked to submit full manuscripts.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: ongoing – see website

Submit: varies per contest but you’ll need a strong pitch. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Bath Children’s Novel Award

International prize for aspiring and self-published writers of children’s fiction. This competition runs in rotation every other year with the Bath Novel Award for adult fiction. For all genres of chapter, middle grade and young adult novels. Win £2,000, plus £500 Cornerstones Literary Consultancy voucher for runner up. Opens in May.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: 19 November 2017

Submit: first 3,000 words and 1 page synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Bath Novella-in-Flash Award

Annual prize for novellas of between 6,000 and 18,000 words, where each flash (or chapter) is no more than 1,000 words. Win £300 plus publication in print and digital anthology. Two runners up receive £100 each. Any subject or theme, but must be in English and written for adults or young adults.

Entry Fee: £16

Deadline: 29 January 2018

Submit: full manuscript via email. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Bridport Prize: Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award

Win £1,000 plus mentoring and possible publication of your first novel. Open to UK residents only. For a complete or nearly complete (min. 15,000 words) novel in any adult or young adult fiction genre.

Entry Fee: £20

Deadline: 31 May 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: the first 5,000 to 8,000 words, plus a 300 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Caledonia Novel Award

International competition for unpublished and self-published novels in any genre for adults or YA. Win £1,000, plus a free place on a week-long residential writing course in Scotland (for the best novel from the UK & Ireland). Long-listed entrants will be asked to submit their complete manuscript (min 50,000 words). Opens in May.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: 1 November 2017 *CLOSED*

Submit: the first 20 pages plus 200 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition

Annual competition open to unpublished and unagented writers of fiction for 7-18 year olds. Win publication with Chicken House plus advance of £10,000. All longlisted entrants receive a reader’s report. Entries should be a minimum of 30,000 words and no more than 80,000 words.

Entry Fee: £15

Deadline: 8 December 2017

Submit: full manuscript, 1 page synopsis, and cover letter. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Commonword Diversity Writing for Children Prize

Prize for unpublished authors of fiction for children and young adults whose work embraces diversity through their own ethnic diversity and culture and/or their writing. Open to UK residents only. Win £500 and mentoring and other prizes TBC. Visit this site for more details.

Entry Fee: £10

Deadline: TBC

Submit: first 4,000 words plus synopsis of up to 500 words, incl. age guidance. Check website for full submission details and rules.

EPIC eBook Competition

Run by the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition since 2000, the EPIC eBook awards look for excellence in ePublished books. Win a trophy (!). Multiple categories, including children’s and Young Readers. Runs every year and opens on 1 June 2018.

Entry Fee: $25 for EPIC members; $35 for non-members

Deadline: 15 July 2018

Submit: a non-DRM pdf format version of the published book, plus entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Exeter Novel Prize

International annual competition open to writers who don’t have an agent and are not currently under contract with a publisher. Win £500. Five runners up receive £75. All genres except children’s, but they will accept novels for young adults.

Entry Fee: £18

Deadline: 1 January 2018

Submit: first 10,000 words, including 500 word synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Greenhouse Funny Prize

Run by Greenhouse Literary Agency for writers of funny books for children. Open to residents of the UK and Ireland only. Win representation from Greenhouse and other prizes TBC. Any age group and genre as long as it’s funny. Opening 2018 TBC.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: TBC

Submit: first 5,000 words plus 1 page synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Jhalak Prize

Annual prize for a published or self-published book by a BAME writer. Open to UK residents only. All genres including fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, children’s and young adult. The aim is to find the best writers of colour in the country. Win £1,000. Winner announced in March 2018.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 30 November 2017

Submit: a copy of the book by post or ebook via email. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Katherine Paterson Prize

Run by Hunger Mountain, the VCFA Journal for the Arts. Win $1,000 and publication in the journal; also 3 category winners of $100 each and publication. Entry can be a short story or novel extract, but the extract must stand alone and be unpublished. Opens every year on 1 October.

Entry Fee: $20

Deadline: 8 March 2018

Submit: full piece under 10,000 words and cover letter. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Kelpies Prize

Run by Floris Books for fiction in any genre aimed at children as long as the novel is set in Scotland and has Scottish characters or themes. Two categories: Kelpies for 8-11 years old, and KelpiesTeen for 12-15 years old. Entries should be 30,000 to 60,000 words (Kelpies) or 70,000 words (KelpiesTeen). Win £2,000 plus publication in the Kelpies range.

Entry Fee: Free

Deadline: 28 February 2018

Submit: full manuscript plus entry form. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize

Open to women novelists over the age of 21 for unpublished novels, including children’s and YA, but not picture books. UK residents only. Win the opportunity to attend a networking dinner plus editorial consultation. All shortlisted entrants also receive the editorial consultation. Opens October.

Entry Fee: £12

Deadline: 9 February 2018

Submit: first 50 pages, plus up to 10 page synopsis. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition 

Alternates each year with the Mslexia Novel Competition for adult readers. For unpublished novels by women for YA or children, at least 30,000 words. Win £5,000, all finalists get feedback on their manuscript plus invite to networking event in London. Next due in 2018.

Entry Fee: £25

Deadline: September 2018 TBC

Submit: first 5,000 words. Check website for full submission details and rules.

Rubery Book Award

International book award for independent and self-published books of poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction. All genres including children’s and young adult. Win £1,500, plus three category winners of £150 each. The winning book will be read by a leading literary agency. Opens in September.

Entry Fee: £36 or $60 USD

Deadline: 31 March 2018

Submit: one copy of the book, plus book blurb and entry form. See website for full submission details and rules.


More Competition Lists:

Before entering any competition make sure you check the entry requirements and rules. If I’ve missed any good competitions, please let me know in the comments below…

Note: This is a list of competitions I’ve compiled from information available online. I have no connection to any of the companies. Any problems or queries should be directed to the companies concerned.

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