Here is my latest update of free competitions for young people aged between 12 and 21. As I’ve said in previous posts, there’s no better way for a novice writer to get started in the literary world than competitions. The benefits of winning or being shortlisted are numerous – apart from a possible cash prize, there’s the chance to see your work in print, not to mention building your CV. The odds of winning the top prize might be similar to a lottery win, but getting shortlisted or recognised are more realistic. I once mentored a young man in sixth form who went on to win a prize in a competition run by Young Poets – he was delighted to see his work appear in an anthology along with other shortlisted poets. Maybe you might win one of the top prizes too – read the guidelines on the individual websites carefully and always send your best stuff. And since the competitions are free anyway, what have you got to lose?
Leilanie Stewart is a widely published writer and poet. In addition to promoting her own work, she has run creative writing workshops for gifted and talented London secondary school students aged 12 to 18 and is currently a poetry editor for Ashvamegh International Literary Journal. She is married to the writer and poet, Joseph Robert.