New Writers UK Creative Writing Competition for the Children of Nottinghamshire

John Baird
Fri 16 Mar, 2018

As a local creative writing competition for children reaches its tenth year we catch up with its organiser Julie Malone.

Back in 2009, the annual New Writers UK Creative Writing Competition for the Children of Nottinghamshire was created. This year will witness the tenth of these free-to-enter competitions, which give the young people of Notts the chance to become published authors. Julie Malone, President of New Writers UK: “In 2009 we had 19 finalists, last year we had 39. All of them received a medal, a Waterstones’ book voucher and a certificate. More importantly, their entries (stories or poems) were edited and published in a book.”

The young finalists attend a Civic Ceremony at which they are presented with their prizes and a copy of their book which is a collection of all the winning stories. Those missing out on the final still receive a certificate for taking part, the idea being to encourage them to enter the following year. It’s all about promoting creative writing as an important and fun form of expression.

The competition has been well-supported by our writing community, as Julie explains, “Members of New Writers UK shortlist the entries and then established, experienced authors act as the final judges. These have included Stephen Booth, Elizabeth Chadwick, Niki Valentine, Steve Bowkett, Ian C. Douglas, Eve Makis, Sam Stone and David J Howe.”

This year’s competition, for 8-18-year olds, launches on the 17th March at Arnold Library, where there will be a special free creative writing workshop for children. Competition entrants must attend a Notts school, as Julie clarifies, “Children and young people who live or attend school or college within the county, and are in academic years 4-12, are eligible to enter. In addition, young adults who are in school or college, and are between 16 and 18 years old, can submit entries for The John Allin Award, named after County Councillor John Allin, a great supporter of New Writers UK and influential in establishing and championing the competition.”

Whilst the competition is only for Notts school/collegegoers, it is not intended to be for school projects, or to add to a school’s already overloaded schedule. The competition is for individuals, independently entering for the fun of it. It also aims to be inclusive of all abilities, with every entrant receiving something.  

Here are the five categories:

Group 1: Primary School, short stories and poetry

Group 2: Secondary School Years 7 and 8, short stories

Group 3: Secondary School Years 9 and 10, short stories

Group 4: Secondary School, poetry

Group 5: The John Allin Award for 16 to 18-year-old entrants, short stories and poems

Applications forms can be downloaded (and further information viewed) on the New Writers UK Facebook page from Sat 17th of March. The deadline for entries is 28th of April 2018. 

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Competition children

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