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The National Young Writers’ Awards Returns

FIRST PRIZE: £500 of books for your school and a trip to Disneyland Paris! 

Judged by best-selling author, Jonathan Meres

A strange and peculiar thing is happening… Children from all over the country are preparing to write their entry for this years National Young Writers’ Award.

Since launching seven years ago Explore Learning has had tens of thousands of children enter their prestigious creative writing competition, with 2015 set to see more entries than ever before! 

How to enter: 

We are looking for the best short story based around this year’s theme of ‘Strange Events & Peculiar Happenings’. The story could be based on anything from strange dreams to peculiar things that have happened! Young authors aged 5 - 14 should aim to submit a story of no more than 500 words. 

You can submit your entry online by going to 'Enter the competition' below. Alternatively you can drop it in to your nearest centre or post your entry to: National Young Writers, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW. 

We are excited to introduce this year’s judge, Jonathan Meres the author of the hugely popular ‘The World of Norm’ series of children’s books.

Since launching seven years ago, tens of thousands of children have battled it out to be crowned the National Young Writer of the Year. Last year the competition attracted over 14,000 young writers from across the nation and this year’s theme of ‘Strange Events & Peculiar Happenings’ is anticipated to attract more entries than ever before.  Children are encouraged write no more than 500 words and tell stories inspired by their most peculiar dreams to strange events that they have seen on the news.

Previous judges of the creative writing competition have so far included some of the UK’s most prolific authors, like Cressida Cowell, Liz Pichon, Andy Cope and Alan Durant and this year’s judge is none other than author of the hugely popular The World of Norm series of books, Jonathan Meres. A former stand-up comedian, he has won a Time Out award for comedy and uses that comedic flair in his writing with great success, with The World of Norm being a best-selling, household favourite with children, teachers and parents up and down the country.



After great success last year, Explore Learning is excited to announce the 7th Annual National Young Writers’ Awards for children aged 5-14. This prestigious competition has been designed to inspire children to write creatively and to reward talented young authors across the UK. This year, the competition is being judged by Jonathan Meres, author of the immensely popular ‘The World of Norm’ series of children’s books.

To support children with their competition entries, Explore Learning will be offering all local schools and libraries free creative writing workshops.

Creative Writing Assemblies (Free)

This session is designed to fit within your scheduled assembly time but can be held at any time during the day. Each session is made up of activities designed to encourage pupils to think about descriptive writing and the ‘Stange Events & Peculiar Happenings’ theme. The sessions are flexible depending on your requirements, and can last from 15 minutes to 40 minutes.

Creative Writing Class Workshop (Free)

These 60 minutes writers' workshops are run with one class at a time and can be held in your classroom, or at our local centre. They are held after your morning break or after lunch periods. The workshop is suitable for years 3 - 6 and will focus on developing descriptive writing techniques and prepare the children to write a story of their own.

You are more than welcome to book an assembly with a larger group whilst also booking a workshop with one of your classes that you feel may particularly benefit from this more focused workshop.

To book in a Creative Writing assembly or workshop, please contact your nearest centre from the list below. Spaces are limited.




"The children really enjoyed it and were delighted to take their work home.  There was a good level of scaffolding involved that meant that even those with the poorest writing skills could still be involved."

V. Marsland, Head of Key Stage 1, Whitby Heath Primary School  


"The children were all highly motivated throughout the workshop.  This was because of the relevant nature of the task, an element of competition and good teaching."

Year 6 Teacher, Chidham Parochial Primary School



How long should my story be? 

You should aim to write no more than 500 words. 

Is there an age limit for entrants? 

We will accept entries from children aged 14 and under. 

Where and when will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced on Monday 22nd June on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 


I have sent in my story when will I hear back?

Explore Learning endeavours to call entries within two weeks to provide feedback on each story. This is dependant on the volume of entries we receive. If you have not been contacted and would like to speak to someone about your child’s story, please call the centre you sent your entry to. If you entered online, you can call our head office team on 01483 447414. 

I can’t submit my entry - what should I do? 

If you cannot upload your file you can copy and paste your story into the box on the 'enter the competition page'.

Need further help?

Please call your nearest centre for more information on the competition. Follow us on social media for more updates and competitions.

The competition is now open! Please fill in your details below to enter the National Young Writers' Awards 2015. 

If you are a teacher and would like to enter multiple stories on behalf of your class, you can return them to your nearest centre, or upload all of the stories collated into one document using this form.  If you choose to upload them, please ensure each child's full name is on their work, and that you enter your own contact details into the boxes below.

You can only upload a Word Document or PDF file. Alternatively, copy and paste your story into the box below (max 500 words).

Please press the Submit button to complete your entry.  Good luck!

Competition Entry sent

Thank you for entering the Young Writers' Awards. The winner will be announced online on 3rd June 2014.

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Terms and Conditions: 


1. The competition is open to all UK residents aged 14 years and under. 

2. The closing date for entries is Friday 5th June 2015.  

3. First prize is a 4 day break for 2 adults and 2 children to DisneyLand Paris, including travel and accommodation, to be taken before 1st June 2016.  

4.  The winning child’s school will also receive £500 worth of books, provided by Explore Learning. 

5.  The prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. 

6.  The winner will be announced on 22nd June 2015. 

7.  Winners must agree to participate in reasonable publicity and agree to publication of their names and entries. 

8. Explore Learning accepts no responsibility for entries lost, damaged or delayed. 

9.  Entries cannot be returned. 

10. The best entries will be published on the Explore Learning website.