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Have you got a great idea for a story?

If you are a budding young author aged 14 and under, you can enter this year’s competition by writing a short story on the theme of ‘Fairytales & Fables’. 

First prize is a family trip to DisneyLand Paris, and £500 worth of books for your school. 

Explore Learning is seeking talented young writers to enter this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards.  The challenge is to write a short story which should be no more than 500 words.  From stories inspired by teaching a moral to tales of mythical creatures, this year’s theme is your chance to write a story unlike any you’ve written before!

The competition opens on 7 April 2014, so get your thinking caps on!




The National Young Writers’ Award Returns!  

Judged by Best-selling author, Liz Pichon

Once upon a time Explore Learning launched the first ever National Young Writers’ Award. Children all across the land took their chance to delve deep into their imagination and write a story that captured the judges’ attentions and win themselves a prize of £500 worth of books for their school and a trip to the fairytale kingdom of Disneyland Paris for their whole family.

Since launching six years ago, hundreds of thousands of children all over the country have taken part, overwhelming the team at Explore Learning with tales of time travelling bears, of magical musical instruments, of lost letters and of heroes undertaking electrifying journeys that have made them laugh, and cry.

This year’s theme of ‘fairytales and fables’ is anticipated to attract more stories than ever before as children share their tales of princes and princesses, of dungeons and dragons, of witches and mermaids and goblins and giants! 

Previous judges of the competition have so far included some of the UK’s most prolific authors, like Cressida Cowell, Alan Durant and Andy Cope – and this year is no different with award winning illustrator and author of the Tom Gates series of books, Liz Pichon taking the mantle. With countless awards for the hugely popular Tom Gates, she is perfectly positioned to review this year’s stories and inspire even more children to put pen to paper and give writing a try.

Liz says: “I’m thrilled to be the judge of this year’s National Young Writers’ Award. Competitions like this are a fantastic way to encourage as many children as possible to put pen to paper and write their OWN stories. I’m really looking forward to reading them so good luck to everyone and have some FUN!”

Last year’s victor was eight year old, Shathana Sivanesavajah from Tooting, London, who was awarded her prize by 2013 judge, Cressida Cowell.

After great success last year, Explore Learning is excited to announce the 6th  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 Liz Pichon, author of the immensely popular ‘Tom Gates’ 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 sessions. We would like to give your pupils the opportunity to participate in one of these free interactive sessions in order to equip them with practical story writing skills that they can apply to their own work.

Creative Writing Assemblies (Free)

Can accommodate the whole school; lasts from 15 - 40 minutes (as per your requirements).

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 ‘Fairytales & Fables’ theme. The sessions are flexible depending on your requirements, and can last from 15 minutes to 40 minutes.

Although the games are aimed at children in year 3-6, we have designed them so that younger children can participate too, so if you normally have the whole school attend your assembly periods, it will not be a problem to accommodate Year 1 and 2.


Creative Writing Class Workshop (Free)

Can accommodate one class at a time from Years 3 - 6; lasts 60 minutes.

These workshops are run with one class at a time and can be held in your classroom, or at our local centre to suit your requirements. They can only be held after your morning break or after lunch periods. The workshop 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



The competition is now open!   Please fill in your details below to enter the National Young Writers' Awards 2014. 

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 upload a Word Document/PDF file, or 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 Tuesday 3rd June 2014.  

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 2015.  

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 30th June 2014. 

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.