Each year, we invite children from schools across the UK to enter this prestigious competition which has been designed to inspire children to write creatively and to reward talented young authors.

To enter your school in the competition, book either a FREE assembly so the whole school can compete or a FREE workshop which we run with one class at a time. Places are limited so please register as soon as possible to be in with the chance of one of your pupils being named ‘National Young Writer’. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your nearest centre.

Don’t worry, if you school isn’t competing but you still want to, you can write your story at home and submit it online, or pick up an entry form from your nearest Explore Learning centre. Even in this modern day, we love receiving post so if you would rather, you can post your entry to NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW.

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And the winner is…

Congratulations to this year’s winner 11-year-old Gracie Harding from Westgate School in Winchester! Lauren Child presented Gracie with her trophy at a surprise assembly at her school. She said “As I read the entries, what I could see in them was the voices and the personalities of the people who’d written them and that’s really, really important. “The reason I chose this story is because this person wrote a story with pace, it moved along and took you with it and was beautifully constructed.

It’s very hard to write such a short story with a beginning, middle and end without losing the thread. “Gracie’s story is a really fun story, it’s got real personality to it. Most of all I loved the very unexpected but completely perfect final line.” You can read Gracie’s winning story here. Gracie won the fantastic prize of £500 worth of books for her school and a trip to Disneyland Paris for her and her family.

Gracie was in complete shock when Lauren Child presented her with her prize, “I never believed that I could win. It still seems unreal. I love to read and do so constantly. I used to be terrible at writing stories until I came to Westgate school where I actually started to enjoy it. I hope to compete next year with high aims and an even better story!” Congratulations also to our top ten finalists. They battled over 10,000 entries to make it into the top ten, you can read their excellent stories in our blog post.


Lauren Child is a multi-award winning, bestselling writer and artist. She is the creator of much-loved characters including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola, and has been at the forefront of innovation for 15 years, advocating visual literacy and the importance of quality books for children. We’re thrilled that she wass our judge for this year’s competition!

And the competition will be returning on 6th March 2017. Check back then for the announcement of our next guest judge and the 2017 theme.