If you have any questions about the winners of our competitions - who gets chosen, how, when… etc. then this is the place to find the answer!
Here’s a brief breakdown of what happens with winning entries, followed by more in-depth questions you may have. Let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to know by emailing [email protected]
Life of a Winning Entry
- Work is entered into a Young Writers’ competition
- The competition closes
- The work is read and typed by an editor and chosen for publication
- It’s excellent, so it’s also put into the longlist
- Letter is sent out to the author’s parent/guardian, informing them they have been selected for publication
- Parent/Guardian gives permission for the work to be published in a book
- The book is published
- Copies of the book are sent out
- The rest of the books created from that competition are published
- The longlisted poems are read by senior editors, and whittled down to create a shortlist
- The shortlisted poems are sent to an independent judge, who picks the top 5 or 10 (depending on the competition).
- Letters and prizes are sent out.
- Winners are announced on our website and social media
- Winners celebrate! Take pictures and send them to us at [email protected] or share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or TikTok so we can share their joy with the world!
My child has received a letter saying their work is being published in a book, does this make them one of the competition winners?
No. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an achievement! This letter means that their piece of work has been chosen for publication which is the first step in the competition. We aim to publish as many children as possible as we know it’s the best way to inspire their love of writing; as long as their work meets the competition criteria, they will be selected for publication.
The winners of the competition will then be chosen from published entries only.
Does my child get anything for being published?
Each child selected for publication will receive a certificate of merit and a bookmark.
Do I have to give Copyright Permission for my child to be eligible to win?
Yes. We have to receive permission from a parent or guardian to publish their child’s work, and only published pieces can be eligible to win so that we can announce them and share them on our website.
Do I have to order a book for my child to be eligible to win?
No. Ordering a copy of the book is absolutely not a condition of winning. As long as you have given permission for your child to be published in the book, they will be eligible to win.
How many competitions do you run?
We run three main competitions each half-term for different age groups: 4-7 year-olds, 7-12 year-olds, and 11-18 year-olds.
We will also run smaller seasonal competitions throughout the year.
Who picks the winners?
The editorial team read, edit and type up entries, and will put any that are excellent in a longlist.
After the final book in the competition series is published, all those in the longlist that have permission to be published from a parent or guardian will be whittled down to a shortlist by a senior or managing editor.
This shortlist is then passed to an independent judge to choose the winning pieces.
What makes a winning pupil entry?
The exact criteria will vary depending on the competition requirements, but overall the editors and judges are looking for originality, use of vocabulary, writing techniques and clarity of writing.
Are independent entries eligible to win the pupil prizes?
Yes absolutely! You do not have to enter through a school to be eligible for a pupil prize.
What makes a winning school?
As with individual winners, editors and judges are looking for: originality, use of vocabulary, writing techniques and clarity of writing across the majority of entries from a school.
When are the winners chosen?
For termly competitions, winners are chosen in the following term after the closing date, once all books in the series have been published.
For each competition we create multiple anthologies from the entries. The publication dates for these anthologies can be across 1-2 months depending on our publishing and printing schedule, so even if your book is published there may be further books in the series that are yet to be published.
Competition closes: 31st October
Entries read, selected and typed: Nov-Dec
Books published: Jan-Feb
Winners announced: March
(Please note this is only an example for illustration purposes, and dates and timelines are subject to change based on publication and printing schedules)
For seasonal competitions (smaller competitions that run separately to the termly competitions), prizes are awarded shortly after publication as there are fewer books in the series. There are no school prizes for the seasonal competitions.
How will I know if my child has been chosen as a winner?
We will write to them, sending a letter alongside their prize. If your child entered through their school, the letter and prize will be sent via their school, addressed with your child’s name and FAO the teacher who entered the competition.
Independent entrants will receive their letter and prize direct to their home address.
How will I know if my school has been chosen as a winner?
We will write to the teacher who entered the competition and send out the prize.
When are the prizes sent out?
Prizes will be sent out as soon as all the winners in the competition have been chosen. Sometimes there may be a delay if there are school holidays, as we will hold any prizes to be sent via schools until they reopen.
When are the winners announced?
Winners will be announced once the prizes have been sent out.
How are winners announced?
We will write to all winners and send their prizes. Winning entries will then be uploaded on our website on our winners page.
We will also announce that they have been chosen on our social media channels.
What are the prizes?
Prizes vary depending on the competition.
Examples of past prizes include: writing goody bags, books, cash, vouchers or trophies for pupil or individual winners, and trophies, vouchers or book bundles for school prizes.
Please see each competition’s information page for the prize details.
How many winners are there in each competition?
This varies depending on the competition. The details of prizes for schools and pupils will be on each competition’s information page.
Can my child/school still win if the entry arrives after the closing date?
Yes. For each competition we create multiple anthologies across several weeks, so as long as the entries arrive in time to be included in one of those anthologies, they will be eligible to win.
Can family and friends of company employees win the prizes?
No. Anyone connected to an employee of Young Writers or our parent company Bonacia is not eligible to win a prize, but can still enter their work for publication.