New writing award for young people: BBC Young Writers’ Award with Booktrust.

The BBC Young Writers' Award with Booktrust launches to find the best young writers in the UKTo celebrate the 10th anniversary of the BBC National Short Story Award, Booktrust and the BBC are launching the brand new BBC Young Writers’ Award with Booktrust. to inspire and encourage the next generation of writers.

Young people aged 14 to 18, who live in the UK, are invited from today to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words on any topic. A panel of three judges will select a shortlist of the top five stories, which will be announced in September 2015. The judges will be looking for high-quality writing, stories that demonstrate originality, imagination and creativity, and writers who can capture the reader and hold their attention.

The new Award was announced at the BBC National Short Story Award ceremony back in September when Lionel Shriver was announced as the winner of the 2014 Award.

The five shortlisted writers will be invited to attend the exclusive BBC National Short Story Award 2015 ceremony on 6 October 2015 at the BBC’s Radio Theatre, when the winner of the BBC Young Writers’ Award will be announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. The young writers will be given a guided tour of BBC Broadcasting House and have the chance to meet high-profile authors, publishers, agents and broadcasters. The shortlist will also have their stories published on the Booktrust and BBC Arts websites and receive a copy of the BBC National Short Story Award 2015 with Booktrust anthology.

The talented winning writer of the inaugural BBC Young Writers’ Award 2015 with Booktrust will have their story broadcast on the BBC and receive a set of personalised mentoring sessions with an adult author to help develop their writing skills.

James Dawson, author of the Young Adult novels Cruel Summer, Hollow Pike and Say Her Name, and 2014 Queen of Teen commented on the new Award: I am so lucky that I get to read stories written by young adults. They are bolder, braver and darker than many adult authors would dare. When it comes to talent, age ain’t nothin’ but a number, and the only difference between a ‘writer’ and an ‘author’ is a book deal. I was about 13 when I started writing and I would have died for an opportunity like the BBC Young Writers’ Award. The prize – the chance to have a story appear on BBC Radio – is truly a one-off (and something most authors, including me, have never had!)

The deadline for receipt of entries is 5pm Wednesday 25 February 2015. The Terms & Conditions and Entry Form, along with a host of resources to help writers get started with their stories, are available on the BBC Young Writers’ Award page.

Also in 2015, the BBC and Booktrust will invite schools from across the UK to shadow judge the BBC National Short Story Award for the first time. At least 200 pupils aged 16-18 from 10 schools will read the five stories that are shortlisted for the Award and vote for their favourite. The winner of the BBC Shadow National Short Award 2015 with Booktrust will be announced alongside the official winner at the ceremony. Secondary schools across the UK will also be encouraged to follow and engage with the Award by making use of dedicated shadowing resources, which will be hosted on the BBC National Short Story Award page. The aim of the shadowing scheme is to widen the reach of the Award and the short story form to young people to encourage them to read, share and write their own stories.

Key dates:

Submissions for the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2015 with Booktrust will be accepted from Wednesday 10 December 2014.

The deadline for receipt of entries is 5pm (GMT), Wednesday 25 February 2015.

Schools will be invited to apply to shadow judge the BBC National Short Story Award with Booktrust 2015 from April 2015.

The BBC Young Writers’ Award 2015 with Booktrust shortlist will be announced in September 2015.

The announcement of the BBC Young Writers’ Award winner and the BBC Shadow National Short Story Award 2015 with Booktrust will be broadcast live from the Award ceremony on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from 7.15pm on Tuesday 6 October 2015.

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