Writing opportunities for children

Hey, hey — hope everyone’s enjoying their Thursday. For once I’m not in the sea — often I swim, but Storm Doris is whipping up the waves and even I won’t swim alone in a gale. Not today anyway.

So let’s talk about kid fiction. Last week my children asked to enter the BBC 500 word challenge, which is great. If they want to write a flash piece, get published, win some great books for the school library (yuss!), and grab some glitz in London (oh-ho-yes-please), I’d be up for that. But in 2016 there were 123,436 entries of which 50 were published; that’s a 1 in 2,469 (0.04%) chance of being published.

What happened to the other 123,386 stories? How many were read after the competition? If children take the the time to write, their stories should be celebrated; 500 words is a lot when you’re little.

Are there any other really cool places where kids can get their stories published?

If you know of any, please send me a link? Once I’ve had a google and a tweet, I’ll be back up here posting my findings, and we can try and make sure that some of the other 123,386 stories find a home.

Because kids’ stories rock.

Writing opportunities for children

In alphabetical order:

Online magazines & blogs

Canvas Teen lit journal. 

Cicada Teen lit journal. 

Fingers Comma Toes Blog publishing themed prose, poetry, essays and art. 

Launch Pad Age 6-14y, authors and illustrators.

New Moon Girls only, age 8y+.

[N.b. I don’t like girls-only stuff. Really, why segregate? Girls can compete, all can benefit from reading. But since I don’t have a huge number of places on the list yet, here it is for now.]

Polyphony HS. Teens. Deadline — annual May 30th.

Stone Soup Age up to 13y.

Storybird Self publishing platform any age.

Teen Ink 13-19y, online lit zine.

Print magazines

Magic Dragon Quarterly magazine presenting writing and art by children. 

Skipping Stones Magazine (and old siteMulticultural literary magazine.

Story Monsters — Kids Can Publish Poems, articles and stories by under-18s. 

Online writing competitions

BBC Radio 2 500 Words Competition Flash fiction competition, 500 words, prizes are books for schools and entrants. Open Jan-Feb (this year 23 Feb ’17), see site for details. 

Henrietta Branford Writing Competition 2017 (first paragraph) 800-1000 words. Closes 22 April 2017.

Kids World Fun International Short Story Contest Writing competition: next open in mid 2017

RSPB wildlife diary This ran to October 2016; waiting to see if there might be another one. 3 categories: family, blog, and age 8-18y. 

The Print Express Children’s Short Story Competition 500 words, closes 31 March 2017. 

Wicked Young Writer Awards Current competition closes 13 March 2017. (Do check out the copyright clause before you enter.)


Children’s Book Guild (current / 2017?)

Cult of Pedagogy list of 13 places for children to submit writing (2014).

Sites that are currently not accepting submissions

(but which used to be cool) 

247 Tales — closed. Online micro-fiction competition with prizes from Bloomsbury children. 

Launch Pad — closed. Fiction, nonfiction and poetry by children aged 6-14y. 

The Blue Pencil — closed, to be replaced in 2017 with a new website.





  1. pjlazos says:

    Oh how cool that there are so many things for kids. It was not like that at all when I was a kid. And you know what else? You have a blog! You can post your kids work on there! They may not win anything, but they’ll have the privilege of being published. :0)

  2. TU says:

    Me neither – when I was little, we had to trawl print magazines for write-ins or competitions if we wanted to get letters or little articles published. I expect these still exist, perhaps in children’s magazines like the RSPB Wild Times magazine. It’s finding the time to search hard copy in between sports clubs, homework and book reviews! (We’d also like to do film reviews — as a parent I quite like the idea of watching films with my big cup of tea…)

    Re: publishing children on this blog, they have written on their own blog but I’m trying to also teach them to harness their creativity, e.g. to write to people to say hello in real life, or if they’re going to be published, to set the bar high and receive something meaningful back (feedback, prizes, or ARCs for reviews). It spurs more thoughtful writing — a form of mindfulness in a way — and it puts a value on their efforts.

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