This year, summer might look a bit different. We’re all spending more time at home and with the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to find ways to keep busy and get creative.

Taking part in a writing competition can be a great way to begin writing. It’s the perfect way to test an idea and practise writing to a theme. We’d like to tell you about two we’re involved with this summer and beyond.

The International Agatha Christie Festival Mystery Short Story competition

Are you the next king or queen of crime? Once again, the International Agatha Christie Festival invites children and young people between 8 and 18 years of age who live or go to school or college in Devon, to enter a competition to find the county’s most promising young writers.

It’s free to enter

There are two categories: 8-13 years old; and 14-18 years old.

The winner in each category will win an Apple iPad Mini™ and the winner and runner-up in the older category will also receive a copy of Howdunnit! A Masterclass in the Craft of Crime Writing, featuring advice from over 90 writers.

It’s easy to enter

1 Write a short story of up to 1,000 words involving a mystery of some kind.

2 Submit your story by email. Full details online, where you can also read the full terms and conditions.

Deadline: 16th August 2020

Literature Works is pleased to be a partner on this competition.


Quay Words Flash Fiction Competition for Young Writers – ‘Trading Places’ 

If you’re aged between 10 and 18-years, send us your Flash Fiction (just 250 or 500 words)  on the theme of ‘Trading Places’. There are two age categories – 10-14 years and 14-18 years – with cash prizes in each category of £200, £100 and £50, plus the chance to be published and to perform your work at Exeter Custom House.

We are looking for your inventive story, with a maximum word count of 500 words in the 10-14 year age-category and 250 words in the 14-18 year age-category.

We chose the theme ‘Trading Places’ because it opens up all sorts of possibilities. It invites us to think about other people’s lives and to put ourselves in their shoes. It echoes the trading past of Exeter Custom House on the Quayside where Quay Words is based. It links to the idea of a place, which might be a landmark historic building like Exeter Custom House, or might be the front room of your own home. We hope it frees your imagination to roam far and wide, exploring possibilities in much the same way as trading ships once sailed the globe from Exeter Custom House, linking Exeter to the whole wide world.

Do get writing. You can find out more about Flash Fiction here, from our friends at the world-renowned Bridport Prize. You can view the full terms and conditions here and enter the competition here.


We hope you’ll feel inspired to put pen to paper this summer!