The Young Walter Scott Prize is the UK’s only creative writing prize dedicated to historical fiction. If you are aged between 11 and 19, and have a story to tell that is set in the past, this prize is for you!
We are now open for Entries!
The 2017 Young Walter Scott Prize has opened for entries. We’re looking for a piece of creative writing between 800 and 2000 words, inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person. It just has to be set in a time before you were born – a time recognisably different from the present. By creative writing we mean prose stories, poetry or drama – and they can be in the form of diaries, letters of reportage – whatever inspires you!
Entries will be judged in two categories – 11 to 15 yrs and 16 to 19 yrs. The winners of each category will be offered a travel and research grant to further explore historical places in the UK, and an invitation to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June 2018, to receive their prizes from the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. Two runners-up in each category receive a £100 book token, and all four winning stories are published in a special YWSP anthology book.
All the details, and prize rules, are on our How To Enter page. To help get you started, you can find details of our exciting Imagining History programme of creative writing workshops in historic and inspiring locations, on our Inspirations page. There you will also find inspiration and tips from published authors and from the directors of the YWSP.
The closing date for this year’s competition is 31st October 2017.
We look forward to receiving your entries!
Imagining History creative writing events
Come on an Adventure in Time Travel!
The link between the hard facts of history and the creative arc of writing fiction is sometimes hard to make. We run a programme of creative writing workshops that take place in historical places, called Imagining History. In these workshops, groups of young writers, guided by a professional writer, have special access to historic buildings, sites and landscapes, to do some active exploring and writing, and to be introduced to innovative and unexpected ways of finding the stories lurking there.
The YWSP is building partnerships with organisations such as the National Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Young Norfolk Arts Trust and the Heritage Education Trust to create unique access-all-areas opportunities for young writers, all over the country. We are also developing events for teachers and librarians.
In 2017, YWSP’s director Alan Caig Wilson has been developing Imagining History events in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, the Isle of Man, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cornwall. Go to our Inspirations page to find out whether there is an Imagining History workshop happening near you!
Alan would love to hear from you if you’re interested in attending or hosting an Imagining History event. Please email him at YWSPrize@outlook.com
Our 2016 winners
The four winners of the Young Walter Scott Prize 2016 were announced in March. You can download their stories by clicking the links below, and we will also be publishing a printed anthology of their work which will be free on request!
Our Fabulous Four winners are:
11-15 Age Group
Winner: Demelza Mason for Smuggler’s Moon
Runner-up: Sophia Bassi for Dear Mother
16-19 Age Group
Winner: Alice Sargent for The Greatest Gift
Runner-up: Gregory Davison for Marching for the Dream
Congratulations Demelza, Sophia, Alice and Gregory! And thanks to everyone who entered the Prize in 2016: the judges were thrilled with the standard of submissions.
The two category winners have been invited by the Duchess of Buccleuch to the Borders Book Festival in June this year, to meet published writers and join in all the fun of the festival, as well as be presented with their Prizes.
You can find out more about the winners and their stories on our News page.