The BBC Young Writers' Award 2018

The BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University 2018 is now closed for submissions. The shortlist will be announced on .Life Hacks at 4pm on Saturday 23rd September.
In the meantime, the judges are busy reading your entries! Katie Thistleton, BBC Radio 1 and CBBC’s Book Club presenter, is chairing the 2018 judging panel and here’s what she has to say:-


“I’m a complete book worm so to chair the BBC Young Writers’ Award and find the authors of tomorrow will not only be incredibly exciting, but a huge pleasure. I’ve interviewed many bestselling writers, but this feels even more of an honour as we will be discovering the next generation of original voices. Having read the winning stories from previous years I know I, and my fellow judges, will be inspired and enthralled in equal measure.”


Katie Thistleton is joined on the judging panel by an exciting line up of award-winning and acclaimed writers, the Carnegie Medal-winning YA author and former teacher, Sarah Crossan, celebrated poet Dean Atta, adult and YA author William Sutcliffe and bestselling author, actress, singer and vlogger, Carrie Hope Fletcher and you can find out more about all of them below.


The shortlist of the top five stories will be announced on Saturday 23rd September 2018. The winner of the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2017 will be announced at an awards ceremony broadcast live on Radio 4's Front Row on Tuesday 2nd October 2018. The winner will have their story broadcast on BBC Radio 1 read by a top actor, previously Ian McKellen, Tuppence Middleton and Star Wars’ very own Daisy Ridley. The winner will also receive a personalised mentoring session with an established author to help develop their writing skills.


The winner of the 2017 Young Writers’ Award was 17-year-old Elizabeth Ryder for her ‘sophisticated’ and ‘original’ story ‘The Roses’. Previous winners are Brennig Davies for ‘Skinning’ and Lizzie Freestone for ‘Ode to a Boy Musician’.

The Judges

Katie Thistleton has been a familiar face on BBC programmes since 2013 where she has been a live Presenter of 'the bits in between the shows' on CBBC for almost 5 years. She is the presenter of The CBBC Book Club, where she has interviewed authors such Jacqueline Wilson, David Walliams and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Katie is now also a regular voice on BBC Radio 1, presenting 'Life Hacks' on Sundays 4-7pm and previously presenting Radio 1’s ‘The Surgery.' Other credits include Hacker's Birthday Bash, a celebration of 30 years of Children's BBC, and Hacker's Crackers, a special live Christmas show. Prior to becoming a TV presenter, Katie worked for a variety of local and community radio stations, and in various roles across the BBC for Radio 4, CBBC, CBeebies and BBC Radio 1. She’s also an avid writer and reader and campaigns for getting young people to read and write. Katie is passionate about raising mental health awareness, and is an ambassador for children's mental health charities YoungMinds and Place2be. Her book, Dear Katie: Real Problems, Real Advice is published by Hachette Children’s in February 2018.

Dean Atta is a poet from London, UK. His debut collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger, published by the Westbourne Press, was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. He was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday Pink List and featured in Out News Global Pride Power List. He has performed across the UK and internationally at the Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (Italy), CrossKultur (Germany), Ordspark (Sweden) PuSh Festival (Canada) and Word N Sound (South Africa). He is Guest Artistic Director of New Writing South and Writer in Residence with Creative Future, as well as a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and Point Blank Poets. He has been commissioned to write poems for BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Dazed & Confused, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. He is currently working on his second collection The Black Flamingo. here

Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, singer, author, vlogger and, thanks to her popular YouTube channel, 'honorary big sister' to over a million young people around the world. Carrie's first book, All I Know Now, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and her debut novel, On the Other Side, also went straight to number one in its first week on sale. Carrie's second novel, All That She Can See, was a Top Three Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and a Top Ten bestseller in Ireland.
Carrie played the role of Eponine in Les Misérables at the Queen's Theatre in London's West End for almost three years and received the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Takeover in a Role. She has since played Beth in The War of the Worlds, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and will play Brenda Payne in Tom Fletcher's The Christmasaurus in December 2018. Carrie lives just outside of London with numerous fictional friends that she keeps on bookshelves, just in case.

Will Sutcliffe was born in London in 1971 and read English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He is the author of the international bestseller Are You Experienced?, The Love Hexagon, New Boy, Bad Influence and Whatever Makes You Happy. His first YA novel, The Wall, was shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2014, and his next YA novel, Concentr8, was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2016. His latest novel, We See Everything, has just been published by Bloomsbury. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Edinburgh.

Sarah Crossan is originally from Dublin. She graduated with a degree in philosophy and literature before training as an English and drama teacher at Cambridge University. Sarah taught English at a small private school near New York until she became a full-time writer. She now lives in Hertfordshire. Sarah is the author of The Weight of Water, Breathe, Resist, Apple and Rain, One (winner of CILIP Carnegie Medal, YA Book Prize, CLiPPA Poetry Award and CBI Book of the Year Award and The Children’s Choice Award) and Moonrise (shortlisted for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards and the Costa Children’s Book Award). She co-authored We Come Apart with Costa Children’s Book Award winner Brian Conaghan.

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Read 2017's Stories

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