BBC Young Writers' Award - Teaching Resources

The BBC Young Writers’ Award with Cambridge University invites young people in the UK aged between 14 -18 years to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words.

First launched as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations for the BBC National Short Story Award, the Young Writers’ Award aims to inspire and encourage the next generation of writers.

The BBC Young Writers' Award 2022 is now closed for submissions

Students can find out more at bbc.co.uk/ywa.

Radio 1 presenter Katie Thistleton is Chair of the Young Writers' Award. She returns to the judging panel for the fifth time as it opens for submissions for the eighth year. Katie is a writer and the co-host of Radio 1’s Life Hacks and The Official Chart: First Look.

Katie Thistleton, Chair of the 2022 BBC Young Writers’ Award Judging Panel, says: “It’s brilliant to be back chairing the BBC Young Writers’ Award with Cambridge University. Discovering and celebrating new writing talent, seeing what young people want to say in their own unique way and giving them a voice, has become an annual highlight for me. Last year’s talented winner, Tabitha Rubens, had been shortlisted for the Award before and her success in 2021 was testament to the power of perseverance and the art of practice. However, it’s important to mention that this isn’t an Award for seasoned writers only. This competition is open to everyone and I’m eager to read submissions from young people who’ve never written a short story before. So go on, get writing – we can’t wait to hear from you.”

The writers shortlisted for the BBC Young Writers’ Award have their stories narrated by an actor and recorded for a BBC podcast and published in an anthology. The winner of the 2021 YWA was Tabitha Rubens for her original and experimental story ‘Super-Powder’ written after the winter lockdown, which exposes modern society’s exploitation of insecurities for profit. You can hear the winning story here.

Short story writing resources

To inspire students and help them to get writing, we've created this collection of resources all about short stories. Get started with our guides to writing a short story, plus advice for teachers, reading recommendations and short videos for the classroom.

Getting started
document
Find inspiration
audio
Guide to writing a short story
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Young Writers' Award teacher guide
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Try these short stories
document
Top tips for writing a short story
video
Writing inspiration
video
Five creative writing tips for when you want to tell your story
document
BBC Student Critics
collection
What makes good story writing?
video
Michael Morpurgo on storywriting
video
Anthony Horowitz on writing and inspiration
video
Rebecca Abrams' writing tips
video
Inside the Writer's Mind
collection
Watch again: Authors Live - Holly Bourne
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Watch again: Authors Live - Catherine Johnson
video

External learning-related websites:

  • Cambridge University - The Young Writers' Award partners at Cambridge University have created a page of resources and inspiration for entrants.