Competition deadline: 16th August 2021
Searchlight Writing for Children Awards is a new rolling competition for aspiring authors writing for children or young adults. Our aim is to create opportunities for emerging authors of children’s fiction to be recognised.
There will be three categories: Best Bedtime Story (submissions open 10th May, close 16th August), Best Novel Opening for Children or YA (submissions open 20th August, close 22nd November) and Best Short Story for Children or YA (submissions open 1st December, close 1st March 2022).
Finbar Hawkins, children’s author and Creative Director at Aardman Animations will judge the first competition. He says, ‘I’m looking to be transported. I want a bedtime story to spark my imagination, so that I’ll either plead for just another page, or that I’ll be sure to dream of what happens next….’
Whether you’re published, unpublished, never written before or a storyteller to your children… we can’t wait to read your story!
How to Enter
Bedtime stories must be 500 words or less and suitable to read aloud to a young child. The entry fee per story is £9. Enter via our website. www.searchlightawards.co.uk
Prizes for the Best Bedtime Story
The ten shortlisted stories will feature in an electronic pitch book called The Winners’ Collection and be sent to numerous literary agents/publishers who have requested it. These stories will also be published in an annual printed anthology and the first prize includes a cash award of £300.
Terms and Conditions for the Best Bedtime Story
- Your story must be suitable for a young child.
- Your story must not exceed the 500 word limit, not including the title.
- Your story should be double-spaced, a size 12 font, and submitted as a doc, docx or PDF file.
- Begin your story with the title. Please don’t include any other identifying information as stories are read blind.
- Entries need to be in English.
- Multiple entries are permitted. However, we require a separate entry form and a new payment each time.
- Stories cannot be altered after they are submitted. Refunds are not given if a story is withdrawn.
- Entrants must be 16 years and over.
- Stories must be previously unpublished. Stories that have been submitted to forums for on-line critiquing are allowed.
- Entries from authors worldwide are welcome.
- Entries must be the work of the entrant.
- While entrants retain full copyright, by entering the Best Children’s Bedtime Story competition you give permission, if shortlisted, for us to publish your name, photograph, biography and the title of your winning story on the Searchlight Awards’ website.
- By entering the Best Children’s Bedtime story competition you give permission, if shortlisted, for us to publish your story on our website, in our printed Anthology (publication date: Sept 2022) and in the Winners’ Collection, which will be sent to UK literary agents and publishers, unless you opt out. On the entry form we will offer you this option.
- The decision of the readers and judges is final. No correspondence will be entered into regarding judging. We are unable to provide individual feedback.
- Results will be posted on the Searchlight Awards’ website and winners will be emailed on 13th December 2021.
- By entering the Best Children’s Bedtime Story competition, entrants agree to these rules.
See here for further information: www.searchlightawards.co.uk