For young writers

Your writing journey starts here!

We can’t wait to read your writing – and we want to help you to make it as good as it can be. Check out our simple five step pathway to help you on every step of the way, from coming up with an idea to submitting your finished piece. Uniquely, the Orwell Youth Prize offers feedback for every entrant – don’t miss out on this exciting step.

Scroll down for an introduction to the five steps – and when you’re ready, click the links to each step for resources and inspiration to get you started. Explore the pathway at your own pace, and feel free to use the resources in any order and in whichever ways are helpful to you.

Step One: Inspiration

This year’s theme is HOME. This is a big topic, with many angles you may want to explore – so this the place to start, with prompts inspired by Orwell’s own writing to help you find an idea which gets you fired up to write!

Step Two: Research

Now you’ve got some ideas of what you want to write about, it’s time to investigate further! We have a range of resources to read, watch and listen to, to help you start researching your ideas in more detail – including this resource on Research by professional writer Sujana Crawford.

Step Three: Find Your Form

The Orwell Youth Prize encourages entries in all different forms of writing –  poems, articles, essays, speeches, scripts, stories and even game design! Start exploring different forms, and find the one which works best for your idea. Check out this resource on Finding a Form by poet and OYP judge Will Harris.

Step Four: Start Writing!

Now you’ve got your ideas, your research, and you form, it’s time to start writing! The blank page can feel intimidating, so why not check out our Style Guide and resource from professional author Susmita Bharracharya on Starting to Write?

Don’t forget to submit your draft before our feedback deadline on Monday 1st April to get personalised from our volunteer team of experienced readers!

Step Five: Responding to Feedback 

Once you’ve got your personalised feedback, it’s time to take a second look at your piece – what might you want to change or develop in a new draft, to make your finished piece as good as it can be? This resource from poet and fiction writer Anthony Anaxagorou on Responding to Feedback would be a great place to start.

And when you’re ready, don’t forget to SUBMIT your finished piece by Monday 6th May! Drafts for feedback and final entries can both be submitted through our online form.