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Raworths’ Young Writers Competition

The search is on to find the next JK Rowling, Jane Austen or Stephen King.

Harrogate International Festivals, Raworths Solicitors and LendMeYouLiteracy have teamed up to deliver an exciting creative writing competition, with the theme ‘Every Object has a Story’.

Entries can include a short story, poem or piece of descriptive writing under 500 words. The competition is open to two age groups, 8-11 years old (Y4-7) and 12-15 years old (Y8-10) from schools across the Harrogate district.

Primary schools can also attend ‘The Big Write’ at the Royal Hall on Friday 12 June. The event will feature writing workshops and inspirational talks from a guest author. Winners from the day will get to read their entry on stage at the Royal Hall, with the top two stories from each session put forward to the shortlist.

The overall winner of each age group will receive £50 book vouchers, a giant bundle of books for their school library, an exclusive author visit to their class, and the chance to read their winning piece live on Stray FM. The ten shortlisted stories will also be shared online at, giving young authors the chance to share their work with a worldwide audience

Carmelita Ardren, head of Raworths Family Law says: “We’re very excited to be part of this hunt to unearth young talent and offer such a hands-on way to engage young people. As patrons of the Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival, it’s fantastic to be offering young people in the region a chance to get involved in the world of writing. Who knows what fantastic new writers we’ll discover?”

Simon Blower at LendMeYourLiteracy said: “Writing is crucial for all ages, not just in terms of developing literacy, but it engages imaginations, helps young people express themselves, and boosts confidence.”

Gemma Rowland, Literature Festivals Manager at Harrogate International Festivals, added: “Harrogate has an incredible reputation as a destination for book lovers with our annual festivals and Big Read events. It’s important to us that we use this platform to engage and inspire young people in the district, and we hope the Big Write will truly inspire the next generation.”

Full guidelines and a Storybox of objects for competition entries can be found online at The Storybox, which features a wealth of objects such as a teddy bear, train ticket, and mobile phone to inspire creative minds, will be on display in Harrogate Library from May – July. Winners will be announced in September.

To book your school at the Royal Hall event or for more information, contact Jonny on: or Gemma on: Places will be offered on a first come first served basis.

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