YCAA Writing Competitions

Each year, the YCAA runs a number of writing competitions to encourage creativity and raise money.

Yeovil Literary Prize

Run between January and May each year, the Yeovil Literary Prize (YLP) is open to writers around the world. The YLP started in 2002 and has become an established fixture of the international writing competition calendar.  There are five categories:

  • Novel.
  • Short Story.
  • Poetry.
  • Children and Young Adult’s Novel.
  • Writing Without Restriction.

The aims of the YLP are to promote creative writing, provide a genuine opportunity for aspiring writers everywhere, and to raise funds for the YCAA.  All profits from this competition are used within the community to sponsor local young people who are studying the arts, to support various art projects, and to host cultural events.  For full details of this year’s competition, as well as information about previous winners, prizes and more, please visit the Yeovil Literary Prize website.

Requirement: Synopsis and Opening Chapters (combined maximum 10,000 words)
Professional Judge: Barney Norris (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature)
Prizes: 1st £1250   2nd £300   3rd £125
Entry Fee: £14.50
Requirement: Maximum 2,000 words
Professional Judge: Nicholas Royle (Reader in Creative Writing at Manchester University)
Prizes: 1st £600   2nd £250   3rd £125
Entry Fee: £8
Requirement: Maximum of 40 Lines
Professional Judge: Adjoua Parker (Writer and Poet of English-Ghanaian Heritage)
Prizes: 1st £600   2nd £250   3rd £125
Entry Fee: £5
Requirement: First 3000 words plus a 500 word synopsis (May include one illustration)
Professional Judge: Sharna Jackson (author who specialises in engaging young people)
Prizes: 1st £600   2nd £250   3rd £125
Entry Fee: £12.50
Requirement: You write it – we’ll read it.
Professional Judge: Hazel Prior (Best selling author)
Prizes: 1st £250   2nd £125   3rd £75
Entry Fee: £6
Requirement: for a short-listed entry by author living in Western Gazette distribution area.
Professional Judge: The Yeovil Community Arts Association committee
Prizes: £100

Children's Short Story Competition

Our annual writing competition for children takes place near the start of each year.  The competition is open to pupils in year 5 and 6 (aged 9 to 11 years old) attending a South Somerset primary school or living in the South Somerset area. They are encouraged to write a short story of up to 500 words on a specific theme.  It can be any genre, but must be original and unpublished work by the young person. The competition is free to enter, and there are prizes for the top story writer and their school.  Stories are judged on originality, plot, characterisation, use of language and enjoyment.

2022 Children’s Short Story Competition

In 2022, the YCAA partnered with the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust for the children’s short story competition.  The competition opened in January with the theme of ‘Discovery’ and had a closing date of Friday 25 March 2022.  The winning youngsters were contacted a month later and received either £30 or £15 in book tokens, while their school received £250 in book tokens and an additional prize donated by the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust.

The 2022 winner was a Year 5 pupil from Keinton Mandeville Primary School and the two runners up were pupils attending Birchfield Primary School (Year 5) and Preston C of E Primary School (Year 6).  All three were invited to special presentation events in early May.

We really enjoyed reading all the entries and hope to run another writing competition for children next year.

For full details of the 2022 competition, rules, timeline and entry forms, please see the links below:

YCAA Children’s Short Story Competition 2022 – Poster

YCAA Children’s Short Story Competition 2022 – Timeline

YCAA Children’s Short Story Competition 2022 – Terms & Conditions

YCAA Children’s Short Story Competition 2022 – Schools Entry Form – For schools submitting entries on behalf of more than one pupil.

YCAA Children’s Short Story Competition 2022 – Parents and Guardians Entry Form – For parents/guardians/teachers submitting an entry on behalf of one pupil.

If you have any queries, please email childrenscomp@yeovilarts.co.uk.

Mini-Saga Competition

The YCAA and Western Gazette newspaper’s Mini-Saga competition starts in late November each year and runs for a month.  Ideal for flash fiction writers or those who like a creative challenge, entries must be 50 words long, have a 17-word title, and relate to a specified theme.  Previous themes have included ‘Stir’ and ‘Hope’.  Details of how to enter are published in the Western Gazette alongside an entry form which must accompany each story.  There is no entry fee, but winning writers receive book tokens and their work is printed in the newspaper in early January.  Look out for news of the next Mini-Saga competition on our Twitter and Facebook pages towards the end of the year.

Previous Winners

2020/21 Mini-Saga Winners

2021/22 Mini-Saga Winners