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Short Story Prize 2017
Re-imagining fairy tales

A competition by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Bloomsbury Children’s Publishing

The competition is now closed for entries. We will be in contact with everyone who entered in September when the judges have made their decisions.

We are calling on budding children’s fiction writers to recreate a classic fairy tale, with the chance to have their work published. 

Our new writing competition challenges unpublished authors to capture children’s imaginations with a short story that gives a well-known fairy tale a modern twist. Entries should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words, aimed at children aged 8 to 12. 

The National Literacy Trust gives books to children in the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, helping them enjoy reading. Exciting, engaging and inspiring literature is vital to our work, so we've launched our third writing competition with Bloomsbury Children's Publishing to help uncover new children’s storytelling talent.

The prizes

  • The top 10 winning stories will be published in an ebook anthology by Bloomsbury Publishing, the distinguished publishers of J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman and Louis Sachar 
  • A prize of £200 per winning story
  • Use of the “Short Story Prize 2017 Winner” logo for the winners' website, social media and publications
  • Publicity via Bloomsbury's and the National Literacy Trust's communication channels

The ebook anthology will be sold by Bloomsbury with the royalties from the sales donated to the National Literacy Trust, to help us continue our work.

Entries must be submitted by midnight on 25 June 2017. All entrants will receive exclusive writing tips from an award-winning children’s author.  

Entry fees

All proceeds from entry fees will help us to continue our vital work improving literacy across the country.

How to enter

  • All entries must be submitted by email, using the official template. A link for this template will be emailed to you once you have paid your entry fee
  • Entrants must be aged 18+ and must be previously unpublished
  • Entrants must submit a 2,000-4,000 word children’s story, targeted at children aged 8 to 12, with a 350 word synopsis, themed around re-imagining fairy tales

Entries must also be:

  • Written in English
  • Typed in font Arial, 12pt, black
  • Double spaced
  • Not include the author’s name anywhere in the story other than the first page of the form
  • Submitted using the template provided on receipt of your submission fee and saved as “Author_Name_Title_of_Story”, e.g. “P_L_Travers_Mary_Poppins”
  • Emailed to by midnight 25 June 2017


Early rounds of the competition will be judged by National Literacy Trust experts, with the winners selected from the shortlist by a panel of literary judges, who will select 10 winning entries to be compiled into an anthology which will be published by Bloomsbury as an ebook.

Terms and conditions

The magic of fairy tales

For decades, fairy tales have been used to help children and adults better understand themselves and the world around them. They traditionally contain magical elements, good and evil characters, enchanted settings, fantastical creatures and an explicit problem that eventually gets resolved.


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.