The sky’s the limit with the Author of Tomorrow short story award

Wilbur Smith Author of Tomorrow competition

The sky’s the limit with the Author of Tomorrow short story award

Our friends at the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation run the most amazing adventure story competition for young people up to 21 years old, and they have kindly written a blog about it. Last year’s winners are featured in the pictures. The closing date this year is 30 April, so get writing!

The Author of Tomorrow is an annual short story competition and part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. It aims to find the adventure writers of the future – the next Wilbur Smiths, Jules Vernes, Jack Londons, Robert Louis Stevensons, and J.R.R. Tolkiens. There’s no limit to your imagination with this award! All we do ask is that you adhere to our very short definition of adventure writing. Other than that, the sky’s the limit!

The award is open to young people around the world who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. Anyone, in any country, may enter, and as such we’re keen to open the realm of adventure writing to authors of any culture, colour, and experience – girls can have adventures, too, of course, and ‘adventure’ itself doesn’t need to be something only the able bodied may engage with. Adventures can take place anywhere – indoors as well as outdoors, in back gardens in addition to more traditionally epic settings such as mountains, deserts, and seas. Use your imagination, but also feel free to draw from your own experience, and to subvert expectations, too.

We offer prizes in three age categories – 11 and under, 12-15 years, and 16-21 years. Prizes for the first two age groups are a personal £100, plus £150 book tokens for the writer’s school. For those in the 16-21 range, the top prize is £1,000. Writers age 11 and under only need to pen up to 500 words, but the other age ranges may submit up to 5,000 (with a minimum of 1,500 words). You’d be very surprised how quickly these words will fly by and flow to a conclusion when you’re caught up in an awesome adventure! Each shortlisted author also has their work digitally published by our partners at global literacy charity, Worldreader.

On our website we have a fantastic range of resources and inspirational ideas to stimulate your imagination and support you, from writing guides to videos, and including last year’s winners’ anthology which you can read for free. Last year’s winners were ecstatic to win with their short stories – this year it could be you. Give it a go! You have until 30th April to enter, we’re looking forward to reading your adventures and seeing where you’re going to take us next!

by Mab Jones, Communications Coordinator for the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. Please contact Mab at if you have any questions at all.

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