Creative Writing Competition 2020

We are thrilled to announce that Arts Council England has again awarded Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service with a grant to enhance our annual Creative Writing Competition with author-led creative writing workshops for schools, Idea Stores and home-educated children.

We last had an ACE grant in 2018, and are very grateful to the Education Safeguarding Team who partnered us last year when we were unsuccessful with ACE.

The theme is a closely guarded secret until 1st January 2020, but this is advance notice that in order to take advantage of these free author workshops, schools need to enter the competition by “buying” it via SLAonline  (S0933 – Creative Writing Competition 2020) and letting us know who is to lead on organising the workshops.

The grant also enables us to produce a book of the winning entries.

The Competition

In 2020 there will be 4 age groups in the competition:

  • Group 1 : Years 1 & 2
  • Group 2 : Years 3 & 4
  • Group 3 : Years 5 & 6
  • Group 4 : Secondary schools

To enter

  • Write a short story up to 500 words (KS1/2) and 750 words (KS3)
    • may also be an illustrated story or comic book
  • Write a poem or verse story up to 25 lines (KS1/2) and 35 lines (KS3)
  • Poems and stories must follow the competition theme

Pupils may enter both the short story and poetry categories. The competition deadline is Friday 3rd April 2020. Entrants should complete their work by 30th March in order for it to reach the Schools Library Service in time.

Registering for your free author workshops

The author workshops are intended to provide practical creative writing skills to your pupils (and teachers!) including structuring a story and character creation. The workshops will relate to the theme of the competiton but the skills learnt can be applied to other projects and lessons.

How will a visit to your school work?

  • The school should suggest a date or (preferably) a range of dates during which you can host your visit. We will match you with an author based on your requirements and their availability.
  • Workshops should take place from January to early March (excluding world book day week)
  • An author will be able to work with up to 2 groups of pupils during their visit
  • Each group of pupils can be up to the size of one class (maximum 30 pupils)
  • Workshops can be for all ages from year 1 upwards
  • Groups can be of mixed ages, although there shouldn’t be too wide a gap between these ages
  • Workshops will be between 30 and 50 minutes depending on pupil age

Please note that the funding is to run practical writing workshops and not group talks/ assemblies.

If you have any questions, please contact or phone 020 7364 6428

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

School (required)

We will be working with Authors Aloud UK to provide authors for these workshops. Your name, school and email address provided above will be supplied to Authors Aloud UK. Please tick the consent button below to confirm that you authorise us to use you information in this way. If you do not consent, we will not be able to fulfill your request for an author visit.

I accept.

Booking your workshops
An author / poet will be able to see up to two groups during their visit to your school.
The maximum group size is the equivalent of one class.
Please complete the following fields.

Dates available for your visit (please specify AM or PM if you have a preference)
Workshops should take place from January to early March
The week beginning 2nd March 2020 is not available for bookings.

This visit should focus on (choose one)
 Story writing Poetry

Session 1:
Children from year group(s)
will be present in the first session.

Session 2:
Children from year group(s)
will be present in the first session.

Any other information

An author will be selected based on the combination of requirements specified above.
If no author is available that meets these requirements, you will be contacted to discuss alternative arrangements.

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Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services (including HEC Global Learning Centre) enters into a service level agreement with schools to provide a range of resources and services to staff in those schools. We use information provided by those teachers to contact them about services, projects and events in order to fulfil the terms of the service level agreement.
To request changes to any information provided, please email

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