The Author of Tomorrow is designed to find the adventure writers of the future. Part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, it is an annual competition open to young people, aged 21 and under, who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. 

The award is run in partnership with Worldreader, a charity on a mission to make everyone a reader. Written by young people, for young people to read, and judged by a panel of young readers, the Author of Tomorrow plays its part in improving global literacy levels. 

How to enter?

The 2019 Author of Tomorrow is now closed. Each of the stories are being read and reviewed, and the shortlist will be announced by 19th July 2019.

If you are interested in entering the award in 2020, young writers must enter the competition within the following three age categories:

Category 1: age 16-21 years

Prize: £1,000

Young writers must submit a short adventure story between 1500-5000 words in length

Category 2: age 12-15 years

Prize: £100 plus £150 in book tokens for their school, library or charity of choice

Young writers must submit a short adventure story between 1500-5000 words in length

Category 3: age 11 and under

Prize: £100 plus £150 in book tokens for their school, library or charity of choice

Young writers must submit a short adventure story up to 500 words in length

What is an adventure story? 

There are a few simple ingredients that make up an adventure story. Your story can take place in any world, so long as it: 

  • Takes the reader on an epic journey, exploring new horizons – be they historical or geographical
  • Explores the themes of courage, endurance and resourcefulness
  • Allows readers to connect with a different reality or culture

What happens once you submit a story? 

We work with a team of readers to provide feedback to all the writers who enter the competition. We work with these readers to identify the stories that best fit the guidelines for what an adventure is and determine a ten-strong shortlist. 

These ten young writers will get to work with an editor before having their work digitally published in an anthology available in Worldreader's open library. They will also receive a certificate to celebrate their achievement.

These stories will then be read by our team of young judges who will decide the winner of the 2019 Author of Tomorrow, to be announced at our award ceremony in London, on 12th September 2019.

To receive reminders and be kept up-to-date with other news relating to the Adventure Writing Prize, you can sign up to our mailing list. 

You can visit our Author of Tomorrow blog for details on the young writers of 2018.