What makes a great adventure story? 

When we think about adventure, we think about quests that seem impossible, thrilling action and facing big challenges. We think about stories that keep us totally hooked, holding our breath through to the last sentence. We think adventure stories should be like going on an amazing journey that you never want to end.

Perhaps you've escaped with Ralph and Robyn in Prey Zone, or joined Harry Potter on his magical adventures at Hogwarts? Perhaps you've tagged along with Percy Jackson as he battled mythological creatures, or followed Katniss Everdeen as she fought for survival in The Hunger Games? The thing that makes all of these stories epic adventures is that they take you on a wild ride, full of excitement and wonder.

If you're writing a story for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, here's what we're looking for:

  • An epic journey to new and amazing places, whether they're real or imaginary
  • Themes like bravery, never giving up, and using your smarts to solve problems
  • An exploration of different worlds or cultures
  • A story so gripping that readers just can't put it down, because of both the story itself and how well you write it

Please also remember that the winning stories will be published for young readers. This means that we need to make sure that the content is age-appropriate. For example, whilst danger is exciting, please try to avoid too much gory violence. Tension is also fantastic, but please avoid swearing or discriminatory language.  

We are looking for stories that focus on the thrill of the adventure, the excitement of discovery, and the triumph of bravery. We believe you can write a story that is not only thrilling, but also uplifting and inspiring for readers of all ages.

We can't wait to read your stories. If you have any questions, please contact Charlotte, our Prize Manager.