The Author of Tomorrow is a short story competition for young people aged 21. The quality of writing by this year's entrants was a very high standard, making the selection process very difficult.

Writers submitted an adventure story between 1500-5000 words in length. We acknowledge that writing a short story is a challenge. The writers must make the story feel complete, with its own beginning, middle and end, rather than an extract from a larger piece.

This year we are commending twelve writers, five of whom have been selected for the shortlist. In alphabetical order, they are:

2018 Authors of Tomorrow

Archeo by Rafael Antonini, age 12 (UK)

A Journey Through Darkness by Miles Asuni, age 13 (UK)

Lingua Leoprum by Emily Catterson, age 21 (UK)

The Death of a Soldier by Alice Cox, age 14 (UK)

To the Place of Skulls by Innocent Chizaram Ilo, age 21 (Nigeria)

The Search by Clementine Jamieson, age 14 (UK)

The Call by Johanna Kox, age 17 (Germany)

The Sea Maiden by Griffon Patterson, age 19 (Canada)

Under an Amethyst Sky by Edward Sands-Grant, age 14 (UK)

Rosaline by Mehek Sennik, age 13 (UK)

Hamartánein by Genevieve Tetteh, age 15 (UK)

The Prince’s Gem by Mariam Wallace, age 15 (Sierra Leone/UK)

We would like to congratulate the all twelve writers. Each story was selected on its own merit.  While the writing had to be of a high standard, we also looked for creativity and imagination, pace, story arc, scene-setting/description and good characterisation, all vital components of a successful adventure story. 

Which five stories have been selected for the shortlist? 

What set these five stories apart was their spirit of adventure.

Together, the shortlist takes us from the deserts of ancient Egypt to a research facility in Bermuda, allows us to discover the hidden secrets of Pandora's boxes and sets us sailing to the Antarctic. 

The protagonists are nothing short of heroic, making light work of time travel, battling mythical creatures and overcoming personal obstacles, all in their own unassuming way.  

The full stories will be published by our partners at Worldreader. In the meantime, you can read the synopses here: 

2018 Author of Tomorrow Shortlist

L-R: Rafael Antonini, Miles Asuni, Emily Catterson, Alice Cox, Mariam Wallace

Archeo by Rafael Antonini

A letter arrives. Neil doesn’t believe his uncle and grandpa’s archaeological research is real - he thinks they deal with myths. They do. But not in the way you think…

A Journey Through Darkness by Miles Asuni

Aaron, misunderstood and underestimated, is blind. Can he prove that despite his limitations, he can work just as well as anyone else? His life is a reminder that he has things more difficult than anyone else. You don’t know what it is like to be truly without light.

Lingua Leporum by Emily Catterson

An elderly witch, settled in retirement, receives word from an old colleague that a rare herb (Lingua Leporum) she has searched for since her youth has been sighted in Antarctica, essential to a potion she has long since abandoned. Past the age of adventuring, she has a difficult decision to make. Does she undertake the dangerous journey, or does she forget her decades-old dream of completing the potion?

The Death of a Soldier by Alice Cox

Lilith is from the future—2045, to be precise.  Pretending to be allied with the awful pro-Nazi group her parents had got themselves tangled up in was a challenge but pretending to be utterly loyal to Adolf Hitler and his cause in 1945, the year World War II finally ended, was near impossible. Travelling back in time to 1945, she has to stop her enemies from preventing Hitler’s suicide. Unfortunately, it seems that the world is conspiring against her, despite her sole purpose being to save it.

The Prince’s Gem by Mariam Wallace

Set in ancient Egypt, this is the tale of a Prince and a sorceress who are summoned to defeat the ‘Bastard Prince’, who yearns for revenge and to obtain the power of the gods himself. The two friends must embark on a treacherous journey through the desert and survive an encounter with a mighty shape-shifter if they have any hope of succeeding.

All twelve writers have been invited to join us at the Adventure Writing Prize awards ceremony where we will celebrate the winners of all three categories on 20th September 2018. 

To follow these writers' progress, keep up-to-date on our Facebook and twitter pages.