Young Walter Scott prize for budding novelists

The Young Walter Scott Prize, the UK's only creative writing prize for young people dedicated to historical fiction, is now open for entries.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 25th May 2017, 10:19 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:20 pm
Ally Smith posing for Young Scott prize in Melrose Abbey.
Ally Smith posing for Young Scott prize in Melrose Abbey.

Budding young historical novelists aged between 11 and 19 have until October 31 to enter the creative writing competition, with a chance to win a £500 travel grant to enable them to visit the historic site of their choice anywhere in the UK and a VIP invitation to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, in June 2018, to receive their prizes.

Two runners-up in each category receive a book token, and all four winning stories are published in a special YWSP anthology book.

This prestigious prize has also programmed a series of Imagining History creative writing workshops, taking place across the UK in June and July, created specifically to give young people a chance to immerse themselves in historical places from the point of view of the writer.

On June 14 there will be a workshop for 11-15 year olds at Abbotsford House, Melrose, and 16-19 year olds can join in at Bowhill House, Selkirk, on June 19.

The workshops are led by writers and experts in interpreting historical places, who can help young writers see the past in new ways, and to begin writing or developing their work further.

Participants in the creative writing workshops will be encouraged to enter their stories for the prize, now in its third year. Judges are looking for a piece of creative writing between 800 and 2,000 words, inspired by any aspect of the past – an actual historical event, place or person.

It simply has to be set in a time before the writer was born – a time recognisably different from the present.

The Young Walter Scott Prize was set up two years ago by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, and is named after Sir Walter Scott, who as a boy sent to live in the Scottish Borders, set about exploring the countryside and listening to the stories of the people he met there.

This inspired him to write, and to later become the most celebrated author of his time.

For full details of workshop bookings and how to enter the prize, please visit