Wattpad and Hot Key link up to offer £10,000 prize for young writers

Young authors have the chance of winning a £10,000 top prize in Hot Key Books 2014 Young Writers Prize, which is being run in conjunction with Wattpad.

The contest is open to unagented, unpublished writers aged 18 to 25 who write novels for teens and there’s also a new section for writers aged 13-17.

Entries which have been self-published are eligible.

This is the third annual Young Writers Prize and submissions of complete manuscripts should be uploaded to Wattpad by August 16 with the tag youngwritersprize.

Wattpad users will vote for their favourite stories and a long list of the 20 most popular stories will be drawn up, from which a short list of five titles will go on a short list to be judged by a panel.

This year’s judges are: TV and radio presenter Jameela Jamil, author and Time Out journalist Tom Huddleston, author Maureen Johnson, Rachael Wing from Wallingford Bookshop, and Katie Coyle, the winner of the 2012 Young Writers Prize, Katie Coyle. Two secondary schools will also be involved in the final judging.

One of the two winners of the competition last year was Vivian Versus The Apocalypse by Katie Coyle, and the book was recently included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Top 40 Young Adult novels of all time.

The long list for this year will be announced on September 19 and the short list on November 14, with the winner being announced in April 2015.

The prize is a £10,000 advance for a publishing contract with Hot Key Books or a year of editorial mentorship.

Suggested length for entries is 40,000 to 100,000 words. The competition is open to young writers worldwide but only one entry per person.

Short story contest

The competition for 13-17-year-old writers is on a theme of Rebellion, with a maximum of 2,200 words and original characters.

Entries should be tagged with youngwritersshortstory and uploaded to Wattpad by August 16. More details can be found at Wattpad. The contest offers prizes of books plus a consultation with a member of the Hot Key team.

Hot Key Books is a UK-based publisher focusing on quality fiction for 9-19-year-olds.