Goldsmiths Young Writer Prize


Young Writer Prize Winner 2019 Photo

Congratulations to our 2019 Goldsmiths Young Writer Prize winner, Jack Probert!

Young Writer Prize Logo 2019

Above is Jack receiving his trophy from Professor Frances Corner OBE, the Warden of Goldsmiths, at the Goldsmiths Prize ceremony. Jack won for a story that the judging panel felt:

"...stood out for its ambition and accomplishment.  Multiple layers and voices mix fairytale and realism together to create a narrative of power, skill and feeling, all within the very challenging limit of 1000 words."

You can read Jack's winning entry here!

The elements that had to be included in this years' entries to the Goldsmiths Young Writer Prize were:

  • Title: This Is The Night
  • Line of dialogue: "Can we stop for a minute?"
  • Object: a ladder

Details for the 2020 prize will be announced in the new year. If you would like to be kept informed, please complete the form below.

Register your interest for 2020

If you have any questions about the prize, you can email us.

Entry Rules

What is the Goldsmiths Young Writer Prize?

A short story competition aimed at finding the next generation of writing talent. Entries are welcomed from school and college students currently studying in the UK. 

You will be given a short brief, which you must incorporate into your entry, but you're free to interpret this as you see fit. Stories should be no more than 1,000 words, and the winner will receive a £1,000 prize.

How it works

Step 1: Register your details below

Step 2: Write your short story, using the 'elements' and keeping it under 1,000 words

Step 3: Make sure you submit it to us by 31 July 2018

Step 4: Sit back, cross your fingers and wait for the winner to be announced!

What should my story be about?

Your story canbe about anything you like, but it must include a set of ‘elements’ that will be emailed out to you. These will be themes and ideas that will hopefully give you inspiration.

Your overall story should be no more than 1,000 words and must be a completely original work of fiction.

We’re also hoping to run a ‘Facebook Live’ webinar so you can get some hints and tips on how to write and structure your piece.


Submitting your application

To enter, please complete the online registration form below.

On 30 April we’ll release the short story ‘Elements’. These will be a couple of things that you need to include in your short story. This could be a theme, a scene, a character name, a title or something completely different!

You can register anytime between now and the 31 July but the sooner you receive the ‘Elements’, the more time you’ll have to work on your story.

The judging process

Once the closing date for submissions has passed, all entries will be judged by members of our Department of English and Comparative Literature. The department includes published writers and poets whose work you may have read for your A-Level English curriculum.

The panel will be looking for submissions that are unique and well written and that use the ’elements’ we've asked you to include.

We’ll be announcing the 5-person shortlist on Friday 21 September, with the winning submission announced on Friday 28 September. Runners up will receive £50 and the winner will be invited to Goldsmiths to receive their prize.

Previous Winners

Winning story - 2017

Young Writer Prize 2017 winner Miranda Barrett accepting her award

The first ever Goldsmiths Young Writer Prize has been awarded to Miranda Barrett for her short story about two old friends’ eventful travels across England.

Her entry tells the story of Charlotte and Ben, close companions from childhood, driving across the country in the hope of finding safety amongst a rapidly unravelling world.

Along the way, they reminisce about safer times and wonder what the future holds. Then, stopping for a break in abandoned train carriage, they notice a large statue resting on the horizon which they feel compelled to investigate.

Miranda, 17, attends Esher College in Surrey and was chosen from a shortlist of five finalists.

She was one of hundreds of sixth form and college students who entered the competition by submitting an original short story of no more than 1,000 words.

All entrants were given the same title (‘Saviour’), line of dialogue and action for a character, all of which had to be included.

Miranda wins the first prize of £1,000, while all other shortlisted entries are awarded £50 of Amazon vouchers.

She said: “I’m delighted to have won this competition and am very proud the judges liked my submission. It came as an extremely pleasant surprise to find out I had won. Writing opportunities for young people – especially older teenagers – are limited outside of school so I am very grateful to Goldsmiths for creating this prize.”

Dr Thomas Lee, a Goldsmiths postdoctoral tutor and member of the judging panel, said: “The panel were blown away by Miranda’s story. Her writing showed maturity beyond her years, and provided a compelling snapshot into the lives of two young people struggling to come to terms with a changing world.”

Miranda Barrett Young Writer Prize 2017 story

Winning story - 2018

The winner of the 2018 Young Writer Prize was Sally Piper. 

Sally's story follows Edna, a hotel owner forced out of her town just for being different. After many years, Edna finally plucks up the courage to go back - unsure of the welcome that awaits her.

You can read Sally's story here.

Sally has won the grand prize of £1,000, and received her trophy at the Goldsmiths Prize ceremony on 14 November 2018.

Joshua Sombrio was judged as the runner up and was awarded £50, along with the other five shortlisted entrants.

Sally Piper, winner of the Young Writer Prize 2018 at the awards ceremony with our Warden, Patrick Loughrey.