Creative writing competition 2024

About the competition

The Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition is an annual event for schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for students aged six years to sixteen.

  • Open to pupils in subscribing schools OR to members of Tower Hamlets Idea Stores
  • Pupils in years 1 to 11 may enter
  • Categories for short stories and poetry

It has been run by Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service since 2011 with the aims of promoting wider reading and literacy, and to encourage young people to express themselves through the written word. Research carried out during the 2020 competition showed that pupils participating in the competition and in the author workshops benefited by gaining confidence in their writing ability and developing greater insight into the issues raised by the competition themes.

Theme for 2024 : DISCOVER

The theme for the competition this year is Discover. Writers can interpret this in any way they wish and there are countless options to choose from. We’ve collected some ideas together at and will be adding to this over the term.

  • Prompts and a booklist to support the theme and provide ideas for all year groups will go live later this year
  • Promotional posters and flyers with writing prompts will be sent to all participating schools


  • For pupils and parents : : Ideas, prompts and other resources. Plus competition rules and what the judges will be looking for,
  • Entry form : Work can be submitted from February 2024
  • For schools – keep reading!

Register for the competition (Schools only)

Parents/ students entering via the Idea Stores do NOT need to register

In order to enter the competition, receive posters, entry forms and flyers, and take advantage of these free author workshops, schools need to:

  • enter the competition by “buying” it via the Services to Schools/ SLAonline platform (Creative Writing Competition 2024. Just £40 to subscribing primary schools to cover administration – discount applied on purchase)
  • email letting us know who is to lead on running this event in your school.
  • use the form below to book your free writing workshops!

The Arts Council grant also enables us to publish a book of the winning entries.

Author Workshops

Fully-funded writing workshops for schools

We are thrilled to announce that Arts Council England has again awarded Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service with a grant to enhance our annual Creative Writing Competition with author-led creative writing workshops for schools, Idea Stores and home-educated children.

Information about the workshops

Important information

The author workshops are intended to provide practical creative writing skills to your pupils (and teachers!) including structuring a story and character creation. The workshops will relate to the theme of the competition but the skills learnt can be applied to other projects and lessons.

How will a visit to your school work?

It is our intention to arrange in-person author visits rather than virtual visits.

  • An author will be able to work with up to 2 groups of pupils during the time allocated to their visit.
    These 2 sessions will be up to 50 minutes each and run one after the other with a short break in between.
  • An author or poet can also work with just 1 group for the visit duration as a more advanced workshop for older pupils – let us know in the additional details box in the booking form.
  • The school should suggest a date or (preferably) a range of dates during which you can host your visit. We will match you with an author based on your requirements and their availability.
  • Workshops should take place from January to March (world book day week is likely to be booked up very early on)
  • Each group of pupils can be up to the size of one class
  • Workshops can be for all ages from year 1 upwards
  • Groups can be of mixed ages, although there shouldn’t be too wide a gap between these ages in order to ensure age-appropriate content

Idea Stores 

We are working with the Tower Hamlets Idea Stores to provide five workshops in public libraries between January and March. Dates and times to be announced.

If you have any questions, please email

Poetry Slam Link!

Schools can also combine this competition with a performance poetry event! Give your pupils a confidence boost with a two-day intensive poetry workshop in association with the Poetry Society. This will prepare them for a half-day Slam performance where they’ll compete with other schools for prizes!

For more information see our Junior Slam page. The Junior Slam requires a separate registration.

Author workshop booking form



Opening Times

Opening times

Term time Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Fridays and holidays: 9am to 4:30pm

Christmas holiday

23rd December to 1st January : CLOSED