Martha Mills Young Writers’ Prize opens for entries

The Martha Mills young writers’ prize is now open for entries, inviting 11- to 14-year-olds living in the UK to submit up to 500 words of prose on the theme of “A Secret,” per This year’s competition, organised by the London Review Bookshop, marks its second edition.

Established in memory of Martha Mills, the daughter of Merope Mills, editor of the Guardian’s Saturday magazine, and Paul Laity, an editor at the London Review of Books, the prize celebrates Martha’s passion for writing. 

Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, joins Mills, Laity and Gayle Lazda from the London Review Bookshop on the judging panel.

Three winners will each receive £200, along with a selection of books and a special souvenir. They will also be invited to an expenses-paid trip to a ceremony at the London Review Bookshop, where their work will be celebrated. A pamphlet featuring a selection of entries, including those of the winners, will be published.

Entrants are encouraged to interpret the theme of “A Secret” in any way they choose. The judges are seeking lively, unusual, or original writing and emphasise that submissions need not be perfect or finished. Last year’s winners were Izzy Cooper, Flynn Alexander Hampson, and Mabel Swift, whose submissions are featured in the 2023 pamphlet.

The deadline for entries is 19 July, and more details on how to enter can be found on the London Review Bookshop’s website.

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