Open call for Author of Tomorrow Award

 Deadline Date: April 30, 2024

 Donor Name: The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation

 Grant Size: $1000 to $10,000

Applications are now open for the Author of Tomorrow Award designed to find the adventure writers of the future.

Part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, it is an annual competition open to young people across the world who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. Each shortlisted author also has their work digitally published.


  • Category 1: age 16-21 years
    • Prize: £1,000
    • Young writers must submit a short adventure story between 1,500-3,000 words in length.
  • Category 2: age 12-15 years
    • Prize: £250, plus £150 in book tokens for their school, library or charity of choice
    • Young writers must submit a short adventure story between 1,000-2,000 words in length.
  • Category 3: age 11 and under
    • Prize: £100, plus £150 in book tokens for their school, library or charity of choice
    • Young writers must submit a short adventure story up to and including 500 words in length.

What they’re looking for?

  • If you’re writing a story for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, here’s what they’re looking for:
    • An epic journey to new and amazing places, whether they’re real or imaginary
    • Themes like bravery, never giving up, and using your smarts to solve problems
    • An exploration of different worlds or cultures
    • A story so gripping that readers just can’t put it down, because of both the story itself and how well you write it
  • Please also remember that the winning stories will be published for young readers. This means that they need to make sure that the content is age-appropriate. For example, whilst danger is exciting, please try to avoid too much gory violence. Tension is also fantastic, but please avoid swearing or discriminatory language. 
  • They are looking for stories that focus on the thrill of the adventure, the excitement of discovery, and the triumph of bravery. They believe you can write a story that is not only thrilling, but also uplifting and inspiring for readers of all ages.


Submission of entry is taken to be an unqualified acceptance of these rules:

  • The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
  • Stories entered must be in English and within the word count specified for the category being entered into.
  • Stories entered must be the Author’s own original work, written independently.
  • On the date of submission, stories entered must not have won another competition or have been published outside of your academic institution. You must notify them if your story is published outside of your academic institution, or you are shortlisted or win another competition with it, prior to the date that the shortlist is announced. If they believe there is a conflict of interest, they reserve the right to withdraw your entry from consideration.
  • You may submit multiple entries. Each entry must be submitted separately and will be considered a separate entry.
  • There must be no reference to the author’s name or personal details in the manuscript. This is to ensure that the judges do not know the names of the authors of the entries they are reading.
  • If your entry is shortlisted it will be digitally published. By entering the competition, you agree to your story being published in this way. The author still owns the story.
  • They may also publish extracts of shortlisted and prizewinning entries on the website and in other publicity for the awards and the Foundation. Authors names and ages will be published if they are a winner, shortlisted or commended.
  • If your entry is shortlisted, they require an image of the Author to use for promotional purposes, including for example, website and social media content. If the Author is under the age of 18, they require permission from the Author’s parent or legal guardian.
  • They cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the competition.

For more information, visit The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation.

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