KBF Young Writers’ Competition 2022

Calling all young writers!

Kingsmead Book Fair launches Young Writers’ Competition – open to all school children in South Africa

Writing competitions are one of the best ways to get discovered as a young writer.  Kingsmead College, a leading girls’ school in Johannesburg, is proud to launch the inaugural KBF Young Writers’ Competition.  Celebrating the talents of young writers across our country, the competition is open to school children aged 6 – 18.  We hope to get entries from a diverse range of schools and children.

Get creative and have fun

We have some tips to get you started here. This is an opportunity to  play with words and tell us the stories you have in your mind.  Corinne Rosmarin, editor of The Book Tree and curator of the Children and Teen’s programme at the Kingsmead Book Fair, is thrilled to be launching the Young Writers’ competition.  “I’ve had the idea to run a nationwide young writers competition for a few years and I think the timing is perfect now.  During lockdown, when we were all confined to our houses, our imaginations had to soar and find new ways to be expressed.  We learnt to be more creative with what we had.  All you need to write a story is a bit of imagination and basic plot structuring.  There are literally no limits to what you can create. Have fun with it!”

 Low literacy levels in South Africa

At a time when South Africa’s youth are in a reading crisis, this national writing competition is aimed at motivating and inspiring young people to become readers and writers.  According to the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning across all languages in South Africa.

The Covid pandemic has worsened the situation and closures of Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa – some temporary and some permanent – will take a toll on learner literacy.  Crucial to improving literacy levels is encouraging a love of reading and writing for enjoyment as well as meaning.  Initiatives that focus on literacy will play an increasingly important role in this pursuit.

“Story telling is an ancient art, intrinsic to most cultures. By encouraging creative writing, children are given tools to make sense of life and process their experiences.”

Corinne Rosmarin, curator of the Kingsmead Book Fair Children’s and Teen Programmes.

Kingsmead Book Fair 2022 will be in person

Kingsmead College will be hosting its tenth annual Book Fair in association with Standard Bank Wealth and Investment and Timberland on Saturday 21 May, 2022.  Over the years, the Kingsmead Book Fair has become a favourite event with authors and book lovers alike.  The children’s and young adult’s programme has grown each year, enjoying great popularity and excitement.  The Young Writers’ Competition is a natural extension of the book fair’s aims to promote literacy and encourage a love of learning; connecting all age groups and cultures in the community.

“We are so excited about the new addition to our literary programme. The future of writing and literature is so important, and we welcome all opportunities for the youth to show their talents. We can’t wait to see the submissions from budding authors all across the country!”

Alex Bouche, Director of Marketing at Kingsmead College. 

Get started

Check out the entry form here and read up on which topics are for your age group.

We are looking for imagination, creativity and originality, structure: beginning, middle and end, and – don’t forget to stick to the word count! Here are some more tips and some inspiration to help you with your writing.

Judges of the competition include authors and publishers such as Jacana, Jonathan Ball, Penguin, Macmillan and Imagnary House and as well as Exclusive Books GM of Marketing, Batya Bricker.


We saved the best for last. Each winning entry in the five age group categories (6-7, 8-9, 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18) wins prizes sponsored by Standard Bank, Exclusive Books, Pan Macmillan, Penguin,  Jonathan Ball and NB publishers.

R1000 cash, R1000 in Exclusive book vouchers, plus book hampers and a personal response with tips and advice on your writing.  Most importantly – you’ll be published on the Kingsmead website so everyone can read your story!

Sounds good? Get writing!

The KBF Young Writers’ Competition closes at midnight on 16 May 2022.  Entries can be found on the Kingsmead Book Fair website at https://kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/

You can send in up to three entries in your age category.

Home schoolers – just write Home School in the school category. 

Parents: No help beyond typing up younger children’s entries.  We’re not looking for a perfect story, we’re looking for a creative spark.  

Queries can be sent to booktreeinfo@gmail.com


Read these two blogs for tips and inspiration.  


Kingsmead Book Fair 2022
Kingsmead Book Fair Young Writers Competition Entry Form

Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you!

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