A brand-new writing competition for children. We want to unleash the creativity of young people, and find the best budding writers and storytellers out there.
Help us find the next generation
of Inspired Tales
The winners will have their story transformed into a professional recording, on a Yoto card available for sale internationally. We’ve also got plenty of runners-up prizes, including Yoto bundles of the best new children’s books, podcasts, music, soundscapes and more.
The competition is open to anyone under 15, living in the UK, United States or Canada! There are two age categories - under 9s and 9-14s.
Stories can be submitted as a text document or as an audio recording. Audio recordings must stay within the word limit and must only be a reading of the story - no sound effects or music.
Competition Dates Starts: October 27, 2021 Closing date: December 31, 2021
Winners will be announced in the new year
Under 9s entries must be:
An original story of no more than 500 words, or No longer than 3 ½ minutes for audio recordings
9-14s entries must be:
An original story of up to 750 words, or
No longer than 5 minutes for audio recordings
How to enter
Create an original short story and send it to us. There is no theme - we want children to explore their own ideas and creativity, so the story can be anything you want to write.
(Note: an original story cannot include characters protected by copyright, see FAQs for further details.)
We’ve put together a guide for writing short stories. There are tips for parents and caregivers, to encourage your child to explore their creativity and imagination as well as suggestions for teachers and educators who are thinking of incorporating Inspired Tales into lessons.
- Are original - Are imaginative - Capture their interest - Can be turned into great audio
And that’s it! Don’t worry too much about tiny little mistakes - judges won’t mark stories down for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, as long as it doesn’t affect their understanding of the story. What matters most is how the story reads, and how much the judges enjoy reading it.
This depends. Yoto cannot publish anything protected by copyright, for example, we cannot accept a new story about Paddington, much as we love him! However, there are existing characters who do not fall under copyright protection. If in doubt, ask an adult, or avoid using existing characters.
The competition runs from 27 October - 31 December 2021. Winners will be announced in the new year. There are two age ranges - Under 9s and 9-14s. Entrants need to write a story of no more than 500 words (Under 9s) or 750 words (9-14s).
To enter the competition you must live in the USA, Canada or the UK, and be under the age of 15.
Stories must be submitted by a parent or guardian, or by an educator with written permission from a parent of guardian. The submission form can be found here.
Your story can be sent in a text file format, or as an audio file of your story being read aloud. If submitting an audio file, your story must still fall within the word limit. Audio recordings must be no longer than 3 ½ minutes for under 9s (500 words) and no longer than 5 minutes for 9-14s (750 words). There is no minimum word count.
Yes. As long as the story is completely your own, someone can read it for you or type it for you. We will ask the person submitting the story to confirm that the story is original work solely by the entrant - no one may offer any help, editing or corrections. Remember, for audio files the judges will only consider the story, not the performance of the reader.
Winners will be announced in December, so keep an eye on the website. We will not be able to notify all entrants who have submitted stories as to the progress of their entry. You can also find out who has won a prize by sending a stamped addressed envelope, to (i) for UK residents: Inspired Tales Competition, Yoto Limited, Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, (ii) US and Canada residents: 348 4th Ave. #1011, Brooklyn, NY 11215, from 30 days after the closing date.