Send us your story, essay or poem on the subject of ‘If Only I’d Known!’

And win up to £30 to spend at the Yellow-Lighted Bookshops in Tetbury or Nailsworth

The Competition

This year’s competition invites you to let your imagination run riot.

“What on Earth” could mean the possession or feeling that is most precious to you. It might be the thing you would most like to be given. Or perhaps it would be the reaction of a returning space traveller when they saw all the great … and not-so-great things … happening across our home planet nowadays.

We’re asking young people in Tetbury and the surrounding area to send us their stories, poems or essays inspired by the question/exclamation ‘What on Earth?!“. The winning entries chosen by the judging panel will be published here and each winner will receive a voucher to spend in the The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury or Nailsworth.

Our judging panel is: Christine Berry, who is a Goods Shed Trustee and former teacher and has been one of the selectors for the BBC Young Writers Award; Phil Kirby, who runs our writers’ group at the Goods Shed, and Annie Hooper, author and journalist.

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Age categories

There are two categories this year:

  • 8-12 years (£20 voucher prize)
  • 13-16 years (£30 voucher prize)

Your entry

The only restriction on entries is an upper limit of 750 words. Otherwise entrants are free to write about the topic in whatever format and length they prefer, whether that’s a poem, an essay or a piece of fiction.

The judges will be looking for originality and use of style and tone.


Please submit your entry in Word (.doc or .docx), Open Office (.odf) or plain text (.txt) format and send it in as an email attachment to [email protected] or as an attachment to the entry form below.

Alternatively, handwritten entries may be posted to:

Young People’s Writing Competition, Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre, Old Station Yard, Tetbury, GL8 8EY.

When posting or emailing entries, please don’t forget to include your full name, age, town or village, and a daytime phone number so that we can contact you if needed. This information will only be used in connection with the competition and not shared with anyone.


The final deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 1st April 2022. Winners will be contacted on Friday 29th April when the winning entries will also be published on

Ready. Get set. Write!

That’s all there is to entering. Now it’s over to you to uplift, impress and encourage everyone by writing about The Perfect Day. We look forward to reading it!

Entry form