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Award-winning publisher launches competition to find new children’s fiction from Wales

01 Mar 2022 3 minute read
Firefly launches competition to find new children’s fiction from Wales

An award-winning publisher has launched a competition to find the best new stories for children and young adults, by writers from Wales.

Firefly Press is hoping to discover new authors who write for children with the literary contest, which has been announced on St David’s Day.

There are three categories, with budding authors being asked to write for children and young people aged between 7-9, 9-12 and 12-18.

Three winners will be selected by top children’s authors Catherine Fisher, Catherine Johnson and Malachy Doyle and Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas.

The winner of each category will win a one-to-one editorial session with a Firefly editor and the overall winner will win a place on a Literature Wales’ Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre residential course in 2023.

The competition is for a story written in English by writers either based in Wales or who have grown up in the country.

Entry is free to ensure that it is accessible to as many writers as possible and Firefly actively welcomes entries by writers from underrepresented communities.

The entry must be an original story, all the author’s own work, and the competition is open to published and unpublished writers.

Firefly Press is an independent children’s and YA publisher based in Wales, established in 2013.

It has won at the Wales Small Press of the Year British Book Awards (NIBBIES) in 2020 and 2021, and currently shortlisted for 2022.

It publishes fiction for 5-19 years olds and authors include former Children’s Laureate Wales Eloise Williams, Horatio Clare, Catherine Fisher, Jennifer Killick, Luke Palmer and Nicola Davies among many others.

‘Next generation’ 

Firefly Publisher Penny Thomas said: “Firefly is keen to find the next generation of children’s writers from Wales, particularly from underrepresented communities.

“If you write, or want to write great stories for young people, we’d love to hear from you, so please be brave, go ahead and enter.’

Sarah Todd Taylor, winner of the first Firefly writing competition in 2013 said: “Winning the Firefly prize was the start of an exciting adventure in children’s publishing.

“It gave me confidence in my writing and the chance to have Arthur and Me published by an amazing team who were truly interested in the story and were so kind and supportive of me as a debut writer.

“It brought me the friendship of other Firefly authors too – it really is a very special publisher. There is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a book in a shop with your name on the spine.

“Now I’m editing my sixth book, and it all began by pressing send on an entry to the Firefly prize. I’d encourage anyone who wants to write for children to enter this fantastic competition.’

Entries open from 1 March and close on 24 April. Winners will be announced in October 2022. For full information on how to enter please visit

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