> Competition is now closed – Thanks for applying

Life in the pandemic – get creative and tell us in your own words!

This one’s for YOU – the creative young minds in our communities, aged 5-16, with a passion for reading and a flair for writing and storytelling!

READ Foundation is excited to present our first ever ‘Write for READ’ competition launching on the 20th November 2020.

On World Children’s Day, we recognise and promote the importance of every child’s right to access education, healthcare, clean water and safety.

This World Children’s Day, READ Foundation would like to involve you to reflect upon this year, and let your experiences inspire you in writing a short story, a poem or a magazine/newspaper article. Just get creative and be you!

Shortlisted pieces will be published to our audience here in the UK, and showcased in our READ schools abroad so that the students sponsored by our incredible donors can also be inspired by your work!

A shortlist of entries will be created in four categories:

  1. Ages 5-7 (that’s key stage 1 in school)
  2. Ages 7-11 (key stage 2)
  3. Ages 11-15 (key stage 3)
  4. Ages 15-16 (key stage 4)

First prize in each key stage will win £100 worth of gift vouchers, second prize will win £50 and third prize will win £20. Remember it’s for kids, not adults (we will be checking)

There’s also a prize of £150 for the school that submits the most entries, so do mention the Write for READ competition to your school friends and teachers.

> How to enter

The Write for READ competition is open to all local students based in the UK aged 5-16 years. Students will need permission from a parent or guardian to enter. The format can be a word document or PDF. Please do not put your name on the document as the judges will need it to be anonymous.

Entry to the competition is free and opens on World Children’s Day (20th November 2020).

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Depending on your age, choose primary/secondary and decide if you want to write a fictional or nonfictional piece. The limit is up to 1,500 words.
  2. Fill out the form below and upload your written piece with the supervision and permission of a parent/guardian.
  3. Share the Write for READ competition link encouraging others to enter- let’s get the whole nation involved!

Entrydeadline is by midnight on Friday 22nd January, 2021.

> What is READ Foundation looking for?

Our team of judges are looking for fresh writing where your voices shine through.

Entries will be marked on :Creativity, originality, adherence to prompt and chosen format and articulation.

> Why?

For students currently in lockdown, experiences and projects like this have never been more crucial to help young students find and shape their creative flair and reflect more about their life and experiences.

We want to hear their thoughts and their stories.

Be creative. Be bold. Be inspiring. Be you!

> Rules

These rules relate to the competition run by READ Foundation

Please read these rules carefully before entering the competition. You must have the consent of your parent/guardian to enter if you are under 16.

Entry to the competition is free.

Only 1 entry per student.

Entries only accepted from UK residents between 5-16 years of age. All children, of any background are permitted to take part, whether school going or homeschooled.

All entries must be submitted in English (upto a maximum number in the chosen category) and must be the author’s original work. Any entries containing offensive speech or material will be disregarded.

Entries should be uploaded via the online form on the READ Foundation website and should be accompanied by a completed online entry form.

No group entries allowed.

All entries must have the approval of a parent or guardian and must be submitted through the WRITE for READ foundation website.

Entries will accepted from midday Friday 20th November until midnight on Friday 22nd of January 2021. Any late entries will be disregarded.

As all entries will be judged anonymously please ensure the writers name is not written in the text of his/her work otherwise it will be disregarded.

The decision of the WRITE for READ judges is final and the judging will be as follows:-A team of readers will assess all submissions and shortlist the top 5 entries from each key stage based on a given criteria.
-The shortlisted entries will be assessed by judges who will each give the entries a score. There will be first, second and third place winners in each key stage.

Details of winners will be made available on the READ Foundation website in March 2021.

Each winner will agree to take part in publicity for the promotion of the WRITE for READ Foundation Competition.
Full name, photograph and location of winners will be used for press coverage. This is to raise the profile of the young writer and of the WRITE for READ Competition.

All winning entries will be showcased on the READ Foundation website and published in a book for our students in our schools abroad.

> Meet some of our wonderful judges

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer and translator based in the UK. She holds a first-class BA (hons) in Linguistics and Arabic as well as a MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the University of Manchester. She is the bestselling author of the ’My First’ Islamic Board Book Series for toddlers and young children published by Kube Publishing.

Ali Lodge

Ali Lodge is a children’s books illustrator and writer based in the UK. She holds a BA (hons) in Design: Illustration as well as a MA in ‘Illustration for Children’s Publishing’ from the North Wales School of Art (now part of Glyndwr University). She has illustrated more than 30 children’s books since graduating

Qaisra Shahraz

Qaisra Shahraz is the Founder, and Executive Director of Muslim Arts and Culture Festival. She is a critically-acclaimed novelist, scriptwriter, and author of The Holy Woman, Typhoon, Revolt, The Concubine & The Slave Catcher, and translated into several languages. She is dedicated to interfaith work and promoting community cohesion through her work as the Co-Chair of Faith Network 4 Manchester, Trustee of We Stand Together and Muslim Jewish Forum.

A peace and gender activist, advisor to Asia Pacific Writers, Qaisra is a former Ofsted Inspector, Quality Manager, and Director of Gatehouse Books.

Qaisra appeared in Manchester Metropolitan University list of of 11 Extraordinary Women to mark 2019 International Women Day. She recently gained an MBE award for ‘Services to Gender Equality and Cultural Learning’

Mansoor Shah

Has had an illustrious career spanning across many years with a range of roles and experience.These have included:

Academic, NHS Director, Management Consultant, External Examiner, School Governor, Independent Member of Police Misconduct Panels and supports a number of charities as a Trustee.

He describes his heritage as a product from Central Asia, Turkey, Persia, Indianan sub-continent and the Arabian Peninsula.
He has travelled extensively across Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and the Middle East. He has a particular interest of cultural enrichment with an inclusive approach of shared values that enhance and enrich our life’s journey!

The works of Sufi writers and the English romantics influence his writings of esoteric poems in a simple poetic stanza. Shah tries humbly on their philosophy of encouraging deeper thought and exploring ourselves spiritually in the context of self-improvement.

He is keen on promoting mental wellbeing and with extensive professional experience of mental health has contributed in a number of professional text books.

> Meet our readers


Neelam Fiaz

Y6 Primary School teacher and the English subject leader in a small independent school in Manchester.

Assiya Choudhury

‘I have always been a passionate reader from a very young age and tutor 11+ and GCSE English language and literature’


A bookworm as a child, I treasure children’s classics, poems and nursery rhymes.

Sumaya Imad

A primary school teacher from Manchester specialising in Montessori education

Iman Irhouma

I’m Iman, a former languages student, primary school teacher and avid book reader.


Frida Hussain

‘Teacher’ is my name for my adult refugee and asylum students. I am an ardent lover of books, writing and learning.

Tony Kinsella

I’m Tony, a vendor of vocabulary and craftsman of creativity in Salford for over three decades; a father of two with a figure of eight!

Mish Ahmed

Currently, an undergrad student studying English literature and language, and a former finalist of the young Muslim writer awards

Qudeer Arshad

Quintessential thinker, writer and expressionist.

Anna Wells

“As a former Head of English and teacher for 39 years, I have an unshakeable belief in the power of reading and writing to bring enrichment and joy to our intellectual and personal lives.”

Meet the Write for Read team!

Mariam Khawaja is a qualified primary teacher and has 16 years of experience within the field of education. She achieved her degree in Primary Education (BA Hons. with QTS – Qualified Teacher Status) and studied English as her specialist subject. She has taught and tutored pupils aged 3-11 and has been the English Lead at an small Independent Primary School. She is currently an online teacher on Outschool.

Zahid Hussain is a Manchester-based novelist and poet. He is the Chair of Manchester City of Literature and co-founded the Manchester Muslim Writers in 2009.

Najaah Salam is currently a student of English Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Manchester. When she’s not reading, watching a film or binge-watching a TV show, she is channelling her creativity into writing short stories or baking for family and friends.