Comedian and Children’s Author David Walliams named Judge of the 10th National Young Writers’ Awards!


  • Free writing competition for children aged four to 14 with the theme of HEROES
  • Winners awarded a trip to Disneyland Paris and £500 of books for their school
  • Best-selling Author and Comedian David Walliams is this year’s incredible judge who will surprise the winner at their school!

The National Young Writers’ Awards is set to return with a bang as world renowned best-selling children’s author David Walliams has been named judge for 2018!  The competition, organised by tuition provider, Explore Learning, has been running for ten years and has inspired hundreds of thousands of children across the UK to put pen to paper and give writing a try. 

The theme for this year is ‘Heroes’ where children are tasked with writing a 500 word story all about their hero, whether that be their parent, a policeman or an idol they aspire to be like - Explore Learning cannot wait to hear some of the very best in heroic tales!

David Walliams has revolutionised reading for children and has become one of the most influential children’s writers today. Since the publication of his ground-breaking first novel, The Boy in the Dress (2008), Walliams has seen unprecedented growth. With the publication of ten novels, three short stories and six picture books, his global sales now exceed 23 million copies, and his books have been translated into fifty-three languages.

The winner will be surprised at a school assembly by David who will announce the National Young Writer of the Year and present them with a trophy, a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 of books for their school!  Every child that enters will receive a certificate to celebrate their story, along with personalised feedback from one of Explore Learning’s inspirational tutors.

David says: “It is a real privilege to be named judge for this year’s National Young Writers’ Awards and I am so looking forward to reading what the brilliant brains of our country’s children come up with. To write is such a wonderful, creative outlet for people of all ages and competitions just like this one are a brilliant way of encouraging kids across the UK to take the leap and release their inner authors!”

The competition will run from Monday 5th March until Sunday 29th April and is open to children aged 4-14 anywhere in the UK – from enthusiastic young writers to those who feel less confident.

As well as David Walliams being the overall judge, Explore Learning will be running a number of creative writing workshops in their centres all over the country with some amazing authors.

Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning says: “We are extremely proud to organise the longest running writing competition for children and over the past 10 years the National Young Writers’ Awards have encouraged children in their thousands to release their creativity in abundance.  We can’t wait to read what children put together along this year’s theme of heroes – whether that’s a hero with superpowers or an everyday hero like a parent, a firefighter, paramedic or teacher.

“We are beyond excited to have David Walliams as our judge for the 2018 competition and we know that he will help to inspire even more children to get writing for the chance to meet their idol - as well as that fantastic trip to Disneyland Paris and the wonderful accolade of being named National Young Writer of the Year!”    

The top 10 entries will also receive £250 worth of books for their schools from Letts Revision, plus a large print of the opening line of their story by QuirkyLime. Each of the regional winners will also win £50 worth of books.    

It’s very easy to enter.  Children are invited to pick up an entry form from their local Explore Learning or via hand the story back in, file online or send to Explore Learning’s head office at NYWA, Explore Learning, 74 North Street, Guildford, GU1 4AW.  Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can get in touch if your child wins!

Sarah Mitchell, Head of Letts Revision, says: “Letts believes in helping every child do their best in whatever test or exam they are preparing for. We are really pleased to get involved this year with the National Young Writers’ Awards by donating book prizes to all of the regional winners and the top 10 schools.”  

Karen Wilcox from QuirkyLime, says: “We are really excited to be involved in the National Young Writers’ Awards. Writing, like drawing, is a such an important way for children to express themselves creatively and give the opportunity of using their imagination freely. Nurturing children's creativity is at the heart of Quirky Lime. All children need time to doodle, write stories, imagine and play and we believe we need to do all we can to develop and keep fuelling the creative fire in all of our children. This fun competition is an excellent opportunity for young minds to get creative! We can't wait to see the results.”

Previous judges of the National Young Writers’ Awards have included some of the UK’s most prolific authors like Steve Backshall, Cressida Cowell, Lauren Child, Liz Pichon, Jonathan Meres, Andy Cope and Alan Durant. Last year’s winner was 12-year-old David Williams from Dagenham who won the title with his story which you can read here.

Throughout the next four months Explore Learning will be providing some top writing tips from their creative writing team, previous winners, judges and best-selling authors via their website, social media and face to face.  They will also be hosting a collection of free downloadable information on their website that can be used at home or in the classroom as well as running free workshops with local libraries, schools and community groups to inspire children’s love of writing and support them with their entries.  For more information visit

Explore Learning is an award-winning English and maths tuition company with 136 centres located all over the country.  Over 35,000 children aged four to 14 attend the centres each week.  Explore Learning’s aim is to help every child reach their full potential and get the best results they can, but more importantly develop a generation of fearless learners.  

For more information about the National Young Writers’ Awards visit



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