Summer Opportunities for Children & Young People


We’ve collated a list of writing and reading activities and opportunities for children and young people to explore this summer – featuring resources to engage young writers with story-writing, poetry and more, including writing competitions and festivals they can get involved in. We have noted the target age groups and have grouped the activities into online and in-person so you can find the best option for you.  

Spread the Word have made every effort to ensure the information included here is as accurate as possible, but please do check click through to the external website links to ensure the information is as up to date and relevant as it can be. We aren’t responsible for the content of other sites or the programmes of other organisations.

Opportunities and activities – in person

British Library
Families and community groups can take part in creative activities inspired by the library’s collections and exhibitions
Ages: Early years and primary school
Cost: Free

City of London Libraries
Regular activities at City of London libraries for parents, carers and their children – including regular rhyme-times, story-times and clubs for older children.
Ages: Early years and primary school
Cost: Free

Story Room
Fun and educational creative writing workshops taking place over the summer to support children’s literacy and interest in writing
Ages: primary school ages
Cost: £25 per workshop

Nature Nurtures
Creative workshops to explore and develop practical conservation and creative skills
Ages: 16-25 year olds in London
Cost: Free

Sounds Like Chaos
This creative collective is comprised of 12-25 year olds from across South East London. The young associate artists have created Out of Harm’s Way, an upcoming festival of new performances, research and artworks by local and international young people – taking place from 10-16 July 2023
Ages: open to all – 13-19 year olds especially welcomed
Cost: Free

Barbican Young Poets
An eight-month artist development programme for young people in London who want to explore their poetry and creative expression within a nurturing community. Applications for the next cohort are open in summer 2023.
Ages: 16-29 year olds
Cost: Free

A special programme of workshops, events and opportunities for young people interested in theatre, music, spoken word and more.
Ages: 11-30 year olds
Cost: varied

Come As You Are
Weekly “youth takeover” project every Wednesday at The Albany in Deptford: featuring creative sessions, open mics and free rehearsal spaces to hang out spots, study spaces and free snacks.
Ages: 12-25 year olds in Lewisham
Cost: Free


Opportunities and activities – online

National Literacy Trust – Words for Life
A range of reading and writing activities for families and parents to engage children with words and play
Ages: Early years and primary school
Cost: Free

Oxford Owl
Creative writing activities and prompts to spark curiosity and interest around story-making
Ages: Primary school
Cost: Free

Story Room
Fun and educational creative writing workshops for children run over the summer online via Zoom
Ages: Primary school
Cost: £28 per workshop

National Centre for Writing – Story Prompts for Young Writers
Creative writing prompts to help create a sense of excitement around writing stories.
Ages: Primary school ages 6 and above
Cost: Free

National Centre for Writing – Jurassic Words
A series of creative writing activities about dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures, designed to work through from start to finish, or pick and mix.
Ages: years 4-6 (primary school)
Cost: Free

Night Zoo Keeper – Summer Writing Prompts for Kids
Summer-inspired writing prompts to inspire children with their writing
Ages: ages 8 – 13
Cost: Free

National Centre for Writing – All My Friends are Superheroes
A course for children to learn about and create their very own superhero story.
Ages: 9-12 years
Cost: Free

British Library
A range of reading and writing-inspired activities for children exploring books, stories, poetry and more.
Ages: children of all ages
Cost: Free

National Centre for Writing – Poetry, Paradise and Playing About
A course for children on the theme of Paradise to unlock their creativity with prompts, activities, and readings, with the opportunity to create their own poems.
Ages: 9-12 years
Cost: Free

National Centre for Writing – Writing Lyrics
A course for children and young people who want to try their hand at writing their own songs.
Ages: Courses available for ages 9-12 and 13-17 year olds
Cost: Free

National Centre for Writing – Writing interesting characters
A writing course to learn about what makes characters interesting and realistic, and create your own character profile for your own stories.
Ages: Courses available for 10 –12 year olds and 13-17 year olds
Cost: Free

National Centre for Writing – How to Write Weird
Writing and reading activities to explore how you approach writing in new ways and how you can look to other forms of art for inspiration
Ages: 13–17 year olds
Cost: Free

First Story x BBC Teach – Inside the Writer’s Mind
A series of short films by novelists, poets, screenwriters packed with tips and insights, accompanied by a resource document with fun writing prompts and activities.
Ages: Secondary school
Cost: Free

Grimm and Co
A range of writing activities and word-related games for families and young people to complete at home
Ages: families with young children and young people
Cost: Free

Scottish Book Trust
Creative writing and reading activities and resources for children and young people to do from home.
Ages: All ages
Cost: Free


Online resources

Book Trust
A list of best new books for children recommended by the Book Trust

The School Run
A list of some of the best UK Children’s Literary Festivals
Ages: 5-18 year olds

School Reading List
A list of UK children’s writing competitions
Ages: 5-18 year olds

Young Poets Network
A full list of UK-wide writing groups and programmes for young people
For teenagers and young people

Young Writers
A place of writing opportunities and prizes for various ages