Skip to content

“Writing About Home”: Our New Competition for Young Writers

March 19, 2012

This year the museum is running a competition for young writers, and the theme is Writing About Home. The aim of our competition is to both encourage young writers and also to incorporate the Museum’s theme  which this year is, At Home with the Austens. Jane Austen was an enthusiastic and prolific author from a very early age, as her Juvenilia attests, and this competition would no doubt have appealed to her. Jane Austen lived in Chawton at the building which now houses the Museum with her mother, sister and their friend, Martha Lloyd, and it was a very important place for her. It was here that Jane felt ‘at home’ and where she was able to revise and write her novels, at her writing table, below

She even included a reference to it in her poem that she sent to her brother, Francis Austen, upon the birth of his second child, a son, in a letter dated 26th July, 1809:

As for ourselves, we’re very well,

As unaffected prose will tell.

Cassandra’s pen will give our state

The many comforts that await

Our Chawton home — how much we find

Already in it, to our mind,

And how convinced that when complete,

It will all other Houses beat

That ever have been made or mended,

With rooms concise, or rooms distended.


You’ll find us very snug next year;

Perhaps with Charles & Fanny near

For now it often does delight us

To fancy them just over-right us.

The competition is open to young people who are resident in, or who attend school in the United Kingdom and are in school years 7 to 13. The set task is to write an original piece about home; a story or prose piece of between 300-400 words, or a poem of not more than 20 lines.

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third prize winners in three categories: Years 7-9, Years 10-11 and Years 12-13.  First Prize in each age group will be a £30 Book Token,
 Second Prize in each age group will be a  £20 Book Token
 and Third Prize in each age group will be a  £10 Book Token.

There will also be a prize for the school/college library of the First Prize winners in each age group, and the winning entries will also be published on the Jane Austen’s House Museum website. The winners will be invited to the Museum to collect their prizes.

The competition will be judged by Professor Kathryn Sutherland of St Anne’s College, Oxford, Patron of the Museum; the Museum’s Education Officer, Annalie Talent and Rebecca Smith, the novelist who was  also the Writer in Residence at the Museum during 2010.

There is no entrance fee, but each entry must be accompanied by a copy of the official entry form which can be downloaded from the Museum’s website here or collected from the Museum in person. Additional information about the competition and some guidelines can be downloaded here.

All entries must be typed 12 point and double-spaced. Poems should be single spaced. Only one side of the paper should be used. Students should not put their names onto their work, but all pieces of work must have a title. Do note that all entry forms must be signed by the parent or guardian of the entrantAll entries must be received at Jane Austen’s House Museum by 4pm on Friday May 18th, 2012.

If you would like any more information about the competition please contact the Museum by e-mailing

And may we wish good luck to all entrants!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. cathyallen permalink
    March 20, 2012 7:15 pm

    What a fine thing for young writers; I hope you get lots of entrants!


  1. Writing About Home Competition Winners « Jane Austen's House Museum Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: