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Young Writers for Young Readers

What are young people thinking about during the pandemic, when nothing is like normal? With a new writing award, Unga skriver för unga, Tensta konsthall and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award hope to inspire children to spend more time writing and putting their emotions into words.

What are you thinking about now, when nothing is like normal? Where are you channeling your reflections and conversations? Has someone close to you come down with Covid-19, or maybe even died? When you look to the future, what do you see?

Given the extraordinary circumstances that have prevailed for nearly a year, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and Tensta konsthall hope to bring to light thoughts, fears, relations and painful aspects of this period in writing by children and teens. In difficult times, reading and putting emotions into words provide an essential outlet. We’re looking for stories written by young people, for young people, that have grown out of what’s going on in the world right now. 

How to participate?

The prize is aimed at young people between the ages of ten and eighteen. Poems, short stories, sci-fi, song lyrics, novels, screenplays, stage plays, comic strips and diary entries may all be submitted for the award.  Texts written in English and Swedish may be submitted. Texts created by two or more people in collaboration are also eligible.

What do you win?

The first prize winner will receive SEK 3,000, the second prize winner SEK 2,000 and the third prize winner SEK 1,000.

Deadline for submission 

Send your text to by February 15, 2021. The winner will be announced later in Spring. 

The members of the prize jury are:

Balsam Karam, author and librarian at Rinkeby Public Library;
Mårten Sandén, author and jury member for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award;
Pavlina Spanos, grade 4–6 teacher at the Enback School in Tensta and the 2019 recipient of the Pennsvärdet award for excellence in teaching;
Amar Jašarević, teaching student, leader of the creative writing course at Kulturskolan Metapontum in Fruängen, and the 2019 recipient of the Tensta konsthall Text Prize;
Hanna Nordell, curator at Tensta konsthall.

“Hearing and seeing ourselves in the voices of others can give incredible comfort. It’s like finding a friend. This is a dark time, but that means that now more than ever we need to focus on forming new ties and new communities. Jot down a few words, send them to a friend and ask them to write you back. Keep doing that for a while, and soon the world will make a lot more sense,” says Amar Jašarević, teaching student and jury member.