Young Writers Prize Stats!

You are all very eager (including you @sun_shadows) to know how we got on with our submissions to the Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize.

We are determined to be as transparent about this as we are about our publishing, so here is all the data presented in a handy infographic. All design and hard work credit goes to the wonderful Becca, who used easily.ly to make this.

(She’s also built this awesome submissions-by-city Google map, which is fascinating.)

I think my favourite is the word cloud of the titles (lots of BLOOD going on here). I am most surprised that we have more entries from the US than we do from the UK, and I do wish there had been more for 9-12 year olds!

There is definitely lots of reading going on; we estimate that we are about one-quarter of the way through.

Anybody want to take a guess at what gender, what genre and what country the winner will be from?

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20 responses to “Young Writers Prize Stats!

  1. Fascinating – good work Becca. Particularly interested by the age ratio – and did the younger stories come from the older entrants? Or was there an even spread?

    • Ooh, that’s something we didn’t look into but an interesting question. I will predict that the younger stories would come from the older writers, but we’ll have a look. (The lovely Becca is technically on holiday, so it might be a few dyas before we get her back to her computer again.)

  2. I love this infographic- I can’t stop looking at it!

  3. Beautiful infographic!!

  4. I think I’d have to agree that the word cloud for the titles is pretty intriguing. I’m quite surprised there wasn’t more entries though.But nearly 50% of entries from the US, those guys are gonna dominate!

    • We’re pretty happy with 350 – especially as the field was narrowed by age range. Obviously, the more the merrier, but perhaps future years (if this one goes well!) will see a bigger submission pool, now that people will be expecting it.

  5. Wow, intimidating! I had an inkling the lower age category might be a little less crowded. I ended up submitting to the older bracket anyway… it seemed like a good idea at the time!

  6. Beautiful and very informative infographic 🙂

    I’m probably being pretty dumb here, but does the word cloud contain at least one word from every submission title? Clearly a few title submissions contained the words ‘blood’ and ‘red’ but there’s not 342 words in the ‘cloud’. I can see a word from my submission though 🙂

    And I am suprised how little entries there were and especially that the bulk of the submissions came from the USA and not the UK. How intriguing.

  7. Pingback: Young Writer’s Prize | Sylvia Morris

  8. Just realized I forgot to change the title of my story in the synopsis from ‘Faded’ to ‘The Color Thief’. It has the correct title headlining it and in the E-mail title, but still possibly confusing. Xo

  9. With all the discussion around at the moment about the lack of funny books for young people (or rather, their absence on prize lists) it would be interesting, when you’ve finished all that lovely reading, to chart the submissions by theme/style. Is there a preponderance of dystopian? Does the paranormal still reign supreme? Are they more gritty than witty?

    • Well, judging by our genre wheel, it looks like paranormal isn’t as big as fantasy, which I think is interesting. There was a “comic” category that didn’t even make 1%, so it didn’t hit the chart. It seems as though your more gritty than witty is still the truth!

  10. I was expecting fantasy to dominate the genre category, but I’m surprised by how many dystopian entries there are! How do you decide what genre the stories fit into, anyway?

    • It was all done by a human… our lovely Becca, looking through the synopses and thining about how it would be placed in the market. She is on holiday in Scotland at the moment, but she did tweet yesterday saying, “It was tricky! not hard & fast but- real/future world with quirks=dystopian/paranormal vs imagined world = fantasy”

  11. I was expecting sooooo many more entries. My mind was thinking there would be nearly 1,000 of them. I feel really stupid for not entering now. At the time I figured there would just be so many entries it wouldn’t matter if I got something together in time. Curse my poor sense of judgement!

  12. My sister’s complaining that South East Asia is different from South Asia, but I’m good with it XD I’m excited. I hope I get chosen for at least the first cut. Any clues on how you’re judging it? 🙂 VERY COOL infographic btw.

  13. It’s exiting to see the variety of entrants! And I’m amazed that there we were only 6 from South America! I’m eager to hear news from you! And hopefully comments on our stories?
    Thank you Becca for the great infographic!

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