The Deep/Mighty Pens Young Writers Award

A Writing Challenge For All Young Writers

Attention All Young Writers!

Calling all young writers! From conservation to coral and puffer fish to plastic, what do our oceans mean to you? Perhaps you are bursting to write about the life of a seahorse or maybe you want to share your thoughts about the health of our oceans. To be interpreted in any way you like, The Deep in association with Mighty Pens Ltd would love to hear your story! This writing competition is free and open to anyone under the age of 18. Perfect for a home learning project or for all those budding authors out there, why not enter The Deep/Mighty Pens Young Writers Award today? 

Why Not Enter Today?

One of the most spectacular aquariums in the world, The Deep is located in Hull, East Yorkshire and is home to 5,000 animals including magnificent sharks and majestic rays. The Deep’s mission is to operate as an education and conservation charity. In recent years, The Deep has become an international player in marine conservation. Forging partnerships with key governing bodies, conservation organisations and other reputable zoos and aquariums The Deep is passionate about making a real impact for the protection of our oceans.

Mighty Pens, in association with The Deep, is passionate about celebrating young writing talent. A perfect opportunity for all those budding young authors out there or those who have a zeal for our oceans and the creatures that call them home. Perhaps you are just looking for a new project to enjoy as part of your home education. So what are you waiting for? Mighty Pens and The Deep can’t wait to start reading your very best stories about our oceans.

One winner from each age group will win a family (of four) season ticket to The Deep. The winning stories will also be featured on the Mighty Pens website. Additionally Paul Chuckle, of the legendary Chuckle Brothers and Mighty Pens Team Member, is keen to read all shortlisted entries along with the judges.

Age Categories:

Shark (SEN 4-11) up to 500 words

Starfish Category (5-7) up to 500 words

Seahorse Category (8-11) up to 1,000 words

Dolphin category (12-18) up to 1,000 words

Turtle (SEN 12-18) up to 1000 words

Paul Chuckle
Paul Chuckle
I’m looking forward to reading all the entries though so get writing, think about all those fantastic fish, crabs, penguins and other amazing sea creatures. Enjoy writing about and get your short story to us. And always remember – no slacking!”

“The Deep is brilliant and one visit is never enough, there is so much to see. The idea of a short story competition is great and I would love to enter it myself but I can’t because I’m too old enough!

Louise Kirby
Louise Kirby

“I can’t wait to judge the Mighty Pens’ Young Writers’ Award and to discover talented young people who have been inspired by The Deep. I’m looking forward to reading how the science of our animals, conservation and environmental work can stimulate some fantastic creativity and imagination!”

Louise Kirby, Director of Operations & People, manages the HR and commercial activities at The Deep in Hull.  Louise is proud to have worked as part of the Crew since before The Deep was built and has now overseen its customer service to welcome over 8 million visitors since 2002.   A champion of service excellence, people development and accessible tourism, Louise delights in raising aspirations and achievement.  Louise finds it difficult to choose her favourite Deep species but (although the Gentoo penguins are fabulous) she does love the Garden eels; they may be small, but what they lack in size they make up with muscle! 

The Deep/Mighty Pens Young Writers Award Entry Requirements

  • Entries must be no more than 1,000 words excluding title and author’s name and must be submitted in pdf format to clearly marked The Deep/Mighty Pens Young Writers Award. No printed entries please.

  • Entries are open from Monday 1st February 2021 until 11:59 pm on Monday 15th March 2021. Sadly entries made after this time cannot be accepted but do watch out for the next competition.

  • Each entry must be the exclusive and original work of the author.

  • Entries must not have been published or appeared anywhere else, including any placement in another competition.

  • All entries must be written in English and be the work of an author who lives in the British Isles.

  • Although Mighty Pens celebrates individual interpretation of the theme, no offensive, degrading, abusive or hurtful language, humour or inference will be tolerated. Entries that do contain such will be disqualified.

  • The judges’ decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

  • The Deep and Mighty Pens retain all rights to cancel or postpone the competition at any time.

  • Mighty Pens retains all rights to cancel or postpone the competition at any time and in the event of such a decision entry fees will be reimbursed.

  • Formatting is at the author’s discretion though request is made that the font be legible

  • Any person or persons affiliated with Mighty Pens and their partners are excluded from entry into this competition.

  • Copyright remains with the author but The Deep and Mighty Pens will have automatic permission rights to use winning material for promotional or editorial purposes.

  • Entries must be made by the parent or guardian on behalf of the author and must include the full name, age category and email contact of the author within the entry pdf. A written permission of entry from the parent or guardian is also required. Please note contact details are used only in connection with contacting winners of the The Deep/Mighty Pens Young Writers Award and will not be used or passed on for any other reason.

The Deep/Mighty Pens Young Writers Award Prize Details

Please Note Subject to Government Guidelines:

Families can be made up of children (aged 3-15 years), students (in full time education, valid NUS, University card or proof of age is required for school and sixth form students), seniors (60+) and up to a maximum of 2 adults. Ticket includes free return visits for 12 months, starting on the day of first visit. Staff reserve the right to refuse entry. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Non- transferable, not for resale. Open daily 10am-6pm (last entry 5pm). The Deep is closed on 24th and 25th December. The Deep’s general T&Cs apply. For more information about The Deep please visit

Most importantly have fun! Chances are, if you enjoy writing it, then Mighty Pens will certainly enjoy reading it. So enjoy your literary process and take the opportunity to showcase your own unique writing talents. We look forward to reading your entries.