News Maidstone LitFest launches competition for 2024 festival

Maidstone LitFest launches competition for 2024 festival image

Maidstone LitFest is calling for local schools to enter their annual competition to win a free author visit, and alongside that, is holding a new writing competition for children to enter.

A Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) initiative, the first Maidstone LitFest was held in 2023.  As part of the inaugural event, 17 Maidstone schools received a visit from an author which included Tọlá Okogwu, Adam Baron and Jack Meggitt-Phillips. The 2024 schools’ programme will run once again this year between 30 September to 4 October and entries for the draw are now being invited.

This year’s LitFest also sees the launch of a new writing competition for Maidstone children aged 5–13. Divided into three age categories, children are invited to submit a short story or poem to be in with a chance to win prizes, including a £25 Waterstones voucher, and have their story read aloud at the festival by a children’s author.

Maidstone LitFest co-director Becky Grace said:

This competition is a wonderful opportunity for children to unleash their imaginations and have fun writing a story. Our festival aim is to make reading and storytelling enjoyable and engaging for all ages.

We are encouraging children of Maidstone to let their creativity soar and weave magic with words. Their story could be read aloud by a children’s author at this years’ festival and we wish them all the very best of luck.

School competition

Schools that are in the borough of Maidstone can apply for an author visit for key stages 1–3. To enter the draw, they simply need to email their interest to: by 30 June 2024. (Entrants will be notified of the outcome by 3 July 2024.)

Writing competition for children

The competition is open to children aged 5–13 and is grouped by key stage. Children can submit either a piece of creative writing or a poem on any subject up to a maximum of 750 words:

  • Key Stage 1 (5–7 years)
  • Key Stage 2 (7–11 years)
  • Key Stage 3 (11–13 years)

Each entry will receive a VIP family ticket to the headline children’s author event during the festival. Shortlisted entries will be published on the Maidstone LitFest website with festival goodies for the top five shortlisted.

The winner in each key stage category will have their work read out by a children’s author at the festival and take home a £25 Waterstones voucher.


Length of entry – up to 750 words

How to enter – either email entries to or upload on the relevant competition page on the LitFest website

Deadline – 30 June at 5pm

Judges for the children’s competition will include a children’s book editor, local author, festival director and a representative from Maidstone Borough Council.

The public element of the Maidstone LitFest runs immediately after the schools’ programme from 5–12 October 2024.

This project, Maidstone LitFest, has received £20,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

One of MBC’s priorities is a Thriving Place and the Literary Festival reflects that.

Funded by UK GovernmentLevelling Up

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