Zine Issue 2

Fighting Words NI is calling on young writers in Northern Ireland to submit their original work for our next Zine – themed around Happiness. Submissions will take in a range of genres; from prose to poetry, to short stories and scripts, jokes to journalism. 

Tell us what Happiness means to you -  whether it be silly, funny, lighthearted, meaningful, surprising or even weird; futuristic or historic, fantastical or realistic - we want to read your take!

You can submit your writing HERE

The submission deadline is 5pm on the 4th of December 2023. Anyone in Northern Ireland aged 8 to 18 years can submit a piece of writing. Stories, poems, songs, comics, jokes, scripts, and essays can all be submitted, all writing must feature a connection to the theme of Happiness. Submission are open to young people around Northern Ireland, group submissions will be accepted, such as a collaborative piece from a class or youth group. Follow our social media for reminders of the submission deadline, as well as some inspiration for your Happiness themed writing. Our Zine is supported by the Belfast Harbour Community Awards programme. Read Issue 1: Write Up Your Street in our Publications page.

Irish Times Fighting Words Supplement

Every year since 2011, The Irish Times newspaper has published a Fighting Words magazine of writing by secondary students from all over the island of Ireland. The annual deadline is in early December.  For 2024, the deadline is Friday the 8th of December. Please submit your creative writing pieces or notify your nearest teenager.

Submission Guidelines

We are looking for short pieces of fiction on any theme. 

  • One (1) prose submission per author, poets may submit two (2) poems.

  • Word Count: maximum 1,500 words

  • IMPORTANT:  Format - Times New Roman, font size 12, double spaced. Please submit pieces through this linkDo NOT send PDF or handwritten submissions.

  • Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday, 8 December

Click here to submit

Please Note These Important Terms and Conditions

  • Fighting Words can only publish a limited number of pieces from all the work submitted.  Fighting Words will contact you to let you know of the outcome of all submissions, whether successful or unsuccessful, once the editorial process has been completed.

  • While the magazine will be predominantly short fiction, if anyone is working on monologues, scripts, poems, comics etc they are welcome to be submitted, as are extracts from longer pieces. All work submitted will be considered.

  • Fighting Words welcomes work in any genre or style and on any theme. However, where work has not been submitted via a teacher or parent/guardian, please be aware that Fighting Words may contact the parents and/or school should we have any concerns about the wellbeing of a young writer due to the nature of the work they submit. This does not have any impact on the editorial process of selecting work for publication.

  • Copies of the magazine will go out with The Irish Times in late Spring 2024. There will be no fee paid for work published.

You can read past issues of the supplement here.

External Opportunities

December and January deadlines:

Closing date in January


Schools Reading List has an excellent list of competitions and opportunities for young writers in the UK:


Our dedicated Fighting Words anthology of writing by teen writers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is coming soon. Submissions are now closed.

You can read issue 1 of Analecta, published in August 2022 in our Publications page.