The Portico Sadie Massey Awards


Individual students can enter by responding to our competition brief, but many schools enter students together; some do reviews or creative writing sessions in class, or run an in-school competition before submitting outstanding entries to our competition.


The book review competition is open to students in primary and secondary education.

The creative writing competition is open to secondary students only.

Although we mainly work with schools in Manchester and Greater Manchester, we will accept submissions from other parts of the UK.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept International entries at this time.

Word count

Book reviews from primary schools have a word limit of 300 words.

Book reviews from secondary schools have a word limit of 500 words.

Creative writing entries should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words.

Judges will accept no more than a 10% leeway for entries outside the work limits.


Any genre of book can be reviewed, but the book should be considered as a whole e.g. a whole book of poetry or short stories should be reviewed, not just one work from a collection.

Students entering the creative writing competition must base their piece in the North of England.

How to enter

Each entry must be accompanied by their own individual entry form. The form must be filled out in full.

If you are sending multiple entries at once, please submit each individual entry as a separate document.

Written entries will be accepted only if they are neat, legible and written in blue or black pen.

Please send digital entries in the form of a Word doc. or other similar, editable format.

Extra drawings and decorations will not be considered in the judging process.

Entries should be free from any other person's markings e.g. a teacher's feedback.

Entries should be sent via e-mail or by post to The Portico Library in central Manchester.

There are no limits on the number of entries one school can submit (we want everyone to have a chance to enter), but remember, every book review or piece of writing has to have it's own entry form with it!

Our deadline is strict! Please be aware that the judges are not obliged to consider entries that arrive late.


Unfortunately we cannot contact everyone individually about the results. Please keep an eye on our website to receive news.

Winners will be announced in the Summer term and an awards event will be held in The Portico before the end of the academic year.


Book tokens

An author visit to your school

Your writing published in Time Travellers and the Crystal Dome.

Please note that The Portico Library may reject submissions that do not comply with the above entry processes.