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Who can enter?

The competition is open to teenagers over the age of 14 who are in care, have been in care, or are care leavers, up to the age of 25 in the U.K.

What should I submit?

Your entry can take the form of a blog post, short story, article, poem, photograph, video, vlog or podcast – as long as it fits with the theme, you can be as creative as you like!

The theme for this competition is ‘My best piece of advice’.

If you are not sure what to write, or if you have any questions, please get in touch at [email protected].

Is there a word limit?

If you are submitting a written piece of content, it should be no longer than 800 words. If you are submitting a video or podcast, it should be no longer than five minutes in length, and you can use WeTransfer to submit it (don’t forget to also email or post us a copy of the competition entry form!).

Can my entry be anonymous?

Absolutely – we encourage you to remain anonymous in your entry, and we will never share your real name online without your permission. However you will need to fill in our competition application form using your real name and contact details so that we can get in touch with you if you win, or if we have any questions about your entry. We will not share this information with anyone else without your permission, and if your entry is chosen for publication on IMO we will ensure that you remain completely anonymous (unless you are over 18 and you request otherwise).

Can I submit work by someone else?

No, your entry must be your own original work.

If you are a parent/carer/teacher/social worker/etc., and you would like to submit content on behalf of a young person with care experience, please email [email protected] for advice and guidance.

How can I enter?

Fill in the competition entry form and email it, along with your entry, to [email protected].

If you’d rather post your entry to us, simply print off the competition entry form, fill it in and post it, along with your submission, to:

IMO – Write, Speak, Share

Children’s Commissioner’s Office

Great Smith Street

London SW1P 3BT

When is the closing date?

The closing date is Sunday 9 February 2020 at midnight. Entries received after this time will be automatically disqualified.

I’m not sure what to submit – help!

If you need some inspiration, or if you’re not sure where to start, take a look at some of the awesome content others have already created for IMO here and here.

How will entries be judged?

Entries will be judged against the following criteria:

  1. How well the entry fits with the theme
  2. Originality
  3. The style, structure and tone of the entry

The judges are unable to provide feedback on individual entries. The judges’ decision is final.

What prizes are on offer?

One winner will receive two VIP tickets to see James Arthur in the Leeds First Direct Arena on Wednesday 11 March (guests will get a lanyard each that entitles them to chips, water, and ice cream), and dinner (burger, fries and a soft drink) for two in Five Guys.

Three runners-up will each receive exclusive IMO prizes including dinner for two in Five Guys and Skinny Dip goodies.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners and runners-up will be announced on Thursday 9 May 2019. We will do our best to contact winning entrants 24 hours in advance.

Where will my entry be published?

We will publish a selection of entries on IMO, by the winner, runners-up and others, and we will share these entries on our social media channels. We may also publish some entries in print or online media. We will do our best to notify you before we publish your entry online or in print.

Will you run this competition again?

We are planning to run this competition annually, with fantastic new prizes on offer each time, so check back soon!

Full terms and conditions available here