The Young Mathematical Story Author (YMSA) competition is back! The competition is the world’s first annual international writing competition and is now in its fourth year. Launched in 2019 by Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai (Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Reading and founder of, the competition has since received YMSA entries from over 1,200 students (aged 8-15 years old) across 15 countries around the world.

Dr. Trakulphadetkrai points out that “What truly unique about this competition is the focus on writing stories with an explicit mathematical focus. Specifically, the competition is designed to encourage young mathematics learners (8-15 years old) from around the world to embed their mathematics learning in a meaningful and engaging context through creating their own mathematical story picture book.”

The idea behind this competition is based on the promising preliminary findings from a research project by Dr. Trakulphadetkrai which found potential pedagogical benefits of developing children’s mathematical understanding by having children produce their own mathematical story picture book.

Apart from Dr. Trakulphadetkrai, the Judging Panel of this competition also includes two of the world’s most prolific and best-selling mathematical story authors, Stuart J. Murphy and Cindy Neuschwander. Both Stuart and Cindy have also kindly agreed to let Dr. Trakulphadetkrai name the awards for the winners of the 8-11 and 12-15 age group categories as The Stuart J. Murphy Award and The Cindy Neuschwander Award respectively.


The winner in each of the two entry categories will receive the award of £100, and their school will also receive £100. The Stuart J. Murphy Award and The Cindy Neuschwander Award are kindly sponsored by HarperCollins and Charlesbridge respectively.

Closing date for entries is Friday 25th March 2022 (17:00 UK time).


This competition is organised by, a non-profit and research-based initiative, set up by Dr. Trakulphadetkrai. The initiative sets out to help mathematics learners around the world develop their conceptual understanding in mathematics and to help them foster positive attitudes towards the subject through the power of storytelling. Since its launch in March 2017, the website has now been visited over 1,000,000 times by more than 300,000 teachers and parents from over 210 countries.


More details of the Competition can be found here.

More details of can be found on its website, as well as its TwitterFacebook and Instagram pages.

More details of Dr. Trakulphadetkrai’s research interests can be found here as well as his Twitter and Facebook pages.