Contest Media Kit
Annual Junior Authors Short Story Contest Background
Direct Contest URL: www.juniorauthorscontest.com
Started in 2008 and was only open to young writers ages 11 to 17 in Delta, BC, Canada. Only one category. Only two judges, Laura plus another volunteer.
Founder is author Laura Michelle Thomas. Created to compliment her Junior Authors Courses, taught online and live through the Delta School District camps.
Always free to enter. Expenses covered by Laura.
Laura was inspired by the “idol” shows and felt that there were not enough opportunities for aspiring, young writers. Laura believes that young writers should not compete against adult writers.
Short stories are judged on execution, not on subject. Young authors can write about anything, but it must be a short story of no more than 1,000 words. No poems, scripts, or articles, etc.
Created originally to get writers writing during summer vacation. Contest deadline was always August 31 until 2013.
In 2013, to encourage more teachers to get their students involved, the contest dates changed from January 1 to June 30.
Contest expanded in 2009 to include young writers ages 10 to 17 residing in the province of British Columbia. Two age categories created: 10 – 13 and 14 – 17.
In 2011, a children’s incentive category was added for ages 6 to 9. Added a third judge to the team.
Including 2012, there were never more than 85 entries in a single year.
Approximately 20% of writers have been participating for more than 3 years.
In 2013, the contest went international with an online submission form and 4 age categories: 9-11, 12-14, 15-17, 18-21. Prior to this stories had always been submitted by snail mail.
In 2013, 70% of stories were from the middle two age groups (12-17).
In 2013, there were 1,843 entries from 67 countries. Primary countries are the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia.
In 2013, there were 10 judges plus Laura as lead judge.
Judges have included editors, authors, librarians, teachers, past winners, and LTC Team members.
In 2014, Laura introduced disqualifications for not following two of the key rules as well as “rounds” of judging so that the reading burden is lighter.
For 2015, Laura broke the age categories down from 4 categories to 6 categories: 10 & Under), 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-21. Also new for 2015, Laura made the 9-10 year old age category a non-competitive and development category. In this category, everyone receives a participation gift and no one is “disqualified” for not following the rules.
August 11, 2015. Based on the number of complaints Laura has received for having a 10&U development, non-competitive category in 2015, she will not be offering it for the 2016 contest. The age of participation for the 2016 Junior Authors Short Story Contest will be the same as the 2016 Junior Authors Poetry Contest: ages 11 to 21 only.
To request an interview with Laura Thomas or a past winner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org