8th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

INTERNATIONAL WRITING CONTEST

Ages 9 to 21 | All Countries | Free to Enter

Contest Opens April 1, 2015

 

8th Junior Authors Short Story Contest

IMPORTANT 2015 DATES
June 30 – Deadline
August 7th – Finalists Announced
August 28 – Winners Announced
September 25 – Last day to purchase feedback option
September 1 – 30 – Feedback is emailed

AGE CATEGORIES

Please note that we have added more age categories for 2015.

Category 1 Ages 19 – 21*
Top 8 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. The finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. *You can be no more than 21 years old on June 30, 2014.

Category 2 Ages 17 – 18
Top 8 writers will each receive certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. The finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Polly Wants to Be a Writer

“Not just an instruction manual, and not just a fantasy novel, this book combines two completely different genres into one wholly enjoyable read that I highly recommend for any person pursuing a writing career.”

Category 3 Ages 15 – 16
Top 8 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. The finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Category 4 Ages 13 – 14
Top 8 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. The finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Category 5 Ages 11 – 12
Top 8 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. The finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Category 6 Ages 9 – 10
Top 8 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. The finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. 

“I struggle to find words to show my gratitude for this contest. It’s not necessarily that I have entered because I think I could win, but rather because it meant I was motivated to write more. I thank you deeply and wish the best of luck to my fellow contestants. Yours thankfully, Peter” (2012 Contestant)

2015 International Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest Rules

Please read the rules and follow them carefully or your story will not be judged.

Contest closes at midnight on June 30, 2015 (Pacific Time). Late entries not accepted.

  1. FREE to enter If you wish to have feedback on your story and find out your score, you need to purchase the feedback option for $15 CAD in the LTC Store. Details are below the rules. 
  2. One story per person.
  3. Story must be in English.
  4. Contest is open to anyone between 9 and 21 years old as of June 30, 2015. Proof of age may be required.
  5. It does not matter where you call home. Entries from every country are welcome.
  6. Your story can be about anything you like. Be creative, be bold and have fun. We don’t judge the subject of your story, just how well you write it. But remember that it will be judged according to the criteria for a short story. This is not a contest for scripts, poems, essays or other types of writing. Please send your best work. Revise. Edit. No first drafts please.
  7. Maximum length is 1,000 words. Stories longer than 1,000 words will not be judged, no exceptions. Your title and contact information do not count toward the 1,000 words. Edit your story down to 1,000 words. Cut all empty or extra words that do not add to setting, plot, or characterization.
  8. Formatting. No images, illustrations or fancy fonts. Keep it easy to read. Not sure which font to use? Try Times New Roman 12 point. Please view a sample of the recommended way to format your manuscript. Watch this video by Laura to see common manuscript formatting mistakes.
  9. Include the following information at the top of the first page of your story. Stories that do not have this information at the top of the first page will not be judged, no exceptions.
      • Word count
      • Name
      • Age on June 30, 2015
      • Email address
      • Mailing address
      • Phone number
      • Title
      • Privacy Note: Your contact information is only used for communicating contest information to you. After the winners are announced, your contact information will be deleted from our records. If you wish to stay in touch year-round, or find out about writing opportunities or submission calls, please sign up for our mailing list.
  10. [Entry form will be available on April 1, 2015] Please use the online entry form to submit your short story. Complete the online entry form and upload your story in one of these file formats: doc, docx or pdf. If you try to upload your story in a different format, we will not be able to access the file and your story will not be entered in the contest. Once you upload your story, you will receive a welcome email from laura@laurathomascommunications.com within approximately one hour.

Feedback Option

If you would like feedback from Laura on your story, and to know your score (broken down into its component marks), please purchase the $15 CAD feedback option in the LTC Store prior to the contest deadline. NOTE: If you do not purchase the feedback option you will not find out your score or receive any feedback from Laura. Not even the winners or finalists find out their score or get feedback unless they have purchased the feedback option. This item will be available in the LTC store when the contest opens.

Copyright, Judging and Tips

Copyright. If your story wins, you will keep the rights to it. We will ask you for permission to publish your story on this website for others to enjoy and learn from. However, the story remains your property and you are free to submit it elsewhere.

Judging. Each story is judged on its literary merit as a short story including: story structure (plot, characters, setting, point of view), description, style, grammar, and unity. We look at the title of your short story and how well it fits your theme and tone to get your unity score.

Tips. If you have read Polly Wants to Be a Writer, then you know that you should not be submitting a first draft. Revise. Proofread. Format properly. Then follow the rules and submit. No lumps of clay please. You can also read the stories that have won in the past or browse the jaBlog! archives. We have a lot of article in there dealing with writing short stories and with judges’ comments from past short story contests.

Manuscript Formatting. Not sure how to best format your story? You can watch this You Tube video on formatting that I created shortly after I judged the 2013 Junior Authors Short Story Contest.

 

Write a short story in six easy steps.

Write a short story in six easy steps.

SOMETHING TO ASPIRE TO… By definition a short story has four basic elements: plot, character, setting, and theme. It deals with one situation or single episode which concentrates on one critical moment or emotional crisis, and is limited to one time and place. All the elements are directed towards a single effect which produces a unity of impression.

“For me, this contest is more than writing a short story, it is an outlet to allow me to pursue my passion. It can be hard and challenging, wanting to make it as a writer. When you tell people this, they look at you and scoff a little. Those people don’t matter, because for every ten of them there is one person like you and people like your judges who encourage us to follow our hearts and minds and spirits. Knowing that somewhere my voice, and the voices of hundreds of other young writers, are being heard gives me hope. So, thank you, to you and the judges for, not only a contest but hopes for our dreams and for fanning the flame in our bellies to pursue our passion.”
- Participant in the 2013 Junior Authors Short Story Contest (Read more testimonials)

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1,811 comments on “8th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

  1. Erin M Sloan

    So I was wondering if I could write something very descriptive about something like death. Also does fictionalized mean syfy or fantasy

    • Hi Erin. You can write about any subject you like. SciFi and Fantasy are major categories of fiction. If you are not sure what a short story is, you can read the tips at the bottom of this page.

  2. Tricia

    I just want to ask , can I write about real life? Will it be counted as creativity?

    • Hi Tricia. A story based on real life can be fictionalized and transformed into a short story.

  3. Angel

    Hi Laura.
    I was wondering how would we submit the entry? I didn’t see it in the article so, I’m not sure. Also, how will I have to prove my age?

    Does the entry have a minimum?

  4. Cori

    I was considering writing a humorous story for this contest. Would it be acceptable if it was a very exaggerated account of a real life experience?

  5. Estelle Estrellado

    Laura, so can we write anything we want? Are there any restrictions?

    • Hi Estelle. No restrictions except that it must be a short story, not another form of writing such as poetry or drama.

  6. McKenzie Gray

    Can my story for this competition have the formation of a messages, like a letter. It’s just it’s my first competition and I wanna follow all the rules. Sorry if it’s a stupid question.

  7. Georgia

    Hi Laura
    I just wanted to say that my tab a bit funny and moves the whole line is it all right to use in the contest?

  8. Hello,Laura. Is there any way, other than a membership, to subscribe for regular updates about upcoming contests?

    • Hi Skye. You can sign up for our mailing list using the form on the left side of the page near the top.

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