8th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

INTERNATIONAL WRITING CONTEST

Up to Age 21 | All Countries | Free to Enter

Deadline June 30th

 

A note from Laura on the final day:
– entries received after 11:59 pm on June 30th (Vancouver, Canada time) will not be entered in the contest
– the are no confirmation emails, you will see a confirmation webpage just after you submit your entry
– if you leave a comment on the website on June 30th, you may not receive a reply until July 1st
– if you are unsure about your submission, it is better to check and fix it, then submit a second time before the deadline as no submissions that are received after 11:59 pm on June 30th Vancouver, Canada time will be accepted

 

IMPORTANT 2015 DATES
Deadline JUNE 30
Finalists Announced AUGUST 7
Winners Announced SEPTEMBER 10

AGE CATEGORIES

Please note that we have added more age categories for 2015 and the prizes for each category are different. Be sure to refer to the proper age category. Your category is determined by the age you are on June 30, 2015.

Category 1 Ages 19 – 21
Top 6 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website.
Prizes:
1st place = Publication on this website + signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published OR The Naked Storyteller (winner’s choice) + a 30-minute private coaching session with Laura OR an LTC Insider Plus+ Membership (winner’s choice)
Second place = $30 CAD Coupon* for the LTC store
Third place = $25 CAD Coupon
Fourth place = $20 CAD Coupon
Fifth place = $15 CAD Coupon
Sixth place = $10 CAD Coupon
*Coupons are not redeemable for cash.
Finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. All entires which do not follow the rules will be disqualified. You can be no more than 21 years old on June 30, 2015.

Category 2 Ages 17 – 18
Top 6 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website.
Prizes:
1st place = Publication on this website + signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published OR The Naked Storyteller (winner’s choice) + a 30-minute private coaching session with Laura OR an LTC Insider Plus+ Membership (winner’s choice)
Second place = $30 CAD Coupon* for the LTC store
Third place = $25 CAD Coupon
Fourth place = $20 CAD Coupon
Fifth place = $15 CAD Coupon
Sixth place = $10 CAD Coupon
*Coupons are not redeemable for cash.
Finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. All entires which do not follow the rules will be disqualified.

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 6 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website.
Prizes:
1st place = Publication on this website + signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published OR The Naked Storyteller (winner’s choice) + a 30-minute private coaching session with Laura OR an LTC Insider Plus+ Membership (winner’s choice)
Second place = $30 CAD Coupon* for the LTC store
Third place = $25 CAD Coupon
Fourth place = $20 CAD Coupon
Fifth place = $15 CAD Coupon
Sixth place = $10 CAD Coupon
*Coupons are not redeemable for cash.
Finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. All entires which do not follow the rules will be disqualified.

Category 4 Ages 13 – 14
Top 6 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website.
Prizes:
1st place = Publication on this website + signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published + a 30-minute private coaching session with Laura OR an LTC Insider Plus+ Membership (winner’s choice)
Second place = $30 CAD Coupon* for the LTC store
Third place = $25 CAD Coupon
Fourth place = $20 CAD Coupon
Fifth place = $15 CAD Coupon
Sixth place = $10 CAD Coupon
*Coupons are not redeemable for cash.
Finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. All entires which do not follow the rules will be disqualified.

Category 5 Ages 11 – 12
Top 6 writers will each receive a certificate of achievement and be acknowledged on this website.
Prizes:
1st place = Publication on this website + signed paperback copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published + a 30-minute private coaching session with Laura OR an LTC Insider Plus+ Membership (winner’s choice)
Second place = $30 CAD Coupon* for the LTC store
Third place = $25 CAD Coupon
Fourth place = $20 CAD Coupon
Fifth place = $15 CAD Coupon
Sixth place = $10 CAD Coupon
*Coupons are not redeemable for cash.
Finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. All entires which do not follow the rules will be disqualified. You must be a minimum of 11 years old on June 30, 2015.

Category 6 Ages 10 & Under (NON-COMPETITIVE / DEVELOPMENT CATEGORY)
ENTRY FORM NOTE: On the entry form header it says this contest is for ages 9 – 21, but younger writers are allowed to enter this year. 
Every writer who enters in this category will receive a participation gift. In this category only, all submissions will be accepted even if the rules are not followed perfectly. This is a development category intended to prepare our youngest junior authors for a life-long passion for the written word. By removing the pressure, this becomes a fun opportunity to show Laura your stuff. She will personally read every entry and provide some general feedback to the group in a jaBlog! post.  And think about this: once you turn 11 you will have 10 years to compete in this contest, assuming Laura can keep it going that long!

 

“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  
  2. One story per person.
  3. Story must be in English.
  4. Contest is open to anyone who is no more than 21 years old as of June 30, 2015. Proof of age may be required. Writers who are 22 on June 30, 2015 are not eligible to enter.
  5. 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
      • A Note About Your Privacy: 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. You MUST 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.

ONLINE ENTRY FORM

 

Copyright, Judging and Tips

You can purchase a participation certificate for this contest in the LTC store.

You can purchase a participation certificate for this contest in the LTC store.

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 articles 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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2,137 comments on “8th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

  1. Fareeha Saleem

    hey really sorry to disturb you .. but i sent my entry in “times new roman 12 ” but it still says that it is the wrong file type.. i am really confused as today’s the last date .. plz tell if what u received is correct and can it be included in the contest plz ??? :(

    • Hi Fareeha. Your story file is in rtf format. It needs to be in doc, docx or pdf. Times New Roman is a font and has nothing to do with the type of file your story document is saved in. You have until the deadline to resubmit.

  2. Bethany

    Hi Laura,
    Yesterday I entered my story ‘Crystal Waters’ in and I haven’t got a confirmation email yet. I just wanted to make sure you have it. Thank you.

  3. Danielle Irene D'Alonzo

    Hi Laura,
    I know you have been getting a ton of these comments and I’m sorry to bother you with it, but I did not receive a confirmation e-mail. Just wanted to make absolutely sure that you have my story- it’s titled “In the Shape of a Heart.”
    Thank you!

  4. Sairah

    Hi Mrs. Thomas,
    I was wondering if you got a story titled “It is My Turn.” Thank you so much!

  5. Patrīcija Krongorne

    Hi Laura, I was wondering if you got a story with the title “Auburn”, since I haven’t received a conformation email. Sorry for bothering you with this! Have a nice day.

  6. Yinuo

    Hi Mrs. Thomas,

    I was in the process of submitting my short story when I accidentally hit enter and sent in the uncompleted form. I started a new form, completed and with my story attached and submitted it again a second time. I hope this is okay, and that you have received my story (A Beautiful Skeleton). Thank you!

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