7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

INTERNATIONAL WRITING CONTEST

Ages 9 to 21 | All Countries | Free to Enter

 

2015 will be different!

2015 will be different! Stay tuned.

PROPOSED CHANGES FOR OUR 8TH ANNUAL CONTEST
These changes will be finalized by the end of 2014. 

- More age categories: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-21
- Top 10 recognized in each age category
- Finalists and Winners announced sooner
- Shorter entry period
- Keep the contest free but we will no longer be giving out gift cards or memberships as prizes
- Proposed Contest Schedule for 2015:
Entries accepted in June only (June 1 – 30)
Deadline to purchase feedback July 1
Finalists Announced July 31
Winners Announced August 28
Feedback is emailed during the month of September

 

2014 Winners Page
2014 Statistics, Fun Facts & FAQs

IMPORTANT DATES
June 30, 2014 – Deadline
September 19, 2014 – Finalists Announced on this website
October 18, 2014 - Winners Announced at the Junior Authors Writers Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Tickets are still available at $89 CAD. You do not have to be at the conference to be a winner or to receive a prize. We Tweet and Post the results live from the conference as they are announced. Winners are contacted personally by Laura shortly after the conference. All the results will be published on this website shortly after the conference.

AGE CATEGORIES

Category 1 Ages 18 – 21*
Top 8 writers will each receive a $25 (Canadian dollar) Amazon e-gift card and a certificate of achievement. 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. All 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 15 – 17
Top 8 writers will each receive a $25 (Canadian dollar) Amazon e-gift card and a certificate of achievement. 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. All 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 12 – 14
Top 8 writers will each receive a $25 (Canadian dollar) Amazon e-gift card and a certificate of achievement. 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. All finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Category 4 Ages 9* – 11
Top 8 writers will each receive a $25 (Canadian dollar) Amazon e-gift card and a certificate of achievement. 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. All finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. *You can be no younger than 9 years old on June 30, 2014.

NEW for 2014 All finalists will receive a Certificate of Achievement because it is a huge achievement to make the finals in this competition.

“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)

2014 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, 2014 (Pacific Time). Late entries not accepted.

  1. FREE to enter (A big thanks to all our volunteers!). If you wish to have feedback on your story and find out your score, you need to purchase the feedback option. 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, 2014. 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, 2014
      • 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 the Insider Mailing List (there is a sign up form at the top of this page on the right hand side).
  10. 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 detailed 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. As a bonus you will receive a free copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer Workbook #1: Write a Short Story. You are allowed to purchase the feedback option and use the workbook before you submit your story. 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.

Copyright, Judging and Tips

Not Available in Stores

Click to View

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. The 2013 judging team included three authors, an editor, a librarian, a book store manager, and two past winners of this contest. Laura is lead judge. You can read judges’ comments from last year on jaBlog!

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 view several samples of short stories with Laura’s feedback on jaBlog! or view Laura’s vlog, What is a short story? You can also read the stories that have won in the past. Read the Winners from 2013.

 

ReviewYourBook

We are looking for books by Junior Authors to review on jaBlog! Click for submission guidelines.

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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1,767 comments on “7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

  1. Luke Stevenson

    Where do we post entries? I cannot find anywhere. Does a new spot open in January?

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Luke. The 2014 contest is closed so there is no entry form currently available. The 2015 contest is undergoing changes but it looks like we will have one month only when we are accepting entries (June 1 – 30, 2015). This not yet finalized. The best way to be informed about our contests is to be on the Insider mailing list. You can sign up on the left side margin of this page and it’s free.

  2. Karen

    Hello Laura. I’m sorry to be a bother, but should we have received our feedback by now if we paid for it? Thanks.

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Karen. I have about 30 left to do and should have it wrapped up by Monday evening, my time.

  3. Lucy Turner

    I requested feedback on my entry in the 2014 writing competition.
    Could you please tell me when I might receive it?
    Thanks
    Lucy

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Lucy. I hope to have all the feedback completed by November 7th. I’m about halfway through. Each one deserves my time and attention. :-)

  4. Grace Noelle

    Hello Ms. Thomas,
    I am writing a book, and I was wondering if I could base a short story on the book. The book is completely original, so I would just be loosely copying my own work.

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Grace. It’s you own work, so I don’t see a problem.

  5. Prabhroop

    Hi!

    First of all congratulations to all the winners:-)

    Laura, I just wanted to know when is the next story writing contest being held on your site?

    Thanks.:-)

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Prabhroop. The next short story contest opens in January for our 8th year!

  6. Callie

    Hi, I was just wondering when next year’s competition will begin.

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Callie. In January.

  7. Varsha Bhat

    To all those who have made it to the finals, congratulations. Those of us who couldn’t make it this time, all the best for the next year.

    May the best author win!

  8. Joy Chapman

    Hi , mes.thomas

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