7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

INTERNATIONAL WRITING CONTEST

Ages 9 to 21 | All Countries | Free to Enter

 

NOW CLOSED

2014 Winners Page
2014 Statistics, Fun Facts & FAQs

 

2014 Junior Authors Short Story Contest

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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1,752 comments on “7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

  1. Hi Ms. Thomas,

    I submitted a story to your contest fairly early, called “The Last Moments”. Recently the computer it was saved on wiped all of my files, including the story. Even if it wins nothing, I would still really appreciate it if you were able to email a copy of it to me, because I feel that it was some of my best writing. It would mean so much to me if you were able to do that.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    -Willa

    • Sorry to bother you again, I just remembered what I forgot to put up above. Is it too late to purchase the feedback option for my story, or was that option closed when the contest deadline passed?

      Thanks again.

      -Willa

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Willa. Please send me an email with your two requests, and I will take it from there.

  2. Terri Nwanma

    Good day, ma’am. Can I please be allowed to enter this competition late? i just found out about it.

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Terri. We do not accept late entries. You will have to wait until the 2015 contest opens.

  3. Aneesah Salami

    Hi Miss Laura,

    I have not receive any confirmation since I sent my story on the 22nd of June. Kindly let me know if my story is received

    Thanks

    Aneesah Salami

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Aneesah. I do have an entry from you. Please check your junk mail folder. You should have received a contest email from me this week.

  4. PM

    Actually, I’m not really happy with this declaration….
    “NOTE: This may have been the last year that we can offer free entry. Starting in 2015 we may be charging a small entry fee to help cover the cost of running such a popular contest. We will be making our decision this summer. To be the first to find out, please join our mailing list. – Laura”
    Not many online contests are as famous, free, loved, and so generous as this one… i found this contest for the first time and am already excited for the next years contest… I hope you understand what I am trying to express…. So it would be really awesome if you keep this contest free…. :) :( : (i don’t know how i feel)

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi PM. I know! It’s not ideal, but it may be our new reality next year (2015). We are asking our Insiders for input and are having a team meeting a week from now to decide the future of LTC. Another option on the table is shutting the entire website down at the end of this year (2014), which would include the contests. If you want to have a say, please join the Insider mailing list. I’ll be sending further word out on Monday.

  5. Arihant

    Dear Laura the way you and your team motivates young authors all over the world makes me feel that the world is a beautiful place to live in. I have since introduced your website to other friends of mine. Now we have decided to hold a story reading session twice every month where we would contribute and every time we would share something from your archives. I too have submitted one short story for the competition. I am enjoying the whole experience. Do you visit India?
    You inspire!

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Arihant. Thank you very much for writing. I am glad to hear that our hard work is being read by thoughtful writers such as yourself. I do not have plans to visit India, though I would very much like to host a Junior Authors Writers Conference there in the future.

  6. Lina

    I’m so glad i found this website and competition. Unfortunately i found out about the contest late and i submitted it very fast without taking the time of proofreading it very carefully. I reread it today and i’ve got a couple of mistakes. If the story is good, would you overlook some mistakes?

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Lina. Mistakes are not overlooked by the judges, but more marks are allocated to plot structure, description and unity than to grammar and spelling mistakes.

  7. menna soliman

    Hi laura, first of all, thank you so much for the competition. I thoroughly enjoyed writing again andI’m so sorry to bother you. I promised myself I wouldn’t bother you with my questions but the anxiety is killing me. Did I or did I not send the story in time. again sorry and thank you.
    Menna

    • Laura Thomas

      Yes. Your entry came through at exactly midnight and will be accepted into the contest.

      • Menna Soliman

        thank you so much. what a relief.

  8. Jessica Chen

    Hi! I sent in my story a few minutes ago. Just checking to see if my submission went through? I haven’t received a confirmation e-mail yet. Thanks! :)

    • Laura Thomas

      I have your entry, Jessica.

  9. Ryan Trombly

    Hi Mrs. Thomas,
    I just wanted to make sure you got my piece titled The Old Willow Tree because after I submitted the story, it showed up as script error. Thank You for all the trouble you are going through to answer this,
    Ryan

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Ryan. I have an entry from you.

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