Junior Authors Short Story Contest

Ages 11 – 21 | All Countries | Free to Enter


Contest Opens April 1, 2016


Entry deadline June 30, 2016
Finalists announced August 5, 2016
Prize winners announced August 26, 2016


Age Categories

Your category is determined by the age you are on June 30, 2016.

Category 1 = ages 19 – 21
Category 2 = ages 17 – 18
Category 3 = ages 15 – 16
Category 4 = ages 13 – 14
Category 5 = ages 11 – 12



In each age category the prizes will be as follows:

First place = publication on this website + $100* credit to spend on LTC products and services + certificate of achievement
Second place = $75* + certificate
Third place = $50* + certificate
Fourth place = $35* + certificate
Fifth place = $25* + certificate
Sixth place = $20* + certificate
Finalists = certificate
*Not redeemable for cash. Credit must be used by March 31, 2017.


2016 Junior Authors Short Story Contest Rules

  1. Deadline is midnight June 30, 2016 (Pacific Time).   
  2. One story per person.
  3. Story must be in English.
  4. Contest is open to anyone between 11 and 21 years old as of June 30, 2016. Proof of age may be required.
  5. Entries from every country are welcome.
  6. Your short story can be about anything you like. Be creative, be bold and have fun. Submit your best work.
  7. Maximum length is 1,000 words. LTC is not responsible for discrepancies between word processing programs in how hyphens are counted. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep your story comfortably under the word count.
  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. Mandatory contact information. Include the following contact information at the top of the first page of your manuscript.
      • Word count (not including your title)
      • Title of your story
      • Name (your real name, no pen names)
      • Your age on June 30, 2016
      • Email address
      • Mailing address
      • Phone number
  10. Submit via the online entry form. Complete the online entry form with all the required contact information and upload your story in one of these mandatory file formats: doc, docx or pdf. Your email address will automatically be added to the contest email list which will only be used to send you contest information and results.



Copyright, Judging, Feedback, and Tips

Available exclusively in the LTC Store

You may find this workbook helpful as you work on your short story.

Copyright. If your story wins, you will keep the rights to it. We will ask you for permission to publish your story on the LTC 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.

Feedback. There is no personal feedback of any kind given to participants in this contest. However, there are two exceptions to this which participants can take advantage of:  1) become an LTC Insider Plus+ Member or 2) purchase a 30-minute private coaching session to discuss your contest entry.

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 samples of short stories with Laura’s feedback on jaBlog! and read the winners from the past 8 years.

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.


2,209 comments on “Junior Authors Short Story Contest

  1. Francois Kemp

    Hi Laura!
    Thank you so much for hosting this contest. I entered a few years ago, and didn’t get a place. Thanks so much for choosing my story as a finalist; this competition has inspired me to take writing further.

  2. Tiffany

    Hi Laura,
    I just wanted to say how grateful I am that you keep this contest up and running. It’s super cool that everyone can participate, even from far away places!
    Thanks again,

  3. Lulu

    Hi Laura, I just missed the competition this year. Do you have an idea when it will start next year? Thanks.

  4. Mahika

    Hi Laura,
    The finalists should have been announced on 7th August but I can’t find any list on the website. I have also checked in my mail and spam e mails but there is no list mailed to me.

  5. Asha

    when would be short list of the finalist be published?

  6. Alisha Dex

    Hi Laura,
    This might sound exceptionally stupid, but what’s a CAD coupon? I can’t find any information online.

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