7th Annual Junior Authors Short Story Writing Contest

Available: USA Nationwide

Closing Date:  6/30/2014

FREE INTERNATIONAL WRITING CONTEST

Ages 9 to 21 | All Countries

Opens February 1, 2014

2014 Junior Authors Short Story ContestDeadline June 30, 2014
Finalists Announced September 20, 2014
Winners Announced Live October 18, 2014 at the Junior Authors Writers Conference in Vancouver, Canada

AGE CATEGORIES

Category 1 Ages 18 – 21*
Top 6 writers receive Amazon gift cards (see amounts below) and a certificate of achievement. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. Plus, a press release about your winning short story will be sent to your local community newspaper. All finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below. *You can be no more than 21 years old as of June 30, 2014.

Category 2 Ages 15 – 17
Top 6 writers receive Amazon gift cards (see amounts below)  and a certificate of achievement. First place writer will be published on this website and be considered for paid freelance writing opportunities with Laura Thomas Communications and receive a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. Plus, a press release about your winning short story will be sent to your local community newspaper. All finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Polly Wants to Be a WriterCategory 3 Ages 12 – 14
Top 6 writers receive Amazon gift cards (see amounts below) and a certificate of achievement. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. Plus, a press release about your winning short story will be sent to your local community newspaper.  All finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Category 4 Ages 9 – 11
Top 6 writers receive Amazon gift cards (see amounts below) and a certificate of achievement. First place writer will be published on this website and receive a signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published by Laura Michelle Thomas. Plus, a press release about your winning short story will be sent to your local community newspaper. All finalists will receive a certificate of achievement. See rules below.

Amazon Gift Cards for the top 6 writers in each age category will be awarded as follows:
1st place – $100 (all amounts are in Canadian Dollars)
2nd place – $25
3rd place – $25
4th place – $25
5th place – $25
6th place – $25

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. If there is a tie for a prize, the winner will be the writer who did a better job following the rules.

Contest closes at midnight on June 30, 2014 (Pacific Standard Time UTC -7)

  1. FREE to enter (A big thanks to all our volunteers!)
  2. Details about the feedback option for the 2014 contest will be announced when the contest opens.
  3. One story per person.
  4. Story must be in English.
  5. Contest is open to anyone between 9 and 21 years old as of June 30, 2014. Proof of age may be required.
  6. It does not matter where you call home. Entries from every country are welcome.
  7. Your story can be about anything you like. Be creative and have fun. We don’t judge on the subject of your story, just on 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 genres of writing. We have a poetry contest on now.
  8. 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.
  9. No images, illustrations or fancy fonts. Keep it easy to read. Not sure which font to use? Try Times New Roman 12 pt.
  10. Include the following information at the top of the first page of your story.
    • 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).
    • Please view a sample of the recommended way to format your manuscript.
    • You can also view several samples of 1,000-word short stories with my feedback on jaBlog!.
  11. SUBMISSION FORM WILL BE AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 1, 2014. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Tip. 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.

If you have questions about the rules or entry form, please leave a polite comment below and Laura will respond as soon as she can with an answer. As you can see there are a lot of comments from last year, so if I accidentally miss yours because it got caught in my spam folder, please send me a polite reminder.  As we say in copywriting circles: be nice.

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.” – Alexandria, 2013 Contestant

http://laurathomascommunications.com/juniorauthorscontest/

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