Teen Writing Contest – Adventure Awaits!

Entries accepted June 1 - July 31

Discover where adventure begins by creating a world of your own imagining! Write a short story based on the prompt below and enter to win awesome prizes. Winners will be selected in both the Middle School and High School categories and will be judged by a panel of local authors.

Winners will be announced on Sept. 1. An award ceremony will be held at Belmar Library on Sept. 7.

Contest Rules

 "When there are many worlds, you can choose the one you walk into each day."
—Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming

Write a 5,000-word or less short story inspired by this quote from YA author Jacqueline Woodson. Stories must be written in prose, and there is no need to mention the quote in the story itself.

Submissions will be accepted June 1 - July 31. After the entry period closes on July 31, a team of qualified judges will evaluate submissions and determine the top five stories within each age group. Then, local YA authors will review the top five selections to determine first- and second-place winners in each age group. In the event of a tie, our teen librarians will review entries and determine final winners.

Submissions will be scored using a rubric based on the following criteria:

  • Addresses theme
  • Plot structure
  • Character development and dialogue
  • Language use
  • Organization and structure

Download and print, opens a new window a copy of the rubric and rules to help your narrative take root!

Writing Tips and Tricks

We love fostering creativity for our writing community just as much as we love supporting our readers! From a five-week virtual Teen Short Story Writing Camp to our Writing Guide, we have plenty of resources to help you develop your craft. Check out this list of writing resources specific for teens to help you cultivate your writing this summer.

2024 Library Summer Challenge: Where Adventure Begins!

Learn more at jeffcolibrary.org/summer-challenge