Young Authors Writing Competition FAQs

Simultaneous Submissions:

Q: Is it OK to submit my work to your contest as well as other contests or magazines?

A: Simultaneous submissions are allowed for our contest, but we ask that you notify us immediately if the piece is accepted elsewhere. We do not accept pieces that have received national publication or won other contests, so if the piece is accepted elsewhere, you may need to withdraw it from our contest.


Previously Published Work:

Q: What is the policy on the eligibility of submitting work that has previously been published in a) commercial literary journals b) anthologies c) school magazines?

A: We do not accept work that has previously been published. Please submit something else.


Length of Work:

Q: The rule states that submissions should not be longer than ten pages.  I am planning to submit two poems, two stories and two essays. Does that mean that each entry cannot be longer than ten pages or does it mean that the combined entries cannot be longer than ten pages?

A: Each individual entry has a limit of ten pages.


Q: I have a story that is around 4,000 words, or just a little more than six pages, but this is only if my story is single-spaced. Would this story be acceptable according to the submission guidelines?

A: The submissions have to be double-spaced, 12-point type. If, after formatting, the work exceeds ten pages, you will need to edit to ensure your submission respects the guidelines.


Word limit:

Q: Is there a word limit?

A: The number of words is not fixed. But each work cannot exceed ten pages.


About formatting:

Q: What is the proper formatting?

A: Creative Nonfiction Writing: essays in all forms, styles, and subjects. Guidelines: 10-page max., double-spaced, 12-point type.

Fiction Writing: original fiction in all forms, styles, and subjects. Guidelines: 10-page max., double-spaced, 12-point type.

Poetry: original poetry in all forms, styles, and subjects. Guidelines: 1-5 poems, 10-page max., double-spaced, 12-point type.


Q: Is there a specific font, font size, or line spacing size that we need to follow?

A: All works should be double-spaced in a 12-point font. Preferred fonts are Courier or Times.


Made a Mistake:

Q: I entered the wrong draft of my piece, but I already have two separate entries in that category. How can I delete one and add the correct version?

A: Please email us if you need to make a correction and we will arrange for you to resubmit the piece:


Titles and Names:

Q: Should I include my name and/or the title of my work in the document/entry I attach?

A: It is fine to include your name and title on the work, though if you don’t, we will still be able to identify it. We suggest that you title the document in the following format: Category, author last name, piece title. Example: Fiction_Smith_A Very Good Story


Number of submissions:

Q: Am I limited to two entries total or two in each category?

A: You may enter two in each category of Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, and Poetry, up to six total pieces.


Submissions in different days:

Q: Can I submit Poetry today and then submit Fiction and Creative Nonfiction at a later time?  Or do I need to submit all entries at the same time?

A: All the works need to be uploaded at the same time. You will not be able to submit on different occasions.


Geographical Limitations:

Q: Is the contest open to students from outside the U.S.?

A: Yes, we welcome international submissions. Please use your best judgment when filling out the submission form where it asks for state and zip code.


School/Age Requirement:

Q: I am homeschooled, can I enter the contest?

A: Please do! The contest is designed for 9th through 12th graders, so approximate ages are 14–18 (we will be lenient if you are a bit younger or older).


Submission problems:

Q: I could not upload my submission.

A: Please make sure your piece is in one of the following formats only: .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Others, such as .rtf, .txt, and .pages will not load. We also cannot access files sent from shared cloud services such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. If you continue to have a problem, please email us.


Winning in multiple categories:

Q: Can I win in more than one category?

A: You can be a finalist (top 10) in more than one category, but you will only be allowed to win a prize (first, second, or third place) in one.


Creative Nonfiction Category:

Q: Does a critical essay on a specific subject of importance to society qualify for the Creative Nonfiction category? Are there additional criteria for a nonfiction submission to qualify as creative?

A: Creative Nonfiction refers to literary nonfiction, which includes personal essays, memoir, cultural criticism, and other subgenres. A critical or academic paper does not typically fall under the category of creative nonfiction, unless that essay also has literary qualities in addition to criticism.


Other Questions?

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Happy Writing!