Submission Guidelines

Submissions are open now! Submit here!

Students who are currently enrolled in high school are encouraged to submit up to two pieces in each of the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry. Each individual submission should come in at ten pages or less. Our judges are excited to read submissions from all over the world over the next couple of months. We’ll announce our winners in March. In the meanwhile, some frequently asked questions are below.

Thanks! And happy writing!


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.


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: youngauthors@colum.edu


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.

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 Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry, up to six total pieces.


Geographical Limitations:

Q: Is the contest open to students from outside the US?

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 format. 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.


Other Questions?

Email us: youngauthors@colum.edu

Happy Writing!