It's All Write! Short Story Contest for Middle and High School Teens

Write a short story! You have until March 20th to turn it in. Maybe you've had this idea knocking around in your head for months, so now is the time to go ahead and write it down. The announcement about this contest will be mailed to all Middle and High Schools in Washtenaw County, and winners will be announced on May 13th with an Awards Program held during the Ann Arbor Book Festival
For complete contest rules go to this link

PRIZES will be awarded to first-place ($250 cash awards), second-place($150 cash awards) and third-place ($100 cash awards) finishers in three categories-
*6th, 7th and 8th grades
*9th and 10th grades
*11th and 12th grades
It's All Write is sponsored by "The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation Robert Bruce Dunlap Memorial Awards Fund.

Call us at 327-8301 if you have other questions, and good luck.


wow that is a lot of cash
"Eli Is awesome"

Sounds fun. I might enter if I have time between now and then. Of course, I have to get a good short story concept first...

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

Question: The rules didn't mention that stories have to be in English, but I'm assuming that foreign language stories would not be accepted, yes?

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

I would think that putting it in a foreign language would create problems for the judges and result in point loss. I think I might enter seeing as I already have a story half written, well I have the beginning and most of the end, there might be a problem seeing as it is kind of a controversial theme. It will be interesting seeing how my writing compares to the writing of other people my age.

Mmm.. I'm thinking its English works only.. we did have a submission from Eastern Europe last year, it was in English. The judges are local people, and I'm not sure its fair is only some people can read your story.. it'll probably cut your chances of winning. ^_^

Are you in German class with Herr Lederer? (If you're a Pi High Student, of course)

I am indeed in a German class with Herr Lederer.

Did you go to Pioneer?

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

Yep.. but I was in Spanish with this woman whose name I don't remember. My little brother had Herr Lederer for several years. He used to do German movies for German Day.. for some reason your comment reminded me of that.

Huh. Interesting coincidence. I'm actually working on the script for a German day movie in another window right now. It's called "Der Apfel Zwei" (the Apple 2) last year, we made Der Apfel, but it was disqualified because Herr Lederer though it was too violent. Der Afpel Zwei is not a direct sequel, the title is just a tribute to last year's. It's about these apples that give people super-powers when they eat them.

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

Great! My little brother did several over the years, one of them called "The Briefcase." I remember there was a series about a fish-handed man, but that wasn't his.

Yes, I remember Lederer was not a fan of blood sport on his entries.

Hmm, I never saw the Briefcase. Der Fischhand is a classic that we watch every year though. What's your brother's name? I'[ll ask Herr Lederer if he happens to have a copy of a movie that he made that we can see.

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

Are there any examples of stories that won in the past? Or more judging criteria? That would be very useful.

I wish I had examples on hand. I would suggest looking at Sixteen : short stories by outstanding writers for young adults, The Art of the Short Story, or this online library of short stories by master authors. You can't go wrong with Leo Tolstoy or Edgar Allen Poe for inspiration.

Ask Herr Lederer about the red haired guy who gave him a hard time about being an MSU fan. He graduated last year.

I do have a question. When reading the rules, it says,

"The title page should include name, address, phone number, grade, school and the title of the story. Number all the pages, paper clip (DO NOT STAPLE) and type ONLY grade level and story title on each page."

So we have the title page with our name, address, phone number, grade, school, and title. I understand that. But if I understood correctly, we are to put our grade level and story title on every other page, correct?

Yes just the Grade level, for comparison to other works in the same class, and story title, so the judges can ID the story because they don't see the title pages, on every other page. It would be a good idea to put that in the header/footer seeing as it doesn't disrupt the rest of your writing.


What restrictions are there? I rather hope there isn't....

And how long can the story be? 3 pages? 4 pages?

I believe that the rules said 5-10 pages. There's a link to click on that has all of the information.

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

I think the only other limit aside from page length is taste. Remember, adults will be the judges. ;)

So, are you saying that the winning stories have to be mature and adult-like?

...Aw, who cares. If they don't like my story, at least I'll have a good time writing it.

Meh, not adult and mature.. just not senselessly gross.. Don't re-write the script for Hostel, I think that's what I was trying to say. ;-p

I would guess that they will be grading on the strength of the story's message (if there is one), good grammar, spelling, punctuation, individuality and writing style. They definitely don't want you to just copy someone else's writing style without putting something of you in it. One of my stories is written in a Lovecraftian style but I'm not limiting myself to it I'm using it as a jump board to dive into my full potential. You also don't want to make something that is a tribute to something distinctly adolescence unless you can tie something powerful behind it like the Catcher in the Rye otherwise the adults won’t see the full ability of your writing. Alas I'm speaking from the 11th-12th grade perspective and you should just try to write the best you can and then have people read it and give you advice, but don't take everything your given otherwise it might not be your work when your done.

Ok now that I'm done with my blog fix I'll go back to homework and Lord Foul's Bane.

You are correct.
There may be other contests out there that are looking for a story told in German or French, but this one that is currently running will accept a story (theme of your choice) min. of 5 and maximum of 10 pgs. You sound creative and somewhat interested; I'd say go for it.

Sounds like you are half-way home. I am encouraging you to finish and submit your story. There are some booklets available of the 'winning' stories that can be found in the library collections.
Look under "Ann Arbor District Library Short Story Writing Contest" and you should find several of the past years' booklets. I would consider you a 'winner' if you simply finished your story and submitted it. (Don't forget the deadline is March 20th/Monday at 9pm.)

The judges are all published writers. They are looking for a creative, well-told story. No specific theme is required. Please check out the booklets that are in the library's collection that are the compiled stories from previous years. "Ann Arbor District Libary Short Story Writing Contest" The contest is open to area teens, so we have submissions from Chelsea and Saline and Ypsilanti too. (the deadline is March 20th/Monday at 9pm)

Yes, this is correct. When we compile the stories to give to the jduges, we want all personal information to be set aside on the title page, and so all the judges are getting are story title and age category. Numbering the pages helps too. This eliminates stray pages turning up when we're collating. So thanks for taking the time to follow the guidelines. It just helps to process and get the stories to the judges. All the stories are judged by category and name of story only.
Good Luck.

The guidelines say a minimum of 5 pages and a maximum of 10 typed pages, double or 1.5 spacing and 1 inch margin.

Good Luck.

I suppose I should have read the guidelines before writing a story; mine is far, far too long, and isn't quite done yet. Good luck to everyone possessive of more common sense than have I!

You can always edit it down to a shorter vignette, Pickwick.. don't give up. :)

can anyone give me an estimate of how many people normally enter this competition?

Pickwick, long-winded? Impossible. The right honourable Pickwick the Second is the very model of tersity.

It has varied over the years, from #30 total to #200 total.
With the prize money increased in the last few years, we've seen more. I still say a finished story is a winner. Good Luck, kinetic.

Heh! I had almost forgotten about those, Eli; the particular string of incidents to which you refer occurred during the heady months of my brief bout with the irrationality of adolescence, when, for a reason that could best be described as 'unconvincing, when viewed in a rational frame of mind,' I elected to make an attempt to submit the longest post, as I recall, an effort which I believe was eventually met with a certain degree of success, if such can it be called. In any event, that series of posts (which could, I suppose, constitute a fence) certainly serves as a more-than-adequate object manifestation of the reason for which it is likely that I will never pare my story, which is, as of yet, a fairly mediocre political satire, below the limit of ten pages: I am far too much like the German in Twain's Connecticut Yankee, who starts his sentence, wades through a sea of words, then, with verb in mouth, on the other side emerges. It's more than thrice the limit, as I had read 'short' in the term 'short story' as ''less-than-novellike-in-length.' Good luck to everybody else, though; it would be great if Axis were to be represented in the winners' nonagon!!

Well, I believe that I shall be submitting a story. However, I need to retype and edit it first.

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

Question: How strict is the 5-10 page limit? Is a page of less off of that fine?

"Faulheit ist eine Tugend"

Sorry for the late answer! If you have four pages or eleven, mess with your font and margins to get it into the 5-10 limit. If you have twelve pages.. I would consider editing. :)

If you have Arial unicode MS use it. It's my favorite font because a. it Arial and b. it about doubles any text in New Times Roman. Since "11-12 point Times or Arial." is required if you're in Times for length go for an Arial font.

If we enter this and don't win will our story still be publicly posted?