Welcome to the Contests Page!

AADL sponsors a variety of contests for kids and teens. Each contest offers participants the opportunity to show off their creativity from writing to building with LEGO. Our annual contests include...

The LEGO Contest is for ages preschool through adults. This annual event happens every August. This year's contest was on THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2015 @ THE KENSINGTON COURT HOTEL! Participants build their projects at home and bring them to the Kensington Court Hotel on a designated date (address in link below) for judging. Prizes are awarded in the form of gift certificates and award ribbons during a large awards ceremony on the evening of the judging. The top three winners in each age category and the people's choice winners each get a custom made LEGO trophy too. For more information take a look at the LEGO Guidelines for the 2015 contest. Check out the list of winners from every contest and look at all the entries to the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,2012 and 2013 LEGO Contests.

The annual "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest is open to students in grades 6-12 in the spring each year. Writers submit an original short story to be judged by a panel of published authors, and generous prizes will be distributed among nine winners! There is an awards celebration each year at the end of the contest, featuring a YA author as the guest speaker. To learn more, check out the CONTEST PAGE!

The annual "Write On!" Short Story Contest for Grades 3-5 accepts submissions each spring. All writers are invited to a Story Celebration at the end of the contest featuring a published children's author! The top three stories from each grade will be recognized and each writer will receive a certificate of participation. To learn more, check out the CONTEST PAGE!

Read the blog posts below for more information on upcoming and past contests....

"Write On!" 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Contest Begins!

Monday February 9, 2015: 12:00 am to 11:55 pm

Calling all third, fourth, and fifth graders for another year of writing fun! Write a short story and submit it from Monday, February 9 – Friday, February 27, to participate in the third annual writing contest! See aadl.org/events/writeon for more details.


9th Annual AADL LEGO Contest and Awards Ceremony Slideshow

Media Player

August 7, 2014 at Kensington Court


File NameSizeType
aadl_events_20140707-lego-240.mp415 MB240p Video
aadl_events_20140707-lego-480.mp433 MB480p Video
aadl_events_20140707-lego-720.mp461 MB720p Video

Did you attend the 9th Annual AADL LEGO Contest? Take a look at our highlight reel and see what you missed. Then start planning your own project for next year's contest--or just remember to mark your calendar to go and check out all of the amazing LEGO creations that will be there!

Length: 02:05
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library
Related Event:
AADL 9th Annual LEGO Contest!

"It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest Final Celebration!

Sunday June 7, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

Celebrate and support writers of the "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest! Winners in attendance will receive their awards, and YA author Rebecca Donovan will share her thoughts on writing!

"Write On!" Story Contest Awards Celebration!

Sunday April 19, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for youth (grade 3 and up) teens and adults.

If you participated in the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Contest this year, or want to support those who did, join us for the final awards celebration!

Author Bryan Chick of the Secret Zoo series will share his thoughts on writing and we'll have light refreshments!

Entries will be accepted from February 9 - 27. For more information about the contest and for the complete guidelines please visit the contest webpage!

"Write On!" Short Story Contest for Grades 3-5

The 3rd Annual "Write On!" Short Story Contest for Grades 3-5 accepts story entries each spring (dates are included in each year's guidelines). All writers, their friends, and families are invited to the Story Celebration, featuring a published children's author, once the contest ends. The top three stories from each grade will be recognized and each writer will receive a certificate of participation. Since its start in 2013, the contest has received about 200 submissions from Ann Arbor and abroad!

1. Check out the CONTEST GUIDELINES!
2. Write your story! (Need some help? Here are some WRITING RESOURCES.
3. Submit your story by e-mail or in person at the Downtown Branch Youth Desk!
4. Attend the Story Celebration once the contest is done to eat some snacks, meet other kids, and hear our featured guest speaker- a published children's author!
Questions about the contest may be directed to Kayla at youngwrite@aadl.org or at the Youth desk: 734-327-8301.

2015 "Write On!" Short Story Contest

The 2015 "Write On!" Contest received a record number of 138 submissions! Below are the winners from this year.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Yotam Chopra "The Kids Who Saved the World"
2nd Graham Baker "Sam the Talented Dolphin"
3rd Selene Freudenberg "How Hair Pot Er Met Innygay Easlyway"

4th Grade Winners:

1st Elijah Hatcher-Kay "Lost and Found"
2nd Finnian Cook "Believe"
3rd Caroline Robinson "Going Through Time"

5th Grade Winners:

1st Camille Hu "The Girl"
2nd Fionnuala MacKercher "Grey"
3rd Madeleine Rodgers "Nelson and Ariana's Nako Odyssey"

2014 Short Story Challenge

Around 100 young writers turned in stories for the 2014 3-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Below is a list of the 2014 winners. To read all entries of the 2014 contest, click here.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Kaden Thornton "The Magical Book" PDF Text-Only Version
2nd Eliza Ann Van Ee "Save the Slaves!" PDF Text-Only Version
3rd Emma Li "Dragon Friends!" PDF Text-Only Version

4th Grade Winners:

1st Georgie Branch "Pop" PDF Text-Only Version
2nd Karinne Tennenbaum "One Thought after Another" PDF Text-Only Version
3rd Fionnuala MacKercher "The White Wolf" PDF Text-Only Version

5th Grade Winners:

1st Marisa Redding "The Meadow Song" PDF Text-Only Version
2nd Makayla Harris "Hutch McLaw: The Case of the Sparkling Torch" PDF Text-Only Version
3rd Rachel Amanda Eglinton "The Impossible" PDF Text- Only Version

2013 Short Story Writing Contest

Around 100 young writers turned in stories for the 2013 Short Story Writing Contest! Below is a list of the 2013 winners.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Emma Crownover "My Secret"
2nd Alma Moga "The Story of the Talking Hamster"
3rd Mohammed Hamoud "Allians-A True Story"

4th Grade Winners:

1st Arjun Purohit "A Weird Day at the Science Museum"
2nd Abby Dobson "Winston and His Ears"
3rd Anabellee Jones "Blueberry Girl"

5th Grade Winners:

1st Ashlee Freeman "Pastel's Journey"
2nd Krishna Davis "The Boulder Block"
3rd Jenna Allman "Sallie Sweetwater and the Nebraska Disaster"

Letters About Literature Contest

Has one book — or maybe one author — inspired you to change your view of yourself or your world? If so, we encourage you to enter this year’s Letters About Literature writing competition. All you have to do is write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work affected you. If it was me, I might write to Judith Ortiz Cofer, Gary D. Schmidt, or Brian Selznick.
Letters About Literature is a national reading promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, presented in partnership with Target and affiliate state centers for the book.
Click here to read letters from past competitions.
Grades 4 - 12. The deadline for submitting a letter is January 6th, 2012.

2010 It's All Write! Short Story Writing Contest

short storyshort story

Got an idea for a short story? The timing is perfect if you do, either have an idea you've been thinking about, or put an ending to a story that has a brilliant beginning but you just didn't know how to finish. The 2010 It's All Write short story writing contest for area teens has begun. The last day to turn in stories is Friday, March 19. Click here for complete guidelines.

1st Place ($250), 2nd Place ($150), and 3rd Place ($100) prizes will be awarded in the following categories : Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12.

Need inspiration? You might want to check out last year's winning stories or any of the short story collections edited by Donald R. Gallo.

It's good to be short

While perusing the blog of a Harper Collins marketing coordinator (read about it on muffy’s post), I saw that she invited readers to create six-word memoirs, inspired by the book It All Changed In An Instant : More Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous & Obscure. This got me thinking about how the new kind of mass communication (that is, personal broadcasting) is all about brevity. 140 characters in Twitter and texting, four-word film reviews, six-word memoirs, or 55 fiction, the personal tale is trending to shortness.

The cynic in me might attribute this to what seems to be an increasingly shorter attention span in the human animal, but the English major in me knows there’s more to the (short) story: rigid structure and restraint often help us process and speak about things in a more poignant way. Perhaps one of the most moving examples of this phenomenon is W.S. Merwin’s “Elegy,” which can be found in The Carrier of Ladders or The Second Four Books of Poems. Another amazing example of hard-hitting, extremely short poetry is The Really Short Poems of A.R. Ammons.

Other short things I can suggest? The song “Minimum Wage” on the classic They Might Be Giants album Flood is 46 seconds long and contains two (maybe three) words. Kristin Chenoweth is reportedly 4’11,” and has done quite a bit of fun work in music, television, theater and film. Find her song “Taylor the Latte Boy” on your online vendor of choice or check out Pushing Daisies. The Ann Arbor District Library conducts its own short story contest, and the winning stories are a part of the circulating collection. I haven’t gotten around to watching the Pixar Short Films Collection (v.1), but if the shorts you always get to see at the theater before one of their features are evidence of anything, it’s the beauty of simplicity and diminutiveness.

The 4th Annual LEGO Contest Winners are In!


Another summer, another LEGO contest and good times were had by all! This year we had 155 entries and over 300 people attended the Awards Ceremony! The top three winners in each of the five age categories (Preschool, K-2, 3-5, 6-8 & 9-12) received gift certificates to Toys R Us and medals. Special thanks to our hardworking judges: Eli Neiburger, AADL Associate Director of IT and Product Development, Eric Klooster, AADL IT Application Developer and finally Langel Bookbinder, Founder and Proprietor of battleofthebits.org. The judges needed every second of their three hours of deliberation to make the hard decisions this year!

Congratulations to all of our winners! And see you next year!

Click read more to see all of this year's winners.

Syndicate content