Contest Submission Categories
All submissions should be geared for a young adult audience
Flash Fiction – 500 - 1000 words
A piece of flash fiction is a short narrative that centers on a single theme or climactic event and develops a single character as they experience a central conflict.
Informational – 750 or fewer words
Informational writing focuses on a problem and a solution, a
comparison or a contrast, a cause and effect, a how-to, or provides a critical analysis. The goal of informational writing is to educate readers or to offer a deeper understanding of a single topic. Submissions must cite all sources parenthetically and include a Works Cited page.
Personal Narrative – 750 or fewer words
A personal narrative is a first-person nonfiction narrative that focuses on a single incident or conflict that occurred in the writer's life during a specific time and place. Personal narratives offer a new understanding of a fond or difficult remembrance.
Descriptive Paragraph – 250 or fewer words
A descriptive paragraph is a detail-rich account of a single topic that has a specific and concrete focus — the sound of a waterfall, the stench of a skunk's spray, a strong emotion, or a vivid memory. Sensory details and literary devices should feature prominently in descriptive paragraphs.
Poem – 20 or fewer lines
A poem is an intense, precise, and compressed use of language that tells a story, presents an image, or evokes an emotion. As Modernist poet Ezra Pound wrote, aspiring poets should “use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something.” Every word in a poem serves a functional purpose and relies on
the other words in the poem to generate meaning.
Comic – A single 8.5” x 11” page
Comics use both text and visual elements in a sequential way to create and develop a story. The five characteristics of a graphic novel are shapes, perspective of frame, angles, structure, and layout. A comic of any theme and presentation – whether presented in color, black & white, hand drawn on paper, or generated via a computer – is admissible. Comics are judged on their plot, dialogue, and originality, and all panels must fit on a single page.
Artwork – A single 8.5 x 11” page
Artistic submissions may use any medium (including sculpture, chalk pastels, charcoal, colored pencils, crayons, graphite, ink, markers, oil pastels, watercolors, pens, and original photography), but all artwork must be submitted as either PNG or JPEG files and fit on one 8.5 x 11 page.