UPDATE: The contest has been extended to February 28th. Learn more (and enter the audiobook giveaway!) here.
The Turning Point Short Story Contest is now open!
Know any crazy-bored 9- to 13-year-olds? Want to learn how to write a short story? Interested in earning an epic prize?
You’ve come to the right place!
We make choices all the time. Some decisions are small, like what to eat for lunch, and others are bigger, like what college to go to. A lot of choices are easy, but some choices are very difficult. And our choices can influence both our own lives and the lives around us.
The Turning Point Story Contest is a challenge for 9- to 13-year-olds to write a short story about a difficult choice. It begins today (1/2/21) and ends on February 28th, and unlike most short story contests, you won’t be alone in your short story writing endeavors.
Throughout January, we’ll be guiding you along the way to completing your 500-1200 word short story. We’ll cover the whole process, from thinking it up to the final edits.
The Guest Posters
Cara Devereux on Planning Your Short Story
She’s a wordplayer from the United Kingdom who co-hosts her very own podcast… It’s Cara Devereux, who’ll be showing us the brainstorming process on the 12th!
Chelsea Pennington on Writing Your Short Story
She won first place in the first-ever Story Embers short story contest and she knows her stuff… Meet Chelsea Pennington, who will be showing us how to write a short story on the 19th!
Faith Blum on Editing Your Short Story
She is an indie author who teaches students how to write short stories for Growing Writer Lessons… Introducing Faith Blum, who will be showing us the editing process of a short story on the 26th!
Note: The Turning Point Story Contest is open internationally, but the physical prizes will be mailed only in the United States and/or Canada.
First place: 1) a set of all nine Green Ember books (signed by S. D. Smith!!), 2) a $50 Amazon gift card, and 3) publication of your winning story on my website
Second place: 1) a custom crocheted hat by Hannah Grace, 2) a $25 Amazon gift card, and 3) publication of your winning story on my website
Third place: 1) a $10 Amazon gift card, and 2) publication of your winning story on my website
Excited to enter now? I have to admit, my siblings and I wished we could enter after we learned that S. D. Smith was willing to donate the full set to the winner. We have listened to almost four of the audiobooks now, and they’re great!!
But before you get started on your winning short story, let’s take a look at the rules.
Short Story Content:
- Your story must be 500 to 1200 words in length.
- Your story must build up to a difficult choice.
- Keep it clean!
- One entry per person.
Short Story Formatting:
- Place the title of your story at the top of the document, centered.
- DON’T include your name in the document. (That way the stories can be judged blind.)
- Your story must be in black text, 12 point Times New Roman font, single-spaced.
- The story should be submitted as a PDF.
- When you submit your short story, the subject line of your email should be something like “Turning Point Story Contest Entry”
- Include 1) your age, 2) your full name, and 3) the title of your story in your email.
- The email must be sent to [email protected] before 11:59pm (PST) on February 28th, 2021.
Phew! I know that’s a lot, but feel free to have a parent or friend look over everything before you submit it, or to help you out if you don’t understand a rule. If you accidentally break a rule, you may resubmit your story before the deadline.
Note: If you are unsure about your word count, use wordcounter.net to check. Different word processors have different ways of counting the words, such as whether words around dashes are two words or one.
- I highly recommend that you have a friend or a parent (or multiple friends and parents!) go over your short story to catch spelling and grammar errors before you submit it.
- If you don’t have an email account, a friend or parent can submit it on your behalf.
- Nicknames/pseudonyms are allowed as long as they aren’t inappropriate or offensive. If you win, this will be the name that I will share when I publish your short story on my blog, along with your age.
- Comment below or email [email protected] if you have any questions!
The short stories will be judged based on creativity, plot, character, theme, and overall quality of the word-crafting (that includes grammar!). Be sure to read the guest posts coming up this month if you want to ace these elements!
Winners will be announced around two weeks after the deadline, and the short stories will be published in the weeks following that.
I will email the three winners and also announce them on my blog. If you’d like to be notified of the upcoming guest posts on how to write a short story (and the winners, whether or not you win), sign up for my newsletter here.
What do you think?
I am so excited to share the guest posts on short stories with you all and read your entries!! And even if you’re an older writer, I hope you’ll stick around. I think you’re going to enjoy these guest posts. 😉
Do you know any 9- to 13-year-olds who might be interested? Or any writers who might enjoy the posts on short stories? If you do, I’d really appreciate it if you would take a minute to share this with them. =)
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the contest and if you are excited as I am!!