UPDATE: The contest is now closed! See the results here: https://www.elianathewriter.com/2021/03/congratulations-to-the-turning-point-story-contest-winners/
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
A huge thank you to S. D. Smith, Hannah Grace, and Duran Kinst Strategies for sponsoring these prizes!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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@example.com 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!!
This is a great idea! Although I’m too old to enter, I’m looking forward to the blog posts on short stories!
Thanks, Sydney! Yay! =D
I love how you’re hosting a short story contest for young writers! What a wonderful idea! It looks amazing, and I’m looking forward to reading the guest posts!
Thank you, Hannah! I’m so glad to hear that—I’m excited too!!
This is so exciting! I’ll pass it along to a friend or two I know in this age category. ?
Thank you so much, Allie! =D
What a great idea! I hope this blesses a lot of younger writers and is a good growth opportunity for them! =)
Thank you! I hope so too. =)
Hi Eliana! My younger sister (age 11) was very excited when I told her about this! (especially about the Green Ember books–she really likes those 😉 ) We should have a lot of fun this month; I’m looking forward to the lesson-type posts as well. 🙂
Have an awesome day! God bless!
Eliana the Writer
Aw, I’m so glad to hear that!! Looking forward to reading her short story! =)
Will you be letting us know how many have entered the contest? If not, no worries, just wondering. 😉
We’ll see! If only three people enter, I might keep it a secret. 😉
Or I could just tell you. ;P
This is so professional! I’m also too old to enter but now that it’s nearing the end of January I’m excited to get updates 🙂
Thanks, Cynthia! =D I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes too! 😀
I’ll try and pass this along to any 9-13 year-olds I know!
Thank you so much, Emily!
My brother is still excited 😉 *wonders if i know any other young writers…* how old is she… hmmm….
I’m glad to hear that! I’m excited too. 😀 Ooh… 😉
I’ll tell my younger siblings!
Yay! Thank you!
This is such a great idea and I’m looking forward to reading the winning stories!
Aw, thank you! =D
Oh I wish I could do this XD
You and me both, girl. XD
I’m so excited for this contest! Just entered:).
I’m so excited! Can’t wait!!
That is so cool you’re doing that for young kids
Thanks, Hannah! =)
Too bad I can’t join, it seems fun!!!
Why thank you.
It was super fun to write my story, thank you for coming up with this idea!
Aw, I’m glad you had fun, Eden. ?
This is so cool! What a great thing for kids that age! I wish I was still young enough. ?
You and me both. 😉 Thank you, Lydia!
So people can still enter the short story contest? I have a sister or two that might want to enter.
Yes ma’am! Last day to enter is February 28th. =)