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Know about a great writing contest for teens? Feel free to reach out to Sam Arriozola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONTEST SOURCES FOR YOUTH
Approaching writing contests can be overwhelming. Where do you even start?
- Submittable.com is a great source for perusing around different writing contests. From annual contests to general submissions and publications, Submittable is a place where many journals and literary organizations list their search for unpublished writing of all genres! Once you set up a Submittable account, you’ll even have a neat little dashboard to keep all your submissions in order. No mess = less stress!
SELECT YOUTH CONTESTS
These select contests are not only specific to youth, but they will also come and go faster than you can spell “onomatopoeia.” Check back periodically for new contests throughout the year!
YoungArts National Arts Competition
Deadline: October 14, 2022 for writers 15-18 years of age
The YoungArts National Arts Competition provides youth artists unique opportunities to collaborate with renowned artists. Winners receive cash awards between $100 and $10,000 and receive professional development support throughout their careers. To learn more, visit https://youngarts.org/apply/#
Select Annual Contest Schedules
Annual Contests & Awards
Open September 1-November 1
9th-12th grade students.
Bennington’s Young Writers Awards exists to promote excellence in writing at the high school level. Included genres are poetry, fiction and nonfiction. A first, second, and third place winner is selected in each category. The details below can be found on their Submittable page at https://www.bennington.edu/events/young-writers-awards.
Awards & Rules
First-place winners in each category are awarded a prize of $1,000; second-place winners receive $500; third-place winners receive $250.
There is no entry fee.
All entries must be original work reviewed, approved and sponsored by a high school teacher. We will use your sponsoring teacher as a contact for the competition should we have any questions. For homeschooled students, please contact a mentor to sponsor your writing.
Young Writers Award finalists and winners are also eligible for undergraduate scholarships at Bennington. YWA finalists who apply, are admitted, and enroll at Bennington will receive a $10,000 scholarship every year for four years, for a total of $40,000. YWA winners who apply, are admitted, and enroll at Bennington will receive a $15,000 scholarship every year for four years, for a total of $60,000.
Black Lawrence Press
Annual Deadlines starting January 31.
All Ages, some awards only available to new or emerging authors.
Black Lawrence Press has annual awards and competitions for a variety of genres. The schedule below, as well as individual descriptions for each award, can be found on their Submittable page at https://blacklawrencepress.submittable.com/submit.
The Big Moose Prize: Open December 1 – January 31
(Open competition, novels)
The Hudson Prize: Open February 1 – March 31
(Open competition, poetry and short story collections)
The Spring Black River Chapbook Competition: Open April 1 – May 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose chaps)
Open Reading Period 1: Between June 1 – June 30
The St. Lawrence Book Award: Open July 1- August 31
(First book competition, poetry and short story collections)
The Fall Black River Chapbook Competition: Open September 1 – October 31
(Open competition, poetry and prose chaps)
Open Reading Period 2: Between November 1 – November 30
(Please note that Black Lawrence Press occasionally offers early bird specials on their contests. These specials allow authors to submit their manuscripts ahead of time at a discounted rate.)
Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest
Deadline: June 1, 2022 for students in undergraduate or younger
This contest challenges students to submit a sonnet in iambic pentameter, using Shakespearean, Spenserian, Petrarchan or Non-Traditional rhyme schemes. Winners will be announced in early August with cash prizes totaling over $3,000. Learn more at https://sonnetcontest.org/sonnet-contest/.
Bow Seat’s Ocean Awareness Contest
Deadline: June 13, 2022 for writers ages 11-18 who are enrolled in middle or high school (or the homeschool equivalent) worldwide.
This 11th annual writing contest is centered around a specific theme in regards to environmentalism and climate activism. The 2022 Contest, THE FUNNY THING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, challenges students to learn about climate change and its impact on the ocean, and to explore new ways to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis. Use humor, positivity, irony, or other unconventional approaches that are not typically used in environmental communication to address the climate crisis in an approachable and accessible way. Submissions are accepted in a variety of writing genres and artistic/digital mediums. Learn more at http://www.bowseat.org/contest.
International Essay Contest for Young People
Deadline: June 15, 2022 for writers up to 25 years of age
This Goi Peace Foundation essay contest aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world. This year’s theme challenges writers to explore their values, and how those values shape their lives. Three winners will be selected, with cash prizes of up to $840. To learn more, visit https://www.goipeace.or.jp/en/work/essay-contest/.
The ruth weiss Poetry Awards
Deadline: August 1, 2022, Young Poet Award for writers under 18 years of age
The ruth weiss Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to create opportunities to support poetic artists through their annual grant program. In 2022, The Foundation will be offering $6,000 in prizes that seek out works of verbal and stylistic originality. The poet ruth weiss embodied awareness of all living things and a commitment to Mother Earth. Hence, this Foundation supports poets who show a similar devotion to the planet. Learn more at https://www.ruthweissfoundation.org/.
PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEENS
Journals + Online Magazines
A – D
THE ADROIT JOURNAL is run by high school students, college students, and emerging writers. Adroit publishes within “over 21” and “under 21” categories, so your writing will appear alongside great work by writers of any age. Adroit publishes fiction and poetry, and includes art and photography. They will reopen our submission reading period in January 2021. Find them online at: http://www.theadroitjournal.org/
AFFINITY MAGAZINE works to spotlight teen voices about current events. We find that the media sometimes forgets the voices of teens on many topics! So we are here to give them a voice. Affinity Magazine allows you to get your writing published and read by thousands of people! You can get your work published and sharpen up on your writing so you can write for The New York Times one day (hopefully!!). For ages 13-20. Visit
http://affinitymagazine.us/write-for-us/ for more information on all the different
AGNI is Boston University’s well-respected journal. It appears in both print and online. AGNI submissions are not limited to high school writers, but the journal is known to accept and publish lots of work by new writers. Get published in high school at AGNI and you’ve taken an important step to becoming a writer in the real world! Find them online at: http://www.bu.edu/agni/submit.htm
THE AUDACITY: is Roxanne Gay’s bi-monthly newsletter where she features emerging writers with fewer than three article/essay/short story publications and no published books or book contracts. The Audacity features only non-fiction and is particularly interested in literary essays and memoir. All essays are paid a flat fee of $2,000. For more information, visit: https://gay.submittable.com/submit
BLUE MARBLE publishes four times a year and accepts submissions of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, essays, opinion pieces, travel writing, photography and art on a rolling basis. Blue Marble looks for new work from writers ages 13-21 that hasn’t been published anywhere else either online or in print. For more details on how to submit your work, visit https://bluemarblereview.com/submit/.
DIALOGUE HUMANITIES is an online, biannual journal that publishes high quality, humanities-focused essays written by middle and high school students. Essays will be reviewed by a panel of experts in various humanities-based fields and will be chosen based on the strength of the writing, the author’s familiarity with his or her chosen topic, and the appropriateness of the essay’s content. Dialogue Humanities Review aims to include academic essays from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to: African-American Studies; American Studies; Anthropology; Archaeology; Art Criticism, History, and Theory; Classics; Ethics; Ethnic Studies; Folklore; Geography; History; History and Ethics of Science; International Studies; Jurisprudence; Languages and Linguistics; Literature; Music History and Criticism; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Religion and Comparative Religion; Sociology; Social Sciences; Theatre History and Criticism; and Women’s Studies. If selected, authors will be asked to revise their essays to ready it for publication. Please visit http://dialoguehumanitiesreview.org/about/ or contact Jessica Rafferty at email@example.com for more information.
E – H
ÉLAN LITERARY MAGAZINE accepts original fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, plays, and all kinds of art from students ages 14-18 in locations internationally. Élan produces two online editions a year, one in the Fall/Winter and another in the Spring/Summer. The two editions are combined into a single Print Edition each Summer. For more information on how to submit, visit: https://www.elanlitmag.com/submit.
EMBER only publishes twice a year, but this beautiful and dreamy journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction appeals to all age groups. Although it doesn’t exclusively publish young writers, submissions from writers and artists ages 10 to 18 are strongly encouraged. Submissions open March 1 2022. For more details, visit them online at: http://emberjournal.org/.
GIRLS RIGHT THE WORLD is a literary journal inviting young, female-identified writers and artists, ages 14–21, to submit work for consideration for the fourth annual issue. They believe girls’ voices transform the world for the better. We accept poetry, prose, and visual art of any style or theme. Girls Right The World ask to be the first to publish your work in North America; after publication, the rights return to you. Please include a note mentioning your age, where you’re from, and a bit about your submission. Send your best work, in English or English translation, to firstname.lastname@example.org between September 1 and December 31.
HANGING LOOSE PRESS has had a section of high school writing in their issues since 1968. Hanging Loose has long been known for its special interest in new writers. This press reads manuscripts throughout the year, accepting poetry and prose. For more details on the submission process, visit https://www.hangingloosepress.com/submissions/.
HELLOGIGGLES a positive online community for female-identifying readers (although others are always welcome!) covering the latest in beauty and style, relationships, career and money, culture, identity, and more. Featuring a mix of news, personal essays, reported features, and service, we’re committed to providing our readers with smart, thoughtful, and relatable content representing a range of voices. We were founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi in 2011 as a place on the Internet to inspire a smile, and years later, we’re still doing just that. for ages 14 and up
HOT DISH MAGAZINE, an online journal serving up a bubbling mixture of poetry and fiction by teens (grades 9–12), wants your voice to be heard! We award cash prizes for fiction, poetry, and the Hot Dish Challenge. Our submission period is October-January. Visit us at www.hotdishmagazine.com.
I – Z
ICE LOLLY REVIEW: Ice Lolly Review accepts a variety of pieces including, creative nonfiction, fiction, haikus, poems, plays, spoken word, and etc. They are looking for pieces that have a strong, solid voice and aren’t afraid of delving into deep topics. For more details, go to https://www.icelollyreview.com/submissions.
jGIRLS MAGAZINE: jGirls Magazine accepts submissions on an ongoing basis from self-identifying Jewish teenage girls and gender-expansive youth ages 13-19. You can submit articles, essays, fiction, poetry, cultural reviews, humor, photographs, music, videos, artwork and other creative materials. You can submit as often as you’d like. For more details, visit https://jgirlsmagazine.org/submission-guidelines/.
KIDSPIRIT is a nonprofit online magazine and community by and for youth to engage each other about life’s big questions in an open and inclusive spirit. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding among 11- to 17-year-olds of diverse backgrounds and support their development into world citizens with strong inner grounding. KidSpirit is in syndication on the Huffington Post and Spirituality & Practice and has won numerous awards from major educational, parenting, and spiritual organizations. Visit the Get Involved section to learn more about publishing your work, becoming an editor, or facilitating a conversation about one of the 50 themes KidSpirit contributors have explored: https://kidspiritonline.com/get-involved/
THE LUMIERE REVIEW is a literary magazine dedicated to shining the light on all voices through poetry, prose, and art. General submissions are now open. Submissions to the forthcoming Issue 08 of The Lumiere Review in poetry, prose (creative fiction and non-fiction), and all forms of art can be sent to email@example.com. Details on how to submit and format your work can be found at: https://lumierereview.com/submit.
POLYPHONY LIT: invites submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction from high school students worldwide. Student editors provide feedback to all submissions, including the ones not accepted for publication. Submissions are open from February 1-28, 2022 and June 1-30, 2022. More details can be found at https://www.polyphonylit.org/.
TEEN INK: is one of the most popular and diverse writing spaces to get published in high school. The broad categories for publication reflect the diversity of writing that this lively online magazine celebrates. Some publication categories include: community service, travel and culture, the environment, health, reviews of TV shows and video games, and college essays, among the more traditional poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Visit online at: http://www.teenink.com
TYRIAN INK is an independent LGBTQIA+ press that is dedicated to uplifting youth voices. TYRIAN INK is currently open to chapbook manuscripts of any genre (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, hybrid, etc) with a minimum of 30 pages and a maximum of 50 pages in length. Please only submit if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community and are 22 or below. Writers will be paid $250 for their manuscripts and receive a percent of royalties for every chapbook sold. https://tyrianinkpress.com/home/submission-guidelines/
Anthologies (Teen, Youth)
The PoArtMo Anthology: Youth Edition (Volume 2)
Deadline: December 13, 2022 for writers ages 13-16
Auroras & Blossoms’ third annual PoArtMo Anthology, gives a voice to people whose stories and/or art seek to nurture hope and optimism. The theme of this year’s anthology is: “Positivity / Uplifting.” Writers of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, essays, and six-word stories are all encouraged to send in their work! To read more about The PoArtMo Anthology, visit the Auroras and Blossoms Anthology guidelines page at https://abpositiveart.com/youth.
Explore More College & Career Resources
InternshipS FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
ScholarshipS FOR HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE STUDENTS
Writing CONTESTS & PUBLICATIONS OPEN TO youth
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