Sunday, October 28, 2012

Upcoming YA Writing Contests

The coming months mean holidays. Craziness. Fun. NaNoWriMo. Which means you're about to start running around everywhere like this.

With all the madness that's about to start happening, it's easy to let writing come in second to the list a mile long that you have to do. Don't let it. If it's important to you, you'll make time. Remember that.

With that said, I wanted to remind you of the great opportunity for writing exposure that's easy to forget about: contests. Writing contests are a great way to gain exposure from publisher and agents, not to mention a place to often get feedback on your work. Writing contests can usually be free or sometimes there are entry fees. Remember, as a rule of thumb, when entering a contest with an entry fee, make sure it's a legitimate contest from a reliable source. It's very easy for any Joe Schmoe to say, "I'm throwing a contest, now give me 50 bucks and I swear I'll give it to my agent friend to judge." Make sure the entry fee is reasonable and do your homework!

As for how to find contests, it can be as simple as googling your genre. Sometimes your local library will put on writing contests as well. Also, any writing group or association can have YA writing contests such as Horror Writers Association, SCBWI, RWA, etc. Below are a few contests with a deadline rapidly approaching.Try your luck. You never know!

Writer's Digest- Young Adult Fiction Contest
Requirements: Fiction Manuscript, 4,000 words or less
Specifics: Acceptable file types: doc, docx, rtf, pdf. 8.5×11 page size. Double-spaced throughout. 1-inch margins on top and bottom. 1.25-inch margins on left and right side. Arial, Courier or Times font.12 point font size
Cost: $20 per entry
Deadline: October 31, 2012
Prize: One First Place Category Winner will receive:
A $500 cash prize
Win $100 off a purchase at A copy of the 2013 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
Be promoted in Writer’s Digest‘s May/June issue and on
Honorable Mentions will:
Have their young adult fiction stories promoted on WritersDigest.comReceive a copy of the 2013 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market

Gotham Writers' Workshop / Serendipity Literary Agency-
Young Adult Discovery Writing Contest
Cost: $15.00
Deadline:November 30th, 2012
Prize: The Grand Prize Winner will have the opportunity to submit an entire manuscript to YA literary agent Regina Brooks and receive a free, 10-week writing course, courtesy of Gotham Writers' Workshop, plus a collection of gourmet teas from
The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York’s premier literary agents for young adult books. They will also receive commentary on their submissions by editors at five prominent publishing houses and receive a one-year subscription to The Writer magazine.
The First 50 Entrants will receive a copy of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. (Shipped only to addresses in US and Canada.)

Figment Fiction- In general, they are usually running multiple writing contests. In fact, their most recent one actually got the winner published in a short story anthology with a ton of awesome writers! How cool is that?! Also, they're usually free.

Teens Can Write Too! is hosting CritFest, a short story critique competition for writers of the ages 13-20. Winners will receive critiques from ten industry professionals like Jodi Meadows, Ginger Clark, Victoria Schwab, Leigh Fallon, and more!  

Now get out there you little contest winner. You got this.

Where do you find the contests you enter?
 Are there any that you enter every year?
Does anyone have a success story from entering a contest?


  1. Teens Can Write Too is hosting a short story writing contest for writers aged 13 - 20 at the moment. The top ten entries get feedback on their writing from a publishing professional.

    1. Hi Sharon! Thanks so much for letting me know! I really appreciate it! What an awesome contest!

  2. I added a blurb and the link to the TCWT contest. Thanks, Sharon!