15th Annual Youth Fiction Writing Contest

writing is freedomThis year marks the 15th annual Fiction Writing Contest. The theme for this year is “I never told you, but…”

The Fiction Writing Contest encourages and rewards creative writing in Texas schools. Junior and high school Texas students are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. The submissions are judged by Texas Book Festival authors, local educators, and leaders in the publishing industry.

Each year the Festival provides a unique theme. Judges look for excellence in use of dialogue, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Submitted entries are considered in three divisions: grades 7-8; grades 9-10; and grades 11-12.

Winners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, first place winners are awarded a plaque, have their stories published on the TBF website, and are invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend. The Texas Book Festival provides accommodations for the first place winners and their family for one night. Finalists and semi-finalists in grades 9-12 also receive an invitation to a writing workshop at the Texas Book Festival hosted by  Austin Bat Cave.

Contest Rules

Entries that don’t follow all contest rules will be disqualified.

1) Students must reside in Texas and enter in one of the three divisions: Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, or Grades 11-12. Authors enter the division for which they were a student during the 2014-2015 academic year.

2) All entries must be an original piece of fiction.

3) All entries must be submitted online. There is no entry fee.

4) Entries must be 2,000 words or less, 12 point type, double-spaced and relating to the theme.

5) Entries must have a cover page that includes name, entry title, grade level and an automated word count.

6) Entries must be submitted between March 2, 2015 and June 15, 2015.

7) Students may only enter one submission.

Remember judges will look for excellence in use of dialogue, imagery, character development, setting, plot, conflict and resolution. Good luck!

 How to enter:


Reminder: Upload your 2015 entry on the theme “I never told you but…” by June 15, 2015. Fiction Contest winners will be announced October 1st.

Download a printable flyer for your school!




Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Fiction Contest

Read their entries for the theme “The People Our Parents Warned Us About” below.

 7th-8th Grade Winners

1st Place: Kyungmin (Kate) Lee, “Bittersweet Stars”

2nd Place: Jeffrey Clemmons, “For a Few Dollars More”

3rd Place: Sofia Martinez, “The Viewing of Valentine’s Heart”


9th-10th Grade Winners

1st Place: Jasmyn Fall, “That Last Sunday”

2nd Place: Tiffany Wang, “Of All the Things I’ve Done Before”

3rd Place: Rachel Larson, “It Could Be Worse”


11th-12th Grade Winners

1st Place: Caroline Boyd-Rogers, “The Storm”

2nd Place: Sydney Bartlett, “Smoke”

3rd Place: Holly Rice, “The Fishman” 


View past winners and their stories.