13th Annual Youth Fiction Writing Contest

writing is freedomThis year marks the 13th annual Fiction Writing Contest. The theme for this year is “The People Our Parents Warned Us About”.

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.

Theme: “The People Our Parents Warned Us About”

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 2013-2014 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 January 27, 2014 and June 2, 2014.

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:

Upload your 2014 entry on the theme “The People Our Parents Warned Us About” before June 2, 2014. Entries are now closed. Fiction Contest winners will be announced in September.




 Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Fiction Contest Sponsored by Kirkus Reviews

Read their entries for the theme “From the Back of the Truck” below.


7th-8th Grade Winners

First Place: Sophie Radke  “Hope On the Hill

Second Place: Gabriella Webster “Constellations

Third Place: SeVayne Kunkel “Memory Lane

9th-10th Grade Winners

First Place: Maryam Ahmed “Diary of a Syrian Refugee

Second Place: Tiffany Wang “Like Uranium

Third Place: Daniel Koh “The Robbin’ Hoods

11th-12th Grade Winners

First Place: Caroline McCulloch “Growing Up in the Back of a Truck

Second Place: Taylor McCaslin “Glep Virus 2.7

Third Place: Lauren Pecha “Above the Waves


7th-8th Grade Winners

First Place: Sophie Radke “Forget-me-not

Second Place: McKenan Bundy  “Out of the Blue

Third Place: Vanessa Aguirre  “Soft Gray

9th-10th Grade Winners

First Place: Cari Weinheimer  “Reaching the Surface

Second Place: Karlie Wilson “The Storm

Third Place: Tristan Reed “The Unknown

11th – 12th Grade Winners

First Place: Grace Li “A Methane Red Sky

Second Place: Emily Weber  “The Cure

Third Place: Marissa Nevills “Aison and the Basilisk

View past winners and their stories.