Annual Fresh Ink Fiction Contest

Fresh Ink Fiction Contest Logo

Texas Book Festival 2015 Saturday


Hosted by the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin, and with generous support from AT&T, the Fresh Ink Fiction Contest encourages creative writing in Texas schools. Middle and high school Texas students are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length.

Each year the Festival provides a unique theme. This year the theme is “What Really Happened.” Submitted entries are considered in three divisions: grades 7-8; grades 9-10; and grades 11-12 and are judged by Texas Book Festival authors, local educators, and leaders in the publishing industry.


Texas Book Festival 2015 SaturdayWinners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, 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 and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement provide 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. Winners also receive a membership to the Writers’ League of Texas.

How to Enter:

The 2018 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest is now accepting submission of original work until May 18, 2018. 

In order to enter, students must reside in Texas and enter in one of the three divisions: Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, or Grades 11-12. All entries must be an original piece of fiction. No fan fiction or works containing any plagiarism will be accepted. Entries must be 2,000 words or less, 12 point type, double-spaced, and related to the 2018 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest theme: “What Really Happened.” Judges will look for excellence in use of dialogue, imagery, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Each student may only enter one submission and there is no entry fee.



Submit your story to the 2018 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest here.

If you have any questions, email Lea Bogner.


Congratulations to the 2017 Fresh Ink Winners:


7th & 8th Grade 

1st Place: “Katherine, or Catharsis: Nine Portraits” by Yasmeen Khan

2nd Place: “Dipper” by Priyanka Gupta

3rd Place: “The Raven and the Dove” by Shirley Zhu


9th & 10th Grade 

1st Place: “The Permanent Record Caper” by Diya Chatterjee

2nd Place: “The Woman at the Top of the Bridge” by Veronica J. Ledezma

3rd Place: “Pearly Gates” by Madeline Szoo


11th & 12th Grade

1st Place: “Little Drops” by Brittany MacKeown

2nd Place: “Morbid Art” by Elena Pacheo

3rd Place: “The Monster Inside” by Lydia Burleson

View past winners and their stories.