Annual Fresh Ink Fiction Contest



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 “Funny Running Into You Here.” 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:

2017 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest Rules: Entries that do not 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 2016-2017 academic year.

2) All entries must be an original piece of fiction. No fan fiction or works containing any plagiarism will be accepted.

3) All entries must be submitted by emailing a Word document to freshink@texasbookfestival.orgAll documents must be readable—extensions cannot be granted for corrupted, locked, or unreadable documents, so be sure to test your document before submitting.

4) There is no entry fee.

5) Entries must be 2,000 words or less, 12 point type, double-spaced, and related to the 2017 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest theme: “Funny Running Into You Here.”

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

7) Entries must be submitted between March 27, 2017 and June 1, 2017.

8) Each student may only enter one submission.


If you have any questions, email Lea Bogner (please do not email questions to the submission email above). Remember judges will look for excellence in use of dialogue, imagery, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Good luck, and get writing!

Congratulations to the 2016 Fiction Contest Winners:


7th & 8th Grade 

1st Place: “Letters to Natasha” by Lili Xu

2nd Place: “Light Fades” by Shelby Cumings

3rd Place: “Missing Forest” by Emma Rohloff 


9th & 10th Grade 

1st Place: “Mossy Green” by Payton Rackley

2nd Place: “Heed My Warning” by Anaïs NuñezTovar

3rd Place: “Note to Self” by Caroline Cabe


11th & 12th Grade

1st Place: “Bargaining: An Extremely Midwestern Tale” by Jaelynn Walls

2nd Place: “A Horrible Cliché” by Lani Ford

3rd Place: “How to be an American” by Sophia Radke

View past winners and their stories.