Teen Writing Contest









Teen Writing Contest

July 1 - September 30, 2017

Showcase your creative writing for a chance to be recognized as one of Houston’s top teen writers or poets by entering the Houston Public Library's Teen Writing Contest.

Channel your imagination into an original short story or poem for a chance to win some amazing prizes. Subjects for your short story or poem are limited only by your imagination.  Entries will be judged on originality, use of language and technical skill. You can submit to both categories – short story and poetry.

All entries must to adhere to contest rules, deadlines and must be accompanied with the completed submission form below.


1. Participants must be a current student between grades 6-12.

2. There are 2 ways to submit an entry. If you are mailing your entry: For each submission fill out and print the entry form and attach it to your submission. A submission consists of 1 entry form attached to 3 copies of your entry. If you are submitting digitally: Fill out the digital entry form and attach a PDF or .doc of your entry. *If you participate in 2 categories, you should have 2 entry forms.*

3. One entry per category per participant.

4. Submit 3 copies of your entry typed on white paper with 1 entry form attached. No handwritten entries will be accepted.

5. Text & Formatting:
• Title of work should appear at the top of the submission. Your name should only appear on the entry form. Do not put your name on the copies of your short story or poem attached to the entry form.
• Color – Black ink only
• Font – Times New Roman
• Size – 12pt
• Spacing – 1.5 line spacing
• No pictures are permitted

6. All entries must adhere to the word count. Poetry must be 800 words or less. Short stories should be a minimum of 1,000 words and not exceed 5,000 words.

7. All short stories must be stand-alone. Excerpts of larger works will not be considered.

8. All entries must be original work; fanfiction will not be accepted.

9. All entries must be received by 5 PM on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

Prizes for each Category:

1st Prize = $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2nd Prize = $15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
3rd Prize = $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

2016 Contest Winners

HPL’s first Teen Writing Contest garnered 53 participants from around Houston and even outside of Texas!  A huge “thank you” to you everyone who participated in or helped promote this program.  We had many great entries from which to choose.

Middle and High School students were encouraged to submit their poetry or short stories for consideration.  This contest judged submissions on three fronts: originality; use of language; and technical skill.  Entries were assigned a number according to their category and separated from their cover sheet before being submitted to our Writing Contest Judges.  Judges did not discover the name, age, gender or geographic location of entries until after the winning entries had been selected for all categories.

1A – Poetry: Grades 6-8
1st Place - Ethan P.
2nd Place - Catherine N.
3rd Place - Danielle T.

1B – Short Story:  Grades 6-8
1st place - Danielle T.
2nd place - Fayobami  T.
3rd place - Penelope D.

2A – Poetry: Grades 9-12
1st place - Morgan L.
2nd place - Elle C.
3rd place - Juliette S.
Honorable mention - Xa B.

2B – Short Story: Grades 9-12
1st place - Lan N.
2nd place - Morgan L.
3rd place - McKenna T.

Winners will be contacted soon to award prizes.

This page will be updated later with information for any future Teen Writing Contests.

Submit Your Entry for the 2017 Contest

Please select one of the following categories.
Maximum 2 MB. Document file types include txt, rtf, pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, html
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf html pdf doc docx ppt pptx.