Frequently asked questions
What should I write about? Is there a theme?
We don’t have a theme! This is your chance to get creative. In the past we’ve received stories that were inspired by real life, fantasy, mystery, adventure, even horror. We only require the story be original (no fanfiction).
Do you have a word limit? Why?
Stories must be 2,500 words or less. We receive a lot of submissions. We want to make sure everyone gets a fair chance. We don’t want external factors such as font size to influence our judgment. We also want to make sure there is enough time for us to read all submissions.
Do I have to be a Loudoun County resident or hold a Loudoun County Library card to take part in the contest?
You do not need to be a Loudoun County Public Library card-holder to enter. You must live in either Loudoun or in the cities Falls Church, Alexandria, Winchester or the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke or Frederick counties in Virginia; Jefferson County, West Virginia; or Montgomery, Washington, Prince George's, Frederick or Charles counties in Maryland to enter.
Who judges the submissions?
Teen services librarians read all of the submissions and select their top five choices for middle school and high school.
Where and when is the awards ceremony?
The results of the contest will be announced during an awards ceremony on Saturday, May 27, from 4-7 p.m. at Eagle Ridge Middle School hosted by author Lillie Lainoff.