It's All Write: Teen Short Story Contest

Thanks for entering the 2020 contest!

We are excited to share the results of our annual short-story contest for middle- and high-school students. Winners will be announced during our virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, June 13. The prerecorded ceremony will be available to watch starting at 2 p.m. right here on the It's All Write website as well as on YouTube.

It's All Write is sponsored by the James Horton for the Arts Trust Fund and the Loudoun Library Foundation.

Download the eBook of the winning entries for this year.



It's All Write is a short story contest for students in Grades 6-12. Prizes are awarded for both middle- and high-school divisions, with $50 presented for third place, $100 for second place and $200 for first place.


Submission requirements

Please follow directions carefully. Incorrect submissions may be disqualified.

Questions? Email


Middle school winners

First Place 
Cicadas by Thanisha Chowdhury
Second Place 
The Dark Demise of Moira Hook by Nicole Gulosh
Third Place 
Monkey Bars by Turhan Choudhry
Runners Up

  • The Flying Tree by Paula Martinson
  • The Respirator by Katelyn Motter

Honorable Mentions

  • Diamond in the Rough by Kate Parker
  • Breathe by Zoe Korff
  • The Wolf and the Moon by Amrit Kaur
  • The Poisoner’s Daughter by Dani Vitello
  • Isa by Virginia McGee


High school winners

First Place 
Nightshade in the Garden by Claudia Hunn
Second Place
Platform 6 by Ilana Goldman
Third Place
Eluceo by Catherine Kelly
Runners Up

  • Tally Marks by Jennifer Cramer
  • The Return of Bearlock by Jonathan Zachritz

Honorable Mentions

  • The Loudest Silence by Aiden Hall
  • Mutated by Isabella Dalebout
  • by Hanaan Kazia
  • Dead End County by Jasmine Ly
  • Car Rides by Lareina Allred

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.

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 own a Loudoun County Library card to take part in the contest?
No. As long as you are in middle or high school (or the homeschool equivalent), and follow our submission guidelines, you are welcome to participate.

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 2020 awards party will be held on YouTube on Saturday, June 13, at 2 p.m. to adhere with social distancing standards. Stay tuned for details about how to watch the prerecorded ceremony!

Who can come to the award ceremony?
Everyone! Contest participants, friends and family, fans of teen-created literature, teachers, clowns, people wearing green shirts — all are welcome!