It's All Write: Short Story Contest for Teens

It's All Write: Short Story Contest for Teens

Time is running short!

Submit your short story through Friday, March 1 for a chance to win a prize. Check out these writing programs happening at your local branch for inspiration.

Stay tuned for details about this year's special guest author and the awards ceremony in May where contest winners will be announced.

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the middle school and high school categories.

  • First place: $200
  • Second place: $100
  • Third place: $50

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


High School Winners

First Place
This Never Happened to George and June by Claudia Hunn

Second Place
Grocery Trip by Leah Hearne

Third Place
Δ by Alexandra Blake

Jellyfish Musings by Evie Holmberg
Poundcake by Margaret Chang

Honorable Mentions
Burdened with Knowledge, Burdened with Time by Annie Sun
Canvases by Ayah Ali
Hurricane by Srikriti Bulusu
Taken from the Rib (A Modern Day Eve)
by Salonee Verma
The Thief and the Liar by Olivia DeWan

Middle School Winners

First Place
Home by Lucy Panning

Second Place
The Super Crab by Anika Dureja

Third Place
The Monster in the Mirror by Ellie Xu

Blu Stiltonious by Keely McAtee
The Crows by Jennifer Ku

Honorable Mentions
An Empty Mattress by Moss Nicklas
Happily Ever After by Akshara Gaddam
Skylark's Wish by CadiGeiger
Trial by Fire by Wyatt Steel
The Balloon by Catalina Nemes

Download the 2023 It's All Write anthology, read select quotes or watch the 2023 Awards Ceremony.


Please follow directions carefully. Incorrect submissions may be disqualified. Questions? Email

Submission requirements

  • Accepted works include: Fiction, including stories-in-verse
  • Unaccepted works include: Poetry anthologies, nonfiction, fanfiction
  • Submission deadline: March 1
  • Format requirements: Microsoft Word-readable document or PDF
  • Length: 2,500 words or less
  • Spacing: Double
  • Margins: 1-inch
  • Font: Arial, 12 point
  • Document name:
    Your school level (MIDDLE or HIGH) followed by the story title
    Example: HIGH The End of the Road.doc
    DO NOT include your name in the file name.

Title page format

  • Title of story
  • Middle or High School

The End of the Road
High School

Last page format

  • Title
  • Middle or High School
  • Name
  • Grade, School Name
  • City, State
  • Phone Number(s)
  • Email
  • Word Count

The End of the Road
High School
Jane Doe
Grade 11, East Loudoun High School
Ashling, VA 
222-222-2222 (home)
333-333-3333 (cell)
Word Count: 2,403

Click here to submit your entry.


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 that the story be original (no fanfiction, nonfiction or poetry).

Do you have a word limit? Why?

Stories must be 2,500 words or less. We receive a lot of submissions and 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.

Can I submit a story with multiple authors?

Yes, you may co-author your short story as long as all authors qualify to enter the competition. Include a final page for each individual author’s information. If a story with multiple authors wins, prize money will be split evenly among the authors.

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 have a Loudoun County Public Library card to enter. You must live in Loudoun or in one of our reciprocal jurisdictions:

  • Cities of Falls Church, Alexandria, Winchester or the District of Columbia
  • Virginia: Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Prince William, Clarke and Frederick Counties
  • West Virginia: Jefferson County
  • Maryland: Montgomery, Washington, Prince George's, Frederick and Charles Counties

Who judges the submissions?

Teen Services librarians read all of the submissions and select their top five choices for middle school and high school.