It's All Write: Teen Short Story Contest

Submission requirements

  • 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 (New requirement! Must include word count!)

The End of the Road
High School
Jane Doe
Grade 11, East Loudoun High School
121 W Bird Terr. Apt 15
Ashling, VA 
222-222-2222 (home)
333-333-3333 (cell)
Word Count: 2,403

2020 contest is now open

Take part in our annual contest for Grades 6-12! Entries will be accepted Jan. 1 to March 1. Please review the submission requirements for details.

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



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


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 award ceremony?
The 2020 award party will be held Saturday, May 2, 2 p.m. at Brambleton Middle School.

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!


Submit Your Story