It's All Write: Teen Short Story Contest

It's All Write

Thanks for entering the 2021 competition

The winners of LCPL's annual short-story contest for middle- and high-school students will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, May 13, at 6 p.m. featuring guest author Daniel Jose Older.  Stay tuned for details about how to watch!

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

Download the 2020 It's All Write eBook.



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.

Need some inspiration? Our teen librarians reveal their top advice:


Submission requirements

Please follow directions carefully. Incorrect submissions may be disqualified.

Questions? Email

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

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

It's All Write Journals


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 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 2021 awards party will be held online Thursday, May 13, at 6 p.m. Stay tuned for details about how to watch!