YOUTH WRITING CONTESTS

Calling all young writers in grades 5th-12th! StoryStudio Chicago is pleased to host a youth writing contest with two winners receiving a cash prize or admission into a youth writing class. Details can be found below, and winning pieces will be published on our website and newsletter. 

The 2024 spring contest is: Epistolary Poem
Theme: Curiosity

StoryStudio Chicago is pleased to invite you to enter our annual POETRY contest with the chance to win a $100 cash prize, or free enrollment in a single-session workshop, or one free hour with our Youth Manuscript Consultations/Mentorship redeemable by December 2024! All submissions must follow the below guidelines.

Submissions will open on March 25 and close on April 19 at midnight. A guest judge will anonymously choose one winner from the 5th-8th grade division, and one winner from the 9th-12th grade division. The decisions of the judge are final and binding. Winners in each division will be individually notified of the results by email provided no later than May 1. 

The rules are simple: An epistolary poem is a poem that reads as a letter to any person, place, or thing. As poems of direct address, they can be intimate and colloquial, or formal and measured. The subject matter can range from philosophical investigation to a declaration of love to a list of errands, and epistles can take any form, from heroic couplets to free verse. Your poem must be between 150 and 300 words, so choose your words carefully!

Guidelines & Rules:

  1. Participants must currently be in grades 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 and have parent/guardian consent. 
  2. Your poem must be original and unpublished. Any plagiarized entries will be immediately disqualified. 
  3. Your poem must be no less than 150 words and no more than 300 (words NOT characters, not including Title or other pertinent information). Please be sure to monitor your word count!
  4. Your poem must be in an epistolary form. 
  5. You are only allowed to enter 1 poem. 
  6. Immediate family members of any SSC Faculty, Staff or Board of Directors cannot submit. 
  7. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.

General Information:

  1. A guest judge will anonymously choose one winner from the 5th-8th grade division, and one winner from the 9th-12th grade division. The decisions of the judge are final and binding.
  2. No entry fee. 
  3. Entrants retain all publication rights.
  4. Prizes for Best Poem will be awarded: $100 cash prize or a single session with a Youth Manuscript Consultation/Mentorship by December 2024. 
  5. Submission will be open on March 25 and close on April 29 at midnight 
  6. Only 1 entry per participant. Once a poem entry is submitted, it cannot be unsubmitted for revision or editing. It may be permanently withdrawn for other reasons, but not resubmitted. Please read all information carefully before making a final submission. 
  7. Winners in each division will be individually notified of the results by email provided.
  8. This contest is void where prohibited by law.

Formatting: 

  1. Include only a TITLE on your document–no NAME, ADDRESS, or other personal information should appear on your story (that will automatically be collected during submission).
  2. Double-spaced, 12 point font

Submission:

  1. Please save your poem as a Word Document (not PDF) with the Title of Poem and your grade
    • For Example: “My Poem_10th Grade” 
  1. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY OTHER INFORMATION on your document! 

SUBMISSIONS OPEN THROUGH APRIL 19