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 over time, we’ll create a place to house and publish the writing from our submitters. 

The 2021 contest will be for students to write a story between 150-300 words incorporating three objects: A Kite, a Beach, and a Safety Pin.

deadline to submit: september 30, 2021

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. $3 Entry Fee is required which will be collected during electronic submission. 
  3. Entrants retain all publication rights.
  4. Prizes for Best Story will be awarded: $100 cash prize or $50 plus tuition waiver for a single-session workshop by December 2022. 
  5. Submission will be open on September 1st and close on September 30th at 11:59pm on Submittable. All contest participants must have a (free) Submittable account to enter their story. 
  6. Once a story 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 It may be permanently withdrawn for other reasons, but not resubmitted.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.

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 Your story must be original and unpublished. Any plagiarized entries will be immediately disqualified. 
  3. Your story must be between 150 and 300 words (words NOT characters, not including Title or other pertinent information). Please be sure to monitor your word count!
  4. Your story must include ALL THREE OBJECTS: Kite, Safety Pin, Beach. 
  5. You are allowed to enter up to two stories; a separate entry fee applies for each entry. 
  6. Immediate family members of any StoryStudio Faculty, Staff, or Board of Directors cannot submit. 
  7. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. 


  1. Include only a TITLE on your story 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.
  3. Please save your story as a Word Document (not PDF) with the Title of Story and your grade.
    • For Example: “Fun Times_10th Grade”


Please create a Submittable account if you do not already have one. The account is free and easy to use. A credit card is needed to submit the submission fee of $3. Submittable account information can be found by clicking here.

There are two categories for submissions: Grades 5-8 and Grades 9-12. Please submit according to the grade level you’re currently in.