Teen Writing Contest

Showcase your creative writing for a chance to be recognized as one of Houston’s top teen writers or poets.
June 1, 2016 - July 30, 2016

We are hosting our 1st Teen Writing Contest! Channel your imagination into an original short story or poem for a chance to win some amazing prizes.

Subjects for your short story or poem are limited only by your imagination. Entries will be judged on originality, use of language and technical skill. You can submit to both categories – short story and poetry.


  • 1A – Poetry: Grades 6-8
  • 1B – Short Story:  Grades 6-8
  • 2A – Poetry: Grades 9-12
  • 2B – Short Story: Grades 9-12

All entries will have to adhere to contest rules and deadlines. Entries will be judged on the following:

  • Originality
  • Use of Language
  • Technical Skill

Prizes for Each Category:

  • 1st Prize = $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
  • 2nd Prize = $15 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
  • 3rd Prize = $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

How to Submit Entry:

  • In Person: at any HPL Location. Use the fillable PDF form.
  • By Mail: Houston Public Library | Attn: Rebecca Denham - Teen Room | 500 McKinney St., 77002. Use the fillable PDF form.
  • Online: complete the form below. Don't forget to upload your document file!

Contest Submission Rules:

  • Participants must be a current student between grades 6-12.
  • For each submission fill out the entry form (download here) and attach to your submission. A submission consists of 1 entry form attached to 3 copies of your entry. (If you participate in two categories, you should have two Entry Forms.)
  • One entry per category per participant
  • Submit 3 copies of your entry typed on white paper with 1 entry form attached. No handwritten entries will be accepted.
  • Text & Formatting
    • Title of work should appear at the top of the submission. Your name should only appear on the entry form. Do not put your name on the copies of your short story or poem attached to the entry form.
    • Color – Black ink only
    • Font – Times New Roman
    • Size – 12pt
    • Spacing - 1.5 line spacing
    • No pictures are permitted
  • All entries must adhere to the word count. Poetry must be 800 words or less. Short stories should be a minimum of 1000 words and not exceed 5000 words.
  • All short stories must be stand-alone. Excerpts of larger works will not be considered.
  • All entries must be original work; Fanfiction will not be accepted.
  • All entires must be received by 5 PM on July 30, 2016

Questions? Contact a Teen Librarian at 832-393-1521 or email 

Don't forget to register for Summer Reading Program!

Please select one of the following categories.
Maximum 2 MB. Document file types include txt, rtf, pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, html
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf html pdf doc docx ppt pptx.