Writing Contests & Publishing Opportunities

Jump To:

Writing Contests

How They are Sorted:

  • Writing contests are sorted by month that the submission is due.
  • Contests that are on-going or year round (i.e., a new round of submissions is judged every month) are listed separately at the top.

How to Submit My Writing:

  • READ THE SUBMISSION RULES AND GUIDELINES! READ THE SUBMISSION RULES AND GUIDELINES!!!!
  • Seriously, read the submission rules and guidelines. Don’t submit a phenomenal piece and then lose a contest because you missed an important rule or step.
  • Have you read the submission rules and guidelines? You should do that.
  • Once you have read the submission rules and guidelines, make sure you have gathered all the necessary pieces you must submit for the contest.
  • Depending on the nature of the contest and its requirements, the teacher may need to submit on your behalf, or you may need to get parent permission to enter. Please be aware of this and get it taken care of well ahead of the due date!
  • Proofread! Then proofread again! Then ask at least three different people (and at least one adult) to proofread for you! Don’t lose a contest because of a silly spelling or punctuation error!
  • It’s a really good idea to conference with the teacher before you submit your work. You are welcome to schedule a longer lunchtime conference with me to review your stuff before you submit it.

Prizes? Oh yeah.

  • Some (not all) of the contests below award prizes to winners. Prizes can come in many different forms, but can include certificates, scholarships, cash prizes (less frequent and usually small), etc.
  • Also, winning these contests looks super fancy on a college admissions application. Keep a document somewhere on a personal device at home with a list of contests you have won and other writing achievements.

    Back to Top

Writing Contests:

On-Going/ Year-Round:

September:

October:

  • NYT My Generation Photo Contest (Deadline 10/15/18) – Submission Details TBA; “In this contest we invite students to take photographs that depict some aspect of teenage life that they think may be misunderstood, overlooked or largely unknown, and, in a short artist’s statement, tell us why.”

November:

  • NYT Review Contest (Deadline 11/12/18) – Submission Details TBA; “Review a book, movie, restaurant, album, theatrical production, video game, dance, TV show, art exhibition or any other kind of work The Times critiques.”
  • One Teen Story Contest (Deadline 11/15/18) – Seeking original, unpublished fiction from teen writers aged 13-19. Top prize includes: $500 upon publication, the chance to work with a staff editor on your piece before publishing, and 25 free copies of the issue your story is published in. Submissions should be 2,000-4,500 words, previously unpublished (including your own personal blog, social media, etc.), and only one submission per person is allowed.

December:

  • Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (Deadline 12/1) – Check out the overview; category requirements; and submission steps. $5 entry fee per piece submitted
  • Celebrating Art Contest (Deadline #1 – 12/6) – This art contest is looking for still-image art submissions (in other words, any art that you can take a photo of) from any school-aged artists. There are three submission deadlines per year, and winners share cash prizes as well as recognition. You may only enter one piece per submission deadline! Other deadlines are 4/16 and 8/23.
  • NYT Editorial Cartoon Contest (Deadline 12/10/18) – Submission Details TBA; “Draw an editorial cartoon on a topic you care about.”

January:

  • NYT Connect What You’re Studying in School With the World Today Contest (Deadline 01/21/19) – “What does the Civil War — or evolution, or Shakespeare or anything else you’re studying in school this year — have to do with your life and the lives of those around you? Why should you remember it once you’ve taken the test? What parallels do you see between it and something happening in the news or in our culture? In this contest, we invite students to address those questions by matching something they are studying in school to anything they like that was published in the Times in 2018 or 2019, and tell us why they made the connection.”

February:

March:

  • The Claremont Review Contest – An annual poetry, short fiction, and art contest for teens aged 13-19 by The Claremont Review, a Canadian teen literary magazine.

April:

  • NYT Editorial Contest (Deadline 4/1/19) – Submission Details TBA; “Write an editorial on an issue that matters to you.”
  • Celebrating Art Contest (Deadline #2 – 4/16) – This art contest is looking for still-image art submissions (in other words, any art that you can take a photo of) from any school-aged artists. There are three submission deadlines per year, and winners share cash prizes as well as recognition. You may only enter one piece per submission deadline! Other deadlines are 12/6 and 8/23.

May:

  • NYT “Found Poetry” Contest (Deadline 5/6/19) – Submission Details TBA; “Create a poem from words and phrases found in Times articles.”
  • NYT Podcast Challenge Contest (Deadline 5/20/19) – Submission Details TBA; “Make an original podcast, of five minutes or less, to inform and entertain listeners.”

June:

  • Bowseat Ocean Awareness Contest (Deadline – 6/17/19)- A contest specifically themed around Earth’s oceans, climate change, and ecology. This year’s theme is “Presence of Future” – “Create a piece about a coastal/marine species, place, or system in 2019 that will be threatened, altered, or lost due to climate change. What can you create that will raise awareness now for your chosen subject?” Top prize for Junior category is $1,000 scholarship.
  • Skipping Stones Multicultural Magazine Youth Awards (Deadline 6/25) – $5 entry fee

July:

August:

  • Celebrating Art Contest (Deadline #3 – 8/23) – This art contest is looking for still-image art submissions (in other words, any art that you can take a photo of) from any school-aged artists. There are three submission deadlines per year, and winners share cash prizes as well as recognition. You may only enter one piece per submission deadline! Other deadlines are 12/6 and 4/16.

    Back to Top

Publication Opportunities

How They Are Sorted:

  • Publication Opportunities are sorted alphabetically on this page. Genre-specific publication opportunities (such as a poetry journal or a student newspaper) can also be found on the Mentor Text page for that particular genre (the Poetry page or the News Article page).

How to Submit My Work:

  • READ THE SUBMISSION RULES AND GUIDELINES! READ THE SUBMISSION RULES AND GUIDELINES!!!!
  • Seriously, read the submission rules and guidelines. Some literary magazines have very specific rules about whether you are allowed to submit your piece to multiple journals besides theirs. Some magazines have rules about submitting work you’ve published elsewhere on the internet. Some magazines will never look at your writing ever again if you break these rules.
  • Read the submission rules and guidelines. Make sure that you will still be the owner of your writing after you submit it to a journal, magazine, or other publication. Most companies include a disclaimer that makes it clear that you are still the copyright holder of your work, but if it is not explicitly stated, please double check. The teacher is happy to help you figure this out! We do not want publishers to take advantage of you just because you are a student.
  • Do not expect that your work will be published just because you have submitted it. Real writers get rejected a lot before they achieve successful publication. THIS IS OKAY! Don’t give up after the first rejection or two! If you do get rejected:
    • Ask for feedback, politely. Ask about what the publication didn’t like about your piece, or what you could do to improve your writing to the quality they are looking for. Seek constructive feedback, take what is useful, and apply it to your next piece. This is how you grow. You may not hear back, but at least you asked!
    • Polish your piece before you submit it to the next publisher! Revisit the piece and see if anything can be tweaked or edited or improved, especially if the rejecting publisher gave specific feedback about the piece.
  • Keep track of everywhere your work is published! This is important for a few reasons:
    • If you know where your work is published, you will know if it has been plagiarized (i.e., shows up on a website you didn’t submit it to without your permission, especially if the website doesn’t give you credit for your work).
    • Again, college applications. How cool will it be to list off all the places your work has been published? Pretty darn cool.
    • Personal Pride of Accomplishment! It is hard work becoming a published author, and you achieved that! Be proud of yourself! Keep a list so that you can remember all that you have achieved as an author!
  • Depending on the nature of the contest and its requirements, the teacher may need to submit on your behalf, or you may need to get parent permission to enter. Please be aware of this and get it taken care of well ahead of the due date!
  • Proofread! Then proofread again! Then ask at least three different people (and at least one adult) to proofread for you! Don’t lose a contest because of a silly spelling or punctuation error!
  • It’s a really good idea to conference with the teacher before you submit your work. You are welcome to schedule a longer lunchtime conference with me to review your stuff before you submit it.

    Back to Top

A:

  • Alexandria Quarterly: Mad and Moonly – A quarterly youth anthology looking for poetry, short fiction (up to 1,000 words), creative non-fiction, and essays. You may submit up to two pieces a month.
  • Austin Poets International di-verse-city Youth Anthology – A youth poetry anthology for all school-aged students published annually. You can submit a single poem (pay special attention to the length and line-break requirements!) for consideration. There are no restrictions on subject matter or style, but shape poems are not accepted. Next deadline for submission is February 15, 2019.

B:

  • Bazoof! – A magazine for young people accepting submissions from authors aged 7-14. Bazoof! accepts a wide variety of submissions and genres not found in many other magazines, including jokes and riddles, craft ideas, pieces about your favorite hobbies, pets, etc.
  • Blue Marble Review A quarterly publication for youth in middle school through college seeking poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and art. Submissions are accepted on a rolling (continual) basis.
  • Body Without Organs – A quarterly publication for youth aged 13-19, accepting any sort of literary or non-fiction work as well as art and poetry. Definitely a publication you should read around and get a feel for before you submit your work. As always, review the submission guidelines!

C:

  • Cast of Wonders – A podcast looking for original written short story manuscripts (you’re submitting text; if published, they record your piece) from youth writers that target listeners ages 12-17. This publisher is looking for ‘speculative fiction;’ in other words, fantasy, horror, and science fiction pieces. They are looking for submissions several times throughout the year for different themes and categories- check the submissions page for more info.
  • The Crawl Space Journal – Looking for “fantastical works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry” from authors aged 13-17.

D:

  • The Daphne Review – A literary magazine for ages 13-18 accepting written and art submissions for biannual publication. Next submission deadline is January 31st, 2019.

E:

  • EscapePod – A podcast looking for original written short story manuscripts (you’re submitting text; if published, they record your piece) from youth writers that target listeners ages 12-17. This publisher is looking specifically for science fiction pieces – think science, technology, and predictions about what the world will look like in 200 or 2000 years. They are looking for submissions several times throughout the year for different themes and categories- check the submissions page for more info. Note: They are also looking for applications for narrators!

F:

G:

  • Girls Right the World – A literary magazine accepting submissions from female authors aged 14-21. Categories include: “poetry, prose, short-stories, lyric essays, and visual art of any style and theme. We seek work addressing personal experiences and global issues.” This magazine publishes annually, and the next deadline is January 1st, 2019.

H:

I:

  • The Ideate Review – A literary magazine for authors aged 14 and up accepting submissions for short stories, poetry, and art that fit the theme of “global issues and identity.” This magazine is published tri-annually in April, August, and December; see the submission guidelines for specific deadlines. The next deadline is November 16, 2018.
  • Iris – A youth magazine focused on the LGBTQ+ experience. You do not have to identify as LGBTQ+ to submit, but your submission must focus on/ be relevant to the LGBTQ+ experience. Short stories up to 3,000 words, poetry (including shape and visual poetry), and visual art are accepted.

J:

K:

  • KidSpirit – A magazine for youth accepting poetry, artwork, and non-fiction articles from authors 11-17 years old. KidSpirit describes itself as an “online magazine and community by and for youth to engage each other about life’s big questions in an open and inclusive spirit. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding among 11- to 17-year-olds of diverse backgrounds and support their development into world citizens with strong inner grounding.”

L:

M:

N:

  • Navigating the Maze – Teen poetry and art anthology open to grades 6-12, published annually. Submissions are accepted year-round, but the deadline is usually the last week in February or first week in March for the annual issue.
  • New Moon Girls Magazine – Accepting a wide variety of submissions from female-identifying authors ages 8 and up. Be sure to read the editorial guidelines as well as the upcoming editorial themes to increase your chances of having your work published!

O:

  • One Teen Story – Literary magazine published four times a year with fiction story pieces from authors aged 13-19. Stories should be between 2,000 – 4,500 words. All genres of fiction are accepted, but preference is given to stories that relate to the teen experience.

P:

  • PodCastle – A podcast looking for original written short story manuscripts (you’re submitting text; if published, they record your piece) from youth writers that target listeners ages 12-17. This publisher is looking specifically for fantasy pieces- bring your elves, dwarves, fairies, and dragons! They are looking for submissions several times throughout the year for different themes and categories- check the submissions page for more info. Note: They are also looking for applications for narrators!
  • PseudoPod – A podcast looking for original written short story manuscripts (you’re submitting text; if published, they record your piece) from youth writers that target listeners ages 12-17. This publisher is looking specifically for horror pieces – bring your scariest stuff! They are looking for submissions several times throughout the year for different themes and categories- check the submissions page for more info. Note: They are also looking for applications for narrators!

Q:

R:

  • Rare Byrd Review – An online literary magazine for grades 6-12, accepting submissions of fiction and poetry shorter than two pages in length. This journal is published twice annually. Submissions are accepted year-round, but deadlines for issues are November 1st (Fall/ Winter issue) and May 1st (Spring/ Summer issue).
  • Rattle – A poetry anthology for youth aged 15 or younger, published annually. The next submission deadline is June 15th, 2019.
  • Rookie – A fun, modern magazine for teens by teens. You must be over 13 years old to read and submit work – this site is definitely YA. From the site: “We accept all kinds of writing—fiction, nonfiction, essays (not school essays), rants, raves, humor, poetry, etc.” Each issue has a specific theme, so make sure you check that out before you submit work!

S:

  • Scholastic Write It! Literary Magazine – Accepting submissions for: poetry (200 lines maximum); essays/ journalistic pieces (500-3,000 words); memoirs (750-3,000 words); short fiction (600-3,000 words); and humor pieces (600-3,000 words). All submissions must be school-appropriate.
  • Skipping Stones – An international multicultural literary magazine. “Writings (essays, stories, letters to the editor, riddles and proverbs, etc.) should be typed or neatly handwritten and limited to 1,000 words and poems to 30 lines. We encourage writings in all languages with an English translation, if possible. And, we love illustrations!”
  • Six-Word Memoirs – Anyone can publish their very own six-word memoir here! Just create an account and get publishing!
  • Stinkwaves Magazine – A self-described “PG-13 Literary Magazine” for writers and readers aged 13 and up (Young Adult). A bit more off-beat than some of the other publications listed on this page. From the site: “We publish everything from adventure stories to fantasy and folklore, all kinds illustrations and art work, witch and ghost stories, even silly zombie haikus.” Past issues are available through Amazon for $0.99 so you can get a feel of what sort of pieces they are looking for. Stinkwaves is published twice a year – check the submission guidelines for the next deadline.
  • Stone Soup – Literary magazine accepting submissions of short stories and poems from authors up to age 13. (Once you turn 14, you may no longer submit work here.) Be sure to read through the submission guidelines!

T:

  • Teen Ink Magazine – Accepting submissions from writers aged 13 and up for: articles, poetry, books/ novels, art/ photography, and videos.
  • Teen Voices – “Teen Voices is the global girl news website of Women’s eNews. We change the media landscape by incorporating girls in the production of news about their lives. We publish reported pieces and first-person narratives produced by females, 13-19 years old. Articles are typically 600-800 words long and writers will be required to work with our editor before the articles are published. Teen journalists that are published in Teen Voices receive payment for their work. We want to hear from all female-identified teens who have an interest in journalism/media/writing and activism.”
  • Telling Room – “Focused on young writers 6 to 18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills and provide real audiences for our students. For our Stories page, we are open for submissions of any length, in any form, and are happy to accept multiple submissions.” Submission categories include essays, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and multimedia. Click here to read previously published student work.

U:

V:

W:

X:

Y:

  • YoungPoets.org – A poetry anthology for youth published annually. You may submit multiple poems, however only one page of poetry per student is allowed. The next submission deadline is October 12, 2018.
  • Young Writers Project – Open to young people everywhere. The best submissions from this site are sometimes selected for publication on sites with a larger audience, such as Medium. For inspiration, check out YWP’s weekly challenges or try a tiny write (Flash Fiction, anyone?). If you are under 13, click here to download the permission form to join the site and publish your work!

Z:

Back to Top

Recommend a Contest/ Publication to Add to the List

I am always looking for new and exciting publications & opportunities to add to this site! If you know of a middle grades or YA (grades 6-12) contest for any genre or style of writing, please let me know about it using the form below and I’ll add it to the site!

Back to Top

Report a Dead Link or Contest/ Publication No Longer Valid

Please let me know if you come across a link on this page that doesn’t work, or if any of the contests and publications are no longer available/ accepting submissions.

Back to Top