Submissions are closed.
Check back soon to see the list of winners.
Your tax-deductible charitable donations to our 501(c)3 will help our contest participants. You may also donate by sending checks to CWC-Mt. Diablo at this address: Young Writers Contest P.O. Box 606 Alamo, CA 94507
“Honoring a new generation of California writers”
ABOUT THE CONTEST
Mt. Diablo’s Young Writers Contest is for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who live or attend school in Contra Costa County. The contest has been held every year since 1995, starting with two categories and reaching just one school district. It has grown to encompass all of Contra Costa County and now provides four categories: Poetry, Short Story, Personal Narrative, and Humor.
CONSENT TO COLLECT AND USE PERSONAL DATA OF MINORS
Because our contest takes place online, we are required to obtain consent from a parent or guardian before accepting contest entries. When you submit an entry, we ask you to provide contact information for a parent. We will contact your parent to ask for permission. Once we have consent, your entry will be processed.
If we do not receive permission from your parent or guardian, we cannot accept your entry for the contest.
First-place winners in each category receive $100, second-place winners receive $50, and third-place winners receive $25. Prizes are awarded at a ceremony on May 15, 2021. Covid-19 changes: the ceremony will be held on Zoom. Prizes will be mailed to the winners.
- The categories are Poetry, Short Story, Personal Narrative, and Humor.
- We do not suggest or assign topics. Students must choose their own topic.
- All entries must be the original work of the student.
- Entries must be in English.
- Personal Information (name, address, etc.) must not appear on the manuscript or in the name of the submitted file.
- A maximum of three entries per student are welcome under separate submission. Note: this means three entries per student, not three entries per category.
- Each submission should use the following formatting:
- Text: Times New Roman, 12-point, black
- 1-inch margins all around
- Double-spaced, except for poetry, which may be single-spaced
- Title on first page and page numbers in the footer
- Indentation on first line of each paragraph
- No illustrations or photographs
WORD OR PAGE LIMITS PER CATEGORY
PERSONAL NARRATIVE: An essay about a personal experience in the author’s life. Usually written in first person. Up to 1,000 words or 3 pages, Times New Roman, 12-pt, double-spaced.
SHORT STORY: Fiction, any genre. Up to 1,500 words or 5 pages, Times New Roman, 12-pt, double-spaced.
POETRY: Any form. Up to 30 lines
HUMOR: Humor entries may be Personal Narrative, Short Story, or Poetry – they’re just funny! Use the requirements shown for the appropriate category above.
IMPORTANT: If you are submitting something as part of a classroom assignment, please include a UNIQUE TITLE* when you submit your piece. Do not use the general title of the classroom assignment. It is confusing if we receive several submissions with the same title.
*Your filename should be the same as your title. For example, if your story or poem is titled “Lemons and Oranges,” your filename should be lemonsandoranges.doc (or .docx, or .pdf).
January 15, 2021 – Submission period opens
March 25, 2021 – Submission period closes
April 1 – 15, 2021 – Judging period
April 25, 2021 – Winners notified by email
May 15, 2021 – Awards Ceremony
Before you submit, make sure you:
- Run spell check on your manuscript
- Get feedback from other writers
- Read your piece out loud to yourself. Fix anything that does not sound right
Here’s what young writers can do:
READY TO SUBMIT?
There is ONE form for all.
Make sure you select the correct Category and Grade for your submission!
|2020 Winners||2019 Winners||2018 Winners||2017 Winners|
TEACHERS: We love it when you use our contest as an assignment or for extra credit. If you assign a specific topic, please ask your students to give their piece a unique title. IMPORTANT: Please do not have your students submit entries at the same time (as a class). This sends everything to the spam folder and we might miss them!
PARENTS: Parents must consent to our collection and use of their child’s personal data before entries can be accepted in the contest. We will contact each parent or guardian when a student submits an entry. If we don’t receive permission, we will delete the entry and all information it contains.
We do not share personal data with anyone without specific permission.
Parents of winning students will be requested to give permission for the child to be photographed for print, videotaped, or electronically imaged during the awards ceremony and agree to allow his or her child’s picture to appear in newspapers, news releases, and/or other published formats.
PRIZES: Winning short stories and poems from each grade level will receive $100 for first prize, $50 for second prize and $25 for third prize. The Jan and R. Lee Paulson Humor Award of $100 will be awarded to one winner (combined grades) or one winner in each grade level, at the judges’ discretion. The Betty Tenney Personal Narrative Award of $100 will be given to the best personal narrative/essay in each grade. Second and third place prizes may be awarded in the Personal Narrative and Humor categories at the judges’ discretion. Prizes will be presented to winners on May 15, 2021. Further information on the awards ceremony will be provided to the winners. Parents and teachers of winning students are welcome.
Have more questions? Ask us below, or email us at email@example.com.
*NOTE* If you are a student sending us an email, be aware that your school district’s email policy may keep my answer from reaching you. It would be best to provide a separate email address in your message in case this happens.