Contest Info

All contests are closed! Winners will be announced at the conference closing ceremonies.


All Write Ahead contests are due by midnight of Friday October 25th. One entry per conference participant. Register for conference before submitting.

Downloadable Version of Contest Information

Email with questions.

Elementary Contests (Up to Grade 5)

  1. Yuck! Write a short story about the grossest thing you ever witnessed (or heard about) at school. Here’s the trick, don’t just gross me out. You have to make me laugh, too.
    • 100-500 words FIRM
    • Judge: Dr. Faye Powell, TBAWP Class of 2018
    • Submit Here
  2. Writer’s Playground Like slides, swings, and monkey bars, literary devices are a writer’s playground. Write a poem about an actual playground using as many literary devices as you can.
    • Poem must fit on a single page without making the font less than 12.
    • Judge: Stacey McGinnis, Site Director of I.C.E. Writers: Trinity
    • Submit Here

Middle School Contests (Grades 6-8)

  1. “You’re halfway there…” Write a short story that includes this line of dialogue.
    • 500-2000 words FIRM. No fan fiction please.
    • Judge: Franki Robinson, TBAWP Class of 2014
    • Submit Here
  2. Found Poem Create a found poem from a source of your choice. Not sure what a found poem is? Look it up or ask your teacher!
    • Poem must fit on a single page without making the font less than 12. Be sure to tell us where you found your poem (what your source is).
    • Judge: Alexis Perno, I.C.E. Writers Alum, Heard ‘Em Say Poet, Senior at Plant HS
    • Submit Here

High School Contests (Grades 9-12)

  1. Awkwarrrrrrd… Tell a story so horrifyingly awkward that the judge wants to hide their face behind a pillow. We want Michael Scott-quality social faux pas. We want Riverdale levels of cringe. Your writing needs to be good, but the story itself needs to be bad. So bad.
    • Either a short story (<4k words) or short play (8-12 properly formatted pages)
    • Judge: Emily Chmielewski, Former Editor of The Echo art and literary magazine
    • Submit Here
  2. Con(form)ity Your topic is “conformity.” Your genre is poetry of any set form such as but not limited to: sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, ghazals, etc. (no haikus)
    • Poems should be imagery rich and cliché free.
    • Judge: TBA
    • Submit Here

Special Contest for High Schoolers, College Students & Adults

In Collaboration with HunnyBee Lit, we are proud to announce that this fresh voice on the literary scene has opened a special submissions window for their second issue and our second annual conference.

Hunnybee is looking for small forms with a big buzz. We want your sticky and sweet, and how it makes meaning in your own hive-heart. Dive deep and make us think, cry, and excite our minds with new learning about yourself and others. It takes hard work to pack a bunch that’s short, sweet, and to the point and Hunnybee can’t wait to see what you’ve got.

Issue 2 will be a themed issue, so make sure to stick with this for the contest! The theme of Issue 2 is Hive, so send us your word magic centered around homes and hives. We are so excited to put this together for all of you and we can’t wait to see the works you submit. But remember, prose pieces have to be under 1,000 words! 

For more information visit

Email entries directly to and include “TBYW Contest” in the subject line.