2024 Creative Writing Contest Rules

Click here for a list of 2023 winners!

  1. Contestants may enter one original work in each category for which they are eligible. 2024 categories are:
    • Short Story (fiction) by a Child (ages 5-10)
    • Short Story (fiction) by a Youth (ages 10-18)
    • Short Story (fiction) by an Adult (ages 18 and up)
    • Poetry
    • Essay (non-fiction short article on any topic except current politics)
    • One-Sentence Story* (topic: life on the prairie)
  2. All judges and Lamar Public Library employees are ineligible.
  3. Work published previously in any copyrighted newspaper, magazine, book or other medium is ineligible. Writing that appeared in school publications may be entered.
  4. All entries must be made by email. The following information must be written in the email: Name of Author, Phone Number, Birth Date (if entering as a Youth or Child), Entry Category (or we will select best fit), and Title of Entry. Don’t write it on the work, write it in the accompanying email — judging will be blind. If you send a google link, make sure we have access to it.
  5. Each entry should be sent in a separate email.
  6. Entries without a date of birth will be automatically judged as adult work.
  7. Entries should be emailed to sue.lathrop@ci.lamar.co.us no later than midnight on Wednesday, May 31, 2024.
  8. The contest has begun, so please submit entries at any time.
  9. No submissions will be returned.
  10. Winning entries will be posted on the library’s website on or around July 19, 2024. Winners also will be informed via phone or email.
  11. All contestants agree to their entry possibly being posted on the library’s website.
  12. The decisions of the judges are final. Submission indicates acceptance of all contest rules.

*One-Sentence Story: A complete story (fiction or nonfiction) on the topic of “Life on the Prairie” using just one sentence. Examples of one-sentence stories:

  • Dad left; a flag came back.
  • Passengers, this isn’t your captain speaking.
  • When I looked into my daughter’s eyes for the first time, I realized that, no, my pets had never been my children.

2024 Prizes (prizes and categories may change in following years).
• $100 in the Adult Category
• $75 in the Youth Category
• $25 in the Child Category
• $100 Nonfiction Essay Category
• $75 in the Poetry Category
• $25 in the One-Sentence Story Category

Judges reserve the right to give additional “Honorable Mention” prizes. Judges reserve the right to define “current politics” in essay category. A category will be canceled if there are fewer than three entries.