I'm pleased to announce that I'll be teaming up with the Henderson Writers' Group to put together a collection of excellent short stories written by adolescents aged 11-18. This is a great opportunity for young writers to get their names (or their pen names) into print at an early age. I'll be accepting submissions for fictional short stories no longer than 5,000 words until May 26, 2023. In addition, I'm offering FREE professional editing and feedback to those who submit their story at least a week in advance (before May 19).
In addition to publishing the anthology, Henderson Writers Group has agreed to award a $50 Amazon gift card to the two best stories, as determined by independent judges. One prize will go to the best story written by a submitter aged 11-14. The other will go to the best story written by a submitter aged 15-18. Submission instructions can be found after the "Frequently Asked Questions" below.
No. You may use a "pen name" if you wish--a fake name an author sometimes uses when they don't wish to use their real name. You can pick any pen name that is content-appropriate.
The submitted work must be original and fictional and not include any material copyrighted by someone else. It should be no more than 5,000 words. No extreme sexual content is allowed and strong language may be censored, as this is intended to be a family-friendly book.
You can still submit it. However, you do run the risk of the submission being disqualified if we have a high number of submissions and have to eliminate some. If your story is far, far beyond the limit, it will not be accepted.
One of the requirements is that the submission be original and not use copyrighted material. So the short answer to this question is "no." Stories that are written for existing copyrighted universes in other books or media will be disqualified.
Again, it has to be original and you have to be the creator. So no, you can't use an AI.
If we publish your story, yes. We will be sending permission forms to everyone who is accepted into the anthology. Without the signature of a parent or guardian, we won't publish your work. I would strongly recommend telling your parent or guardian you are submitting a story before you do so, and even get their critique on it if they are willing.
If you've already used a story for a competition, school assignment, other publication, or anything else, you can still submit it to the anthology, provided your last use of it allows you to publish it again in another place.
The hard deadline is May 26. However, I would strongly recommend submitting before May 19, as doing so entitles you to a free edit and feedback from me. This will greatly increase your chances of getting into the anthology if we have too many submitters to include everyone, as you will be able to revise and edit your work after professional feedback.
We will publish a limited number of submissions. Whether yours gets in depends on how many we can publish, how many submit, and how good your story is. In some cases, such as that of an extreme amount of technical/grammatical errors, we may elect not to publish a story. If you do a good job, get feedback from others, and especially take advantage of either the free edits I'm offering or the services of another professional editor, your chances of getting in are much higher.
Volunteers from the Henderson Writers Group will be judging the stories based on the rubric you'll see on this page. Each story will be given a score based on that rubric. If we have too many submissions, only the highest-scored stories will be included. A $50 Amazon gift card will be awarded to the highest-scoring story from younger submitters (age 11-14), and another for older submitters (age 15-18). Judges will range from unpublished but talented writers to successful professionals.
No. In order to maintain a lack of bias and still be able to offer my editing services to submitters, I will not be judging the stories, though I will create the rubric the judges use.
A $50 Amazon gift card. We wanted to open submission to young writers both in and out of the United States, and the Henderson Writers Group elected this as a good way to handle that. There will be two winners: one aged 11-14 and one aged 15-18.
The most important thing every writer needs is an editor, which is why I'm offering to edit these stories for free. Judges will NOT know which students had their work edited; however, I guarantee the quality of your writing will be better if you do take advantage of this opportunity by submitting your story before May 19, and higher-quality writing is more likely to be included if we have a high number of submissions. You are also welcome to join my Outschool Class, "Creative Writing: So You Want to be an Author" at this link to brush up on your writing skills. Finally, it's a good idea to get feedback from multiple people on how you can improve your story before submitting.
No. In fact, the judges will not know which submissions are from students in the class and which are not. I recommend it, as it's a great opportunity to learn not only from me but from other extremely talented writers your own age. However, unlike the free edit, it does cost a small amount of money each week. All are welcome but you can get a story into the anthology whether you take the class or not.
Email me (Paul McLerran) at email@example.com. I'll be happy to answer any questions you or your parents/legal guardians have.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading "Anthology Submission." Attach your short story as a file in Word format. Make sure to include your name (or pen name) and the title of the story. If it is submitted before May 19, I will do a free edit and send my suggestions/edits back to the same email address I receive the submission from. You can then resubmit a final version by the 26th. Anything submitted for the first time between the 19th and the 26th will not receive an edit, but will still be given to the judges for consideration in the anthology.
If you have trouble with this button, simply go to your preferred email service and follow the instructions here under "How to Submit."
Final submission date in:
"Free edit" period ends in: