Institute of Children's Literature presents



School's out! Now what? 

What kid can't wait until the school day is over? Now's your chance to tell the story about what happens after school. 

Write a short story including an after school activity. It could be band practice, a team sport, chess club, helping out at a community food bank, or anything a kid might be involved in after school. 

Use your imagination to craft a short story that's suitable for publication in a magazine aimed at 6-9 year olds. Research magazines to get a feel for the types of short stories that work. 

Short stories should be previously unpublished works and between 350-500 words. 

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Why Enter?

 $1,300 Cash Prizes 

  • 1st prize = $650 
  • 2nd prize = $350 
  • 3rd prize = $100 
  • 4th prize = $100 
  • 5th prize = $100 

Online Workshop

All entrants are invited to a FREE instructional online workshop with our esteemed judge and the Director of the Institute of Children's Literature and Institute for Writers.

Free Critique

Winning entries will be workshopped by our judge to help writers understand what worked and what could be improved to make it submission-ready.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Entries should be between 350- 500 words.
  • Entries should be a complete short story as suitable for submission to a magazine.
  • Short stories should include an after-school activity, e.g. sports, music lessons, extracurricular clubs, dance class, playing with neighbors, etc.
  • Entries should be aimed at readers between six and nine-years-old.
  • Entries must follow manuscript submission guidelines as stated on our Contest Rules page HERE.
  • Entries must be submitted via our online form by midnight Pacific Time on June 30, 2018.
  • There is a $19 reading fee per manuscript to enter the contest.
  • You may enter more than one manuscript but each entry requires a $19 reading fee.
  • Every writer who enters will be invited to the online workshop for free where the winning entries are critiqued. (Non-entrants pay $7.)
  • Minimum age to enter the contest is 18 years of age.

Submissions will be judged on clarity, originality, completeness of the story, potential in the magazine market, appropriateness for the age range, and your ability to match standard manuscript format (double spacing, clear contact information, no creative use of fonts).

The winning entries in this After School Short Story Contest will be announced at a live online workshop within 90 days after the contest closes. All contest entrants will be notified of the event details by email and be invited free of charge. (Non-entrants may attend for a nominal fee of $7.)

This is a great opportunity to build your writing and submitting skills!

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