Friday, September 7, 2012

ICL Writing Contest

ICL is sponsoring a YA short-story contest (any sub-genre: adventure, historical, Sci/Fi). Read the specifications. In brief, it's for 13-14 yr-olds, under 1,500 words, due by Halloween. So put on your thinking cap. Maybe a new story is coming to the surface, or maybe an excerpt of a novel can be reshaped into a short story. Perhaps you already have a story in the works that just needs a polish ... so what are you waiting for? Spit-shine it and send it off.

If you already subscribe to the Children's Writer newsletter you don't need to pay an entry fee. If you don't, the small entry fee is worth it because you will also get a subscription. This is one of the few contests that I feel is worth the fee (they actually give you something for it).

The prize is nice: $500 and publication in CW. You can then re-sell the story to another magazine. Years ago, my short story, Driving Lessons, won first prize in the YA contemporary category. It was such a thrill and the check that arrived in the mail even more so. I was so happy, I wrote about it here.

Contests are a great way to hone your writing skills, and some have excellent prizes. Some unusual ones are your story on a soup can, gift cards to writing supplies shops, kitchenware, etc. If you've not done this before, I encourage you to do so. Even if you do not win, you might get an honorable mention.

I wish I could enter ... but I teach for ICL so I do not have this privilege anymore.

Good luck to all who enter.


Faith E. Hough said...

Thanks for the heads-up! I am so intimidated by short stories it's not even funny. But I'm trying a couple...if they work out, I'll definitely send them in.

Bish Denham said...

Oh... I might just have something I can use! By the way I got my course materials this week and am digging right in!

Marcia said...

Contests are good. I got published in Pockets because I entered their contest. I didn't win, but they bought my story.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Loved reading your entry about winning the prize. Teaching your mother to drive. For sure this is not your average YA.

Congrats on that win and all your other accomplishments.

Vijaya said...

Faith, short stories can morph into novels. I'm always trying to take a slice from my bigger stories because novels are so intimidating. I hope a little story comes to life for you.

Bish, how exciting!!! You will love the book course. And I hope you'll send something in ... I don't think they have rules about not entering if you've already won before (like with Pockets).

Marcia, Pockets is a tough nut to crack. But when they buy a story, that's still a great prize.

Joyce, thank you. Teaching my mom to drive was one of the hair-raising experiences of my life. Good thing my son is stil a few years away from it.

Angela Ackerman said...

Cool! I will pass this on!


Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Wow, you won first place?! That's awesome. :D

I will have to think about this one. Thanks for letting us all know about it.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Thanks for the heads up, Vijaya. I haven't subbed to one of the ICL contests in a long while. Maybe it's about time.