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Competition Is Looking for the Best Short Story Writers in Grades 9-12

Competition Is Looking for the Best Short Story Writers in Grades 9-12

In honor of national short story month, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has announced a new competition to find the country’s best short story writers in high school grade levels.

"Spark a Story will open for entries in the fall of the 2016-2017 school year and will focus on original short stories (fiction). The writing contest will culminate in an anthology featuring the winning entries that will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,” HMH said in a statement.

The company hopes it will able to eventually publish the outstanding work it finds in its Best American Short Stories collection.

For those interested in submitting work, students are eligible if they are in Grades 9, 10, 11 or 12, and are enrolled in a public, parochial, private, or charter school in the United States, or are being homeschooled.

All entries, HMH says, must be signed by either a school official or parent or guardian.

Entires are limited to one per student, and the contest will begin at 12:01 A.M. ET on August 1, 2016 and end at 11:59 P.M. ET on October 7, 2016.

While there is no minimum length requirement, entires are limited to 5,000 words and will be judged on:

  • creativity
  • originally
  • overall quality of writing

HMH is announcing the contest at the end of the school year in hopes of encouraging students to spend summer months writing.

"Spark a Story is being launched before the end of the current school year in the hope of fostering summer writing activity. HMH will be working with high school English Language Arts educators to encourage students to work on their short stories over the summer holidays,” HMH said.

Read the full contest rules here.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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