Story writing contests can raise your writing to a higher level and make other people appreciate it. In preparation for a contest, analyse what made previous winners succeed and try to learn about vocabulary, narration methods or other literary devices from their writing style (make sure they really fit your own writing, though). You will also get an incentive to continue writing if you manage to win the contest. A number of story contests are specifically for teenagers, reflecting their interests and problems.
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Teen Ink Fiction Contest
Teen Ink is a monthly magazine aimed at and written by teenagers. The publication holds a teen writing contest twice a year. The winners get their work published in an edition of the magazine and receive a free copy of that edition. They also receive a pen and a pad, and are able to choose an item from the collection of Teen Ink merchandise--apparel or something else. Entries in all genres are eligible for this competition, including horror, fantasy, sci-fi and romance. The stories should be 500 to 2,500 words in length, and submitted in hard copy to Teen Ink Biannual Fiction Contest, Box 30, Newton, MA 02461.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Contest
Chicken Soup for the Soul is a series of books of inspirational stories and motivational essays. The series hosts a teen writing contest, accepting stories that teenagers will read "again and again." Contest participants can submit stories written about issues that concern teens most, including daily pressures of life, school, love, friendships and parents. The prize is publication in a Chicken Soup for the Soup book. The deadline in usually December 31.
NextStepU £65 Teen Writing Contest
NextStepU £65 Teen Writing Contest offers its winners not just a £65 prize, but the chance to get their work published in the Next Step Magazine, a publication founded in 1995 that helps students plan for college, career and life. The competition is open to high school students all over the world, and accepts short stories on all subjects. Submit all stories online.
Seventeen Fiction Contest
Seventeen is a widely-known and respected American magazine for teenagers that holds an annual contest for fiction writing. The magazine begins accepting applications in the fall, with a deadline of late December or early January. In 2010, the winner received a £3,250 cash prize, had her story published in an issue of Seventeen and received a phone call from best-selling author Meg Cabot and her editor.
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