Young Writers Rules

2021 Young Writers Contest Rules

Who May Enter:
All Madison County residents enrolled in grades 1-12 in public, private, or virtual school, and homeschooled students in the county are eligible.
When to Enter:
The 53nd Annual Young Writers Contest opens on February 1, 2021. Final entries must be postmarked or submitted by midnight March 5, 2021.
Entry Categories:

Grades 1, 2
Division 1 Lower Elementary Poetry
No more than 300 words

Grades 3, 4 ,5
Division 2 Upper Elementary Poetry
No more than 300 words

Grades 6, 7, 8
Division 3 Junior Poetry
No more than 300 words

Division 4 Junior Short Story
Minimum story length of 800 words and not to exceed 2,000 words maximum

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Division 5 Senior Poetry
No more than 400 words

Division 6 Senior Short Story
Minimum story length of 800 words and not to exceed 2,500 words maximum

Senior Art Work
Grades: 9, 10, 11, and 12 only

Contest Rules for Submitting Literary Entries

1. All entries must be the original work of the individual student with only general constructive assistance from the teacher. Plagiarism or cheating has not been and will not be tolerated by the Young Writers Contest Committee and judges. Teachers and parents, please emphasize the importance of original creations.

2. Entries must NOT have been previously published elsewhere, including school newspapers and magazines, and must NOT have previously received recognition in another contest. An entry must NOT be sent simultaneously to the Young Writers Contest and to any other contest or publication except to the student’s own school magazine, other school or PTA sponsored contest.

3. All Poetry and Short Story Entries should have a title included in the poem or short story.

4.There should be NO identifying information (name, school, email) included on the entry.

5. Each student may submit no more than one entry in each category.

6. Children of the judges may not enter the contest under the same category in which the parent is a judge.

7. The Young Writers Contest may not be judged by any teacher employed in the city, county, or private school where the contest is held.

8. Lower and Upper Elementary Poetry

Poetry entries must be typewritten or neatly and legibly handwritten, using only one side of standard size paper. The student’s name must not appear on the manuscript! The anonymous manuscript must be accompanied by a 3×5 index card attached by a paper clip containing the following: name, address, city, zip code, telephone number, email, school, grade, teacher (full name if possible), teacher’s email address at school, school telephone number, entry category, title of entry. Any entry not correctly prepared (anonymous manuscript with attached index card furnishing ALL required information) will NOT be judged.

Elementary student entries should be mailed to:

Lower Elementary Poetry
Jessica Temple – 205-792-1035
PO Box 919
Huntsville, AL 35804

Upper Elementary Poetry
Marion Conover – 256-539-6222
1706 Greenwyche Rd.
Huntsville, AL 35801

9. Junior Poetry, Junior Short Story, Senior Poetry, Senior Short Story and Senior Art Work

Students will submit entries online at the website Students must first register on the site. After registering, students can then upload their entry to the site. When students submit an entry, the entry will be assigned a unique number. There must be no student information in the entry itself or in the file name, so that the contest judges will see only the assigned number when evaluating an entry.

Poetry and Short Story entries should be .doc, .docx, .rtf or .odt files and comply with the length requirements for the student’s division.
Senior Art Work entries should be .jpg, .jpeg, or .png files with an maximum file size of 5MB. There should be no identifying information in the art work itself.

10. All entries become the property of the Huntsville Literary Association. None can be returned. Students should retain a copy of their entries.

11. HLA reserves the right to make no awards in a category if, in the opinion of the judges, there are no qualifying entries of sufficient quality to merit the award.

All winners, including honorable mentions, will be listed on this website along with photos of the 1st place winners. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winning entries in Divisions 1-6 will be published in the Awards Ceremony booklet. The 1st place art work will appear on the front cover and the 2nd and 3rd place art works will appear on the back cover.

  For more information contact:

Jessica Temple, Chair: 205-792-1035  or
Carol Ashburn Roach, Co-Chair: 256-776-0037  or

This program is made possible with a grant from the Huntsville Arts and Cultural Grant Program.