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Cool Contests for Creative Kids in 2021–2022

Competitions for talented kids interested in writing, visual arts, performance, photography, film, music and more

Published on: July 30, 2021

Cool Contests for Creative Kids in 2021–2022

Young girl holding a notebook and thinking about what she is going to write about

Writing contests

53-Word Story Contest

Hosted by Prime Number Magazine and Press 53, this simple contest posts a writing prompt each month. Anyone who writes in English can enter for free by emailing a poem or story that follows the prompt and is exactly 53 words long. Deadline is by the 15th day of the month. The winning submission gets published in Prime Number Magazine and receives one free book from Press 53.

Kenyon Review 

The highly respected literary journal The Kenyon Review has three annual writing contests. The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is specifically for high school sophomores and juniors. Poems are submitted during the month of November. Winners and runners-up will have their submissions published in the review and receive scholarships to attend the Young Writers workshop. The Short Nonfiction and Short Fiction contests are open to any previously unpublished author. The journal accepts entries during the months of December and January, respectively, with a submission fee ($24) and a 1,200-word limit.

The Washington State Zine Contest 

Sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book, each state has its own zine (that’s a homemade magazine) contest. The competition is open to Washington state residents of all ages, with prizes awarded in age categories ranging from fourth grade to adult. Entry is free, and submissions are due in February. Winning zines will be added to library collections across the state.

Write Out of This World (WOOTW) 

The Museum of Pop Culture’s (MoPOP) writing contest encourages young creators of science fiction and fantasy with short story and comics categories. Postponed during the pandemic, WOOTW plans to return bigger than ever in 2021. Details to be announced.

Young Playwrights for Change

The American Alliance for Theatre & Education holds this national middle school playwriting competition. Students in grades 6–8 write original 10-minute plays with six or fewer characters. The contest theme changes each year. Plays are due in March. Winning plays will be performed by professional actors and livestreamed from the AATE annual conference.

Student Book Competition

The National Youth Foundation’s annual writing contest welcomes K–8 individuals and teams to submit books of 20–30 pages with an equal number of illustrations that incorporate anti-bullying themes. Entry is free and submissions are due in July. Winners receive $500.  

Find more kids’ writing contests on TCK Publishing’s website

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