Posts Tagged ‘California Writers Club Young Writers Contest’

Teens Get Published Now!

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

One Teen Story is a literary magazine for young adult readers of every age. Each issue will feature one amazing short story about the teen experience.

Contest submission will be accepted from May 1st to June 30th, 2014.

One Teen Story will consider original, unpublished fiction written by teens ages 14 – 19. We are interested in great fiction of any genre — literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories and horror. What’s in a great short story? Interesting characters, a unique voice, and of course, a beginning, middle and end.

The winning story will be published in the May 2014 issue
. Contest winners will receive $500, 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work, and a 28″ X 20″ poster of the cover featuring their story. The winner will also have an opportunity to edit his/her story for publication with a One Teen Story editor.

*To enter, you must be between the ages of 15 and 19 as of May 31, 2013.

Short stories should be between 1500 – 4000 words and be the writer’s own original, unpublished work.

Previously published stories and stories forthcoming at other publications cannot be considered.

No entry form or fee is required.

Only one submission per person.

One Teen Story reserves the right to publish the story in the form we choose. A parent must sign a consent form for One Teen Story to publish the names of the winner and honorable mentions on our website.

You must submit through our online Submission Manager.

Questions? Visit for more information.


is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry and essays for Young Adult readers, written by writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices . . . including teens!

YARN is of particular interest to and for young adult readers, 14 years and up. We have no restrictions for authors (fogies over the age of 18 write YA too) and no genre restrictions. (if you’ve got a story set in 2060, bring it on!) We only ask that the writing you submit be original and publishable, with some literary merit. (In other words, if you’ve written a slasher thriller with lots of smooching and slaying, we recommend sending it to Hollywood and not to us.) Send us only your very best.

Submit online to the email address appropriate to your genre. For information on how to do this, visit


And finally, for your holiday entertainment, this video promoting books and bookstores by Arthur A. Levine, an editor at Scholastic:

Funny but true: Wedding Snafu

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Yesterday, my husband drove us in the car to complete errands, windows cracked open a few inches to allow the cool breeze inside. My right hand rested outside on the window frame. As the car picked up speed, it got a bit breezy for Bob, so he hit the power button window on his door. Only he hit the other button. It closed my window.

Zzzzt. The sound made me react immediately. I pulled in my hand so fast Bob whipped his eyes from the road.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“You pushed the wrong one. My hand was out there!”

“Oh, sorry,” he said, searching for the right switch.

Memories flooded back to our wedding day. My Uncle Arnold had painted a JUST MARRIED sign which we placed in the back window of our car. After the church service, on the way to the reception, a friend pulled up next to us at a stop light.

Mike had noticed our fallen sign. He opened the passenger door of our two-seater car, shoved my seat forward, forcing me nearly into the dashboard. I gripped the door frame for balance. Mike straightened the sign as the light turned green. He threw my seat back, and slammed the door. Mike jumped back into his own car. 

My husband was about to take off when he saw my face.

“Uh, bluh, glug . . .” sounds emitted from my mouth. They were sort of a sob/scream/gurgle. For once, pain made me speechless.

“What’s the matter?” my new husband asked. “

Uh, bluh, glug . . .” I clearly articulated.

Fortunately, our friends in Mike’s car saw my protruding fingers; Mike leaped out of the car to save them.

After I refused to go to the hospital, we raced to the reception hall where one of my bridesmaids, a nurse, assured me my hand was just badly bruised and nothing was broken. I kept an ice bag on my swollen hand for the rest of the day.

That wasn’t the only mishap of our wedding day, June 20, 1981 in Fresno, CA. It was 110 degrees, and I remember wondering if everyone in church could actually see the beads of sweat rolling down my back.

Before the church service, when my friend Carol, the pianist, asked me what time she should start playing the entrance music, I knew the answer. Being from a prompt Midwestern family, when something starts at ten a.m., it STARTS AT TEN A.M.

Carol played our cue at ten o’clock sharp. We made our way down the aisle.

We waited.

And waited.

The minutes ticked by.

Bob and I exchanged nervous glances. Where was the priest? Did he get an urgent call from nature? A rich, talkative parishioner stop by with an offer for a donation? Did the priest get cold feet?

Finally, after what seemed like an hour but was probably ten minutes, Father appeared, upset we started without him.

Obviously, he wasn’t from the Midwest.

Writing Prompts:

1. When has a sound motivated an action? By you? By a character?

2. Write a scene where a sound plays an important role in saving someone from emotional or physical pain.

3. Familiar scenes can trigger memories from long ago. Write a scene for a character which triggers a memory that is important to your character.

4. Write an important scene in your character’s life and have things go wrong. How does your character handle it? Throw obstacles in his/her way. First make the scene painful. Next, make it funny!


California Writer Club Young Writers Contest – Check your newspaper THIS WEEK for the photo and article about the Young Writers Contest Banquet.  Jacquie Oliverius writes YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD and it’s in her column TODAY in the Pleasant Hill/Martinez Record.   Thank you Jacquie for letting me know!

California Writers Club Young Writers Contest Banquet

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Pop Quiz

1.  Where were there 155 people gathered together to celebrate young writers?

2.  Which young writer won the BEST OF THE BEST award, which was a secret until it was announced?

3.  Which story did Chronicle Books Editor Melissa Manlove share with the group?

4.  How many kids won prizes for the quiz based on the students’ winning work?

5.   What secret tip did Liz reveal about three entries of the contest that were postmarked April 12th?


1.  Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant in Pleasant Hill

2.  Gabriel Ostler won for his short story, The Thin Line.

3.   WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak

4.  Three students all one first place in the quiz. 

5.   Three entries were delivered to the California Writers Club Young Writers Contest weeks after the April 12th deadline.  The contest had already been judged by this time.  Each entry was stamped April 12th by the post office.  Moral of the story?  Next year, make sure and send in your entries WEEKS EARLY!

California Writers Club Young Writers Contest

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

This week everyone who entered the contest should receive something from the California Writers Club.  All the letters and honorable mentions have been mailed.  The students who have placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd will receive their honorable mentions (if they received any in addition to their main award) at the banquet.

If you don’t get anything in the mail this week from us, it means that your address was misread and typed incorrectly.  Some of your printing is less desirable than your creative writing talent.

I called one child’s home and discovered the father printed his child’s form. 

“Do you happen to be an engineer?” I asked him. 

“Yes, why?” he asked.

I sighed.  “Because my husband is an engineer and no one can read his printing either.” 

So if the letter comes back to us in our  California Writers Club box, then I’ll call or email you to learn the correct address. 

But otherwise, you should hear this week.

Contest Deadline Approaches!

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Attention Contra Costa Middle School Students!  The California Writers Club Young Writers Contest deadline is Monday, April 12!  That means your manuscripts must be POSTMARKED (mailed) by that date.  (Not after the post office closes on April 12.  They will stamp it April 13.)

Send us as many entries as you like, as long as you follow the guidelines.  I’ll be checking the post box next week and organizing the manuscripts into the appropriate grades and categories.  Next, I deliver them to the judges.  (I judge a couple of categories myself.)

Reading the wonderful stories, poems and personal narratives/essays are fun and inspiring!   After we read them several times, we talk and e-mail each other about the submissions. 

We try to judge them as quickly as possible.  When they judges get back to me, I call the winners personally.  Then I announce them here.  Some judges are more quick at their jobs than others.  Don’t worry if you don’t hear right away.   It does take time to read all of the submissions several times. 

Good luck!

The Essay Groan

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

A few years ago I spoke to a class at Walnut Creek Intermediate about the California Writers Club Young Writers Contest.  When I mentioned the essay category, the kids’ eyes glazed over and perhaps one or two of them snored.   Then I read one of the essays that won the year before and they jolted awake.  It was about a boy making a home run. 

“Why, that’s not an essay.  That’s a personal narrative,” said a student. 

“Is that what you call it?” I asked. 

For the past several years, our essay judges had mentioned they were receiving so many academic “teacher-type” assignments, they couldn’t figure out why.  Now I got it!  We were calling it by the wrong name for kids.  Although in the publishing world, adults knew what an essay could be, students were unaware of this. 

So send us your personal experiences in this category.   Use first person.  (“I”)  Brainstorm your memories that charge you with passion, emotion, excitement, or joy.  It doesn’t have to be a huge experience.  Sometimes the small moments in life are the most meaningful. 

Need ideas?  Flip through your scrapbook, diary/journal, or photo album.  Keep an idea book for every day thoughts and anecdotes that may happen to you.  With our busy lives these days, we forget about those times that pass us by but may be significant. 

Once I confessed our error to the students at Walnut Creek Intermediate, the students relaxed.  No teachery essays!  YAY!  They could write about anything they wanted to write about!  They could write about themselves!  The pressure was off!

So go to it.  And we can’t wait to read them! 

Questions?  Ask right here.

Question about Contest Requirements

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Hi Liz,

My students are wondering about the requirements for submitting poetry. Since they want to make sure everything is done correctly, on one part of the application it says poems do not need to be double spaced, but under guidelines it says everything must be double spaced. They also want to know if they can use a larger font for the title on the top or if everything needs to be in 12 font. Thanks, Joni Whalin

Great question, Joni!   It is fine to single space poems.  If the title is larger than 12 point it’s acceptable.  We only have a problem when students turn in manuscripts that are smaller than 12 point.  (It’s hard on our eyes to read so many manuscripts with anything less than 12 point page after page . . .)

When a student turns in a five page short story with LESS than 12 point font that story isn’t even read by any of the judges.   But a poem is MUCH easier to read.   I can see how it can be confusing.  We read all poems if they are single or double spaced because of the way the guidelines are written.   But since you’ve mentioned it and it can be confusing, we will “re-word” this next year.  Thanks for pointing this out to us!