Mission & Vision

The purpose of the writing contest series is to encourage creative writing in our local community and beyond by supporting the efforts of aspiring writers.  Each contest aims to challenge writers and present them with opportunities to practice skills that could be an integral part in taking their writing pursuits to the next level.  Our inaugural year was 2019 and we aim to grow with purpose, expanding our pool of participants each year as well as our prizes and opportunities for entrants and winners as the contest continues.  

2019 Winners

12 Years Old and Younger Category:
1st Place - Eli S.
2nd Place - Nancy Carol M.
3rd Place - Parker W.
Honorable Mention - Samantha M.

13 & Older Category:
1st Place - Erika W.
2nd Place - Grace S.
3rd Place - Austin S.
Honorable Mention - Ryan M.

2020 contest was postponed.


The Creative Kids Writing Contest (herein referred to as “The Contest” or “Contest”) is powered by Adventure Bound Books, an Independent Bookstore in Western North Carolina.  The contest - including registration, writing, and judging - runs from mid-May until early August each year.  The entry fee to participate is $25.00 (includes applicable processing fees) and all registration, contest communication, and submission of entries is completed online.  

There are two age categories and writers should register in the category that corresponds to their age as of July 31st.

Age Categories

Registration is open until 11:59pm on May 31st.  Registered writers will receive a prompt, via email, on June 2nd, from which to write a short story in the genre of their choosing.  Prompts may include a setting, character, or other story specific.  Stories should be 1,000 words or less and are to be submitted by 11:59pm on June 16th.  All entries will be submitted through Submittable.  Judging will take place from June 18th until July 18th and winners will be announced by July 24th.  Winners will also receive an email prior to the public announcement of winners.  A significant component of judging will include how well the writer incorporates the assigned prompt into his/her/their story.  Judging will also consider how closely the submitted story aligns with the author's identified genre, as well as character and story development within the word count maximum. 

**** A minimum of 25 writers must be registered for the contest to take place. If the minimum has not been reached by June 10th, those registered at that time will be issued a refund. ****

WHITE RABBIT’S POCKET WATCH (Also known as the Contest Timeline)

Registration Open: April 1st - May 31st

Prompt Emailed to Registered Writers: June 2nd

Story Submission Deadline: 11:59pm EST June 16th

Judging: June 18th - July 18th

Winners Announced In-Store & Online:  by July 24th

(Winners will be emailed in advance of public announcements.)

THE TREASURE CHEST (Also known as Prizes)

The top three writers selected by the contest judges for each of two age groups will receive the following prizes based on place:

1st Place Winner - $75.00 cash* prize plus a $15 gift certificate to Adventure Bound Books**

2nd Place Winner - $50.00 cash* prize plus a $10 gift certificate to Adventure Bound Books**

3rd Place Winner - $25 cash* prize plus a $10 gift certificate to Adventure Bound Books**


*Cash prizes will be awarded in the form of a check made out to the winning writer and mailed to the address given during event registration. 

** If a winner lives a significant distance from Adventure Bound Books, we will work to purchase her/him/them a comparable gift certificate to the closest Independent Bookstore if desired. 


Each entry is read, anonymously, by multiple judges who represent a variety of backgrounds and experiences in order to relate to the rich diversity of writers who submit stories to our contests.  Click here to read more about them!

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER (Also known as Rules & FAQs)

The contest is open to individuals over the age of 18 years.  Using the prompt assigned, writers will create an original short story, in the genre of their choice, minding the word count maximum and by the stated deadline.  Stories will be judged on how well the story responds to the prompt, as well as strength of plot, character development, and overall story. 

Do I have to live in the United States?

Yes.  At this time, the contest is currently only open to US residents.


The Adventure Bound Writing Contest is currently only open to residents of the United States.  Entrants must be at least 18 years old (we offer a youth writing contest in the summer for writers under the age of 18 years old).  Registration and entry fee payment, as well as submissions are managed through Submittable.  Individuals interested in participating in the Contest will need to set up a free account with Submittable in order to be able to submit their stories for judging.  There are no refunds (unless the contest does not reach the required minimum number of participants).  Writers maintain full rights to their stories. 

WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?! (Also known as Unanswered Questions)

If you have questions about the contest that are not answered herein, please feel free to email us at with the subject line corresponding to the writing contest about which you have a question (for example: Creative Kids Writing Contest Question).