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.  


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.


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:

12 Years Old and Younger

13 - 17 Years Old


Registration is open until 11:59pm on June 20th.  Registered writers will receive a prompt, via email, on June 22nd, 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 July 6th.  All entries will be submitted through Submittable.  Judging will take place from July 7th until July 31st and winners will be announced on August 4th.  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 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: May 18th - June 20th

Prompt Emailed to Registered Writers: June 22nd

**** 2020 Contest change: prompts emailed July 1st. ****

 Story Submission Deadline: 11:59pm EST July 6th

**** 2020 Deadline extended to July 14th. ****

Judging: July 7th - July 31st

**** 2020 Judging altered: July 15th - 31st. ****

Winners Announced In-Store & Online:  August 4th

(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. 

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER (Also known as Rules & FAQs)

The contest is open to individuals UNDER the age of 18 years (registration and submission of an entry serves as  the expressed consent of their legal guardian).  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.  

Q: Do I have to live in the United States?
A: During this, our inaugural year, yes.  The contest is currently only open to US residents.

Q: Can I submit a story I’ve written previously?
A: No; stories submitted for the Contest should be original works and should be written in response to the provided/assigned prompt.

Q: As a minor, I do not have an email address of my own.  Also, my parents/guardians do not want me to have a Submittable account. How can I participate?
A: Right on!  The privacy of minors is super important.  Your parent/legal guardian will need to register you using their own email address on Submittable, and submit your story on your behalf using a Submittable account created in their name. 

Q: Who has the rights to the short stories created as part of/during the contest?
A: The writer/author of the story always maintains rights to the story as they are her/his work/intellectual property.  Adventure Bound Books reserves the right to publish a synopsis of the story or contest, and name of any writer that enters the competition for publicity purposes.  In some cases Adventure Bound Books will reach out to writers for consent to publish their stories on our website or in our newsletter.

Q: Is there a specific format requirement for my submission?
A: There are no margin or spacing requirements but stories must be typed in 12 point Courier or Times New Roman typeface.  Submissions should be written in standard American English.

Q: What are the file requirements for my submission?
A: Files must be submitted as .rtf or .doc (or .docx) files.  

Q: Can I submit more than one short story?
A: Each entrant may submit only one short story.  

Q: Can I enter under a pen name?
A: Yes, but you must also provide your legal name for the purposes of any prizes won.

Q: I notice the deadlines for the contest rounds are Eastern Time/Eastern Standard Time.  What if I’m writing from a different timezone?
A: You will need to be aware of the time difference (ahead or behind) the stated ET/EST deadlines based on the timezone you are writing from in order to submit by the stated ET/EST time.  

Q: I live near the bookstore; can I stop by the bookstore and register?
A: No.  All registrations must be completed and fees paid online through Eventbrite.

Q: I live near the bookstore; can I stop by the bookstore and submit my short story?
A: No.  All submissions must be made online through Submittable.

Q: I don't do online purchases.  Can I mail in my entry fee and mail in my short story submission?

A: No.  All aspects of the contest take place online.

Q: I registered, and paid my entry fee, but I’ve decided I don’t want to participate.  Can I get a refund?
A: There are no refunds.  

Q: Can I get help with my writing from a friend, family member, or teammate?
A: Sure, but only the registered individual is eligible for prizes.

Q: I accidentally missed submitting my short story by the deadline; can I get an extension?
A: No.  There are no extensions past the stated deadlines for registration or each writing round.


The Creative Kids Writing Contest is currently only open to residents of the United States.  Entrants must be under the age of 18 years old as this is a youth writing contest.  Registration and submission of a short story serves as parental consent to participate.  Registration and entry fee payment is powered by Eventbrite and submissions are managed through Submittable.  Individuals interested in participating in the Contest will need to set up accounts with Submittable in order to be able to submit their stories for judging (or have their legal guardian create an account and submit on their behalf).  There are no refunds.  Writers maintain full rights to their stories. 

WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT (Also known as Additional Questions)
If you have questions about the contest that are not answered herein, please feel free to email us at with the subject line
2020 Creative Kids Writing Contest Question.


© 2018 by Adventure Bound Books, LLC