Short Story Contests for Kids & Young Adults



Deadline June 1st-- Winners are in! Announced on our blog. 

Do you ever feel like you're running out of room? Do you just need a little more space, a place to spread your wings? Well.. just write over it.  Write all over it. Whether prose or poetry, share your short story with us. This is a collection of teen stories for teens-- ages 12 to 17 are encouraged to enter with parent or guardian permission.   

"Write Over It" Contest Winners: International Teen Creatives

Teen Editors through Northland Caps Program at the Innovation Center in Gladstone, MO.


Thanks to our teen intern this semester from the Northland Caps program. We rebooted our teen contest and advertised on social media for young writers and creatives. We met through the stay at home order online and by phone after our studio meetings were cut short. Lauren M. was a senior in high school finishing up her last three credits for her diploma in a tiny town in Missouri. A muralist and avid writer, she set out to help us find teen writers and artists to publish. We so admired her positive attitude and her ability to talk about creative work with an editorial eye.


We decided on this theme inspired by her experience as a creative in highschool taking hours of copious notes for class:


"Do you ever feel like you're running out of room? Do you just need a little more space, a place to spread your wings? Well.. just write over it. Write all over it. Whether prose or poetry, share your short story with us. This is a collection of teen stories for teens-- ages 12 to 17...Winners of our story contest will receive a free copy of the book with publication. Winning stories will also be featured in both softcover and eBook editions titled, "Write Over it!" This book includes a page bio from every teen author and their goals for the future and their question to the world."


Well, it worked! Six months later. Here are the winners of the teen writing, art, and poetry contest:


  • "What I would have wanted" by Megan McLaughlin, age 16, now at Trinity Prep School in Winter Park, Florida

  • "Eileen Renneman is not dead" by Mary Voet, a high school grad now at Northern Michigan University pursuing a degree in English Writing

  • "Sugar Eats Calcium" by Avalon Felice Lee, age 16, a sophomore at Notre Dame San Jose High School.

  • "Lost" by Shayla Dutta just finished 8th grade out in California.

  • "Lake Natrone" by Maggie Grabill, age 15 from West Michigan

  • "Love Never Dies" by Elisa Dash, age 12 from Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Edison, NJ

  • "Home" by Trinity Umana a junior at Olathe North High School in Kansas.

  • "Forgetting" a poem by Reagan Ricker who was a 7th grader at St. Margaret's Episcopal School

  • "Back and Forth" a poem by Kari Trai, age 17, in Menlo Park, California who attends Menlo Atherton High School

  • "The Gold Disk" by Amrita Bhasin who just finished her first year at UC Berkeley

  • "The Pestering Shadow" by Ariella Tamariz-Ella, age 17, and attends Palmer Trinity School in Miami Florida

  • "Melon Mischief" by Maggie Munday Odom, age 17, and attends Grove School in Madison, CT.

  • "White Flag," by Heather Schulte, a 15-year-old from Colorado

  • "The Fight" a poem by Luke Avigliano, a soon to be senior in HS in New Jersey.


Art Winners:

"Stand strong" by Avery Multer, an 8th-grade student at the Lycée Français de Chicago, pursuing a bilingual French/English IB Diploma.

"Nature" by Hyewon Cho, a sophomore attending Korean International School in Seoul, South Korea.

"Surrounded" by Sarah Yun, Seoul International School in South Korea.

"Borders" by Choong Yoon Lee, a sophomore attending Westminster High School in Simsbury, Connecticut.

**"Portal Portrait" by Michelle Kim, a 10th grader attending Seoul International School in South Korea is our first place, art winner.

"Flower Dance" by Ryan Seo, a high school student attending Seoul Foreign School in South Korea.

"Encroaching" by Isabella Kim, Isabella Kim is a high school student attending Seoul International School in South Korea.

"Dragging My Feet," Ellie Ko, a Sophomore attending Hong Kong International School.

"The story of Noles" by Anthony Afairo NZE from Avon, Indiana

"Write Over it" art by Lauren McAfee


Read about our Short Stories for Kids by Kids and the amazing Podcast, The Story Tree, who is featuring us!


Deadline extended July 1st, 2020

Tales from Castle Keep is for our young writers who love to dive deep into your creative short stories: This is for you if you love to write about kings, knights, and the wonders of the medieval world past, present or future. We are looking for those who love telling a good story. We are searching for the best Fantasy and Sci-fi Stories that take place in weird wild new worlds or have a new take on an original form. Is your story full of surprises, twists, adventures, mysteries, and new things we've never thought of? Then welcome home to Flying Ketchup Press.
Genres We are open to surprises. This is about finding great writers, not about making limitations on your creativity.
Winners of our story contest will receive publication, Each winning story will be featured including a page about each child and their goals for the future. The final collection for 2021 will be available for purchase online in softcover and ebook.
Guidelines for each Entry: All work must be original and submitted by a teacher, parent or guardian. Grades 1 to 8 are equivalent are welcome to submit. Include a short bio about the student and what would they chose if they have just one magical wish?
Rating: This book will be a selection of stories for kids by kids
How do we decide which stories we select for the contest? Short Stories will be evaluated on how they fit the theme as well as creativity and craftsmanship.
Length: Looking for 150 to 6,000 words but we are flexible.
How many stories can I submit? You may submit 3 stories per entry.


Tales from the Wish Zone is a collection of stories for kids by kids from age 7 all the way to 8th grade. This collection features winning stories from our annual contest which includes children from across the globe writing in English. These adventures boast all the greats: elves, dragons, detectives, and school principals along with young heroes who not only share their creative writing with you, they share their “Wish for the World.” Read work by the next gen and catch their vision for the future.
Included are 9 writers prompts for young writers and a place for them to make their wish and write their story.

©2020 by Flying Ketchup Press. Proudly created with